Should The Freestyle Libre Be used to check blood sugars before driving? It’s been a hot topic recently, but the DVLA have now updated their guidelines to include the Libre, under Flash Glucose Monitoring (FGM) in general. Is that the right call though?

Should The Freestyle Libre Be used to check blood sugars before driving? | flash glucose monitoring and CGM have now been approved for use by the DVLA for type 1 diabetics to check blood sugars before driving - but is that right? Can you manage type 1 diabetes through CGM or FGM alone? Or should people with diabetes who are using insulin also be pricking their fingers for a glucose reading? www.oddhogg.com

I have been a long term advocate of the Libre. I purchased my first sensor when they were released in 2014 and have continued to self-fund it on and off since then, when finances allowed. In the last 2 weeks I have been issued a Libre on prescription so that I can go ahead with full time use. I appreciate that I am very lucky to have access to this technology over the 6 years since I was diagnosed.

While I appreciate the patterns that the Libre provides me with, I have yet to have a sensor so reliable that it can be used to replace finger pricks completely. A Freestyle Libre measures interstitial fluid, rather than blood, and so it would be fairly unreasonable to assume that the results would correspond at all times. I am sure to do a finger prick before my main meals, first thing in the morning, last thing before bed and before driving. On the whole, that has me still checking 4-8 times a day.

The DVLA guidelines for driving with insulin treated diabetes state that:

“Group 1 drivers may now use finger prick glucose testing and continuous glucose monitoring systems (FGM and RT-CGM) for the purposes of driving”

Which means that you could eliminate the finger prick before getting behind the wheel and replace it with a swipe from the Libre – but that leaves me with so many concerns. Personally, I think FGM is a great tool to use along side finger pricks, not as a replacement.

Should The Freestyle Libre Be used to check blood sugars before driving? | Car Keys, phone, blood glucose meter and a kit-kat www.oddhogg.com

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If I were to prick my finger and see a 5.2 mmol/l then that is deemed safe to drive, however if I match it with a Libre reading showing a downward arrow then that would indicate the need to take action before getting behind the wheel.

I usually find my Libre reads lower than my blood glucose level by around 1mmol/l, but it has been known to be as much as 3 or 4mmol/l in the first 48 hours. That would of course show that the Libre would be a conservative check for me, but that is not the case for everyone. Each sensor is different, as is each persons response to a sensor. Although FGM has been available for nearly 5 years in the UK it is still not completely reliable I don’t think this was a good decision by the DVLA.

My original question was Should The Freestyle Libre Be used to check blood sugars before driving? I know that I won’t be  before driving without doing a finger prick too.

Should The Freestyle Libre Be used to check blood sugars before driving? | Phone showing FGM reading www.oddhogg.com

WHAT NEXT?

Why not join our Facebook Group which is hub for women with all different types of diabetes. It is a safe place to ask questions, share knowledge and be open about how you are coping.

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