Which Is Better: Dexcom vs Freestyle Libre?
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems have revolutionized the way individuals with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Two of the leading CGM systems in the market today are Dexcom and Freestyle Libre. While both offer valuable insights into blood sugar trends, there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we will compare Dexcom and Freestyle Libre to determine which one is better for individuals with diabetes.
Dexcom is known for its accuracy and reliability. Its sensors are factory-calibrated, meaning they are ready to use right out of the box. Dexcom CGMs have a longer wear time of up to ten days, reducing the frequency of sensor changes. The system also offers real-time glucose readings, customizable alerts, and the ability to share data with healthcare providers. However, Dexcom requires routine fingerstick calibration twice a day to ensure accurate readings.
On the other hand, Freestyle Libre is praised for its convenience and affordability. The system consists of a small sensor worn on the back of the upper arm and a handheld reader or smartphone app to scan the sensor. Unlike Dexcom, Freestyle Libre does not require fingerstick calibration, making it more hassle-free. However, it does not provide real-time glucose readings, as it requires manual scanning of the sensor.
Now, let’s address some common questions about Dexcom and Freestyle Libre:
1. Which CGM system is more accurate?
Both systems have similar levels of accuracy, although Dexcom is often favored for its factory calibration.
2. Can I swim or shower with these CGM systems?
Yes, both Dexcom and Freestyle Libre are waterproof, allowing you to swim and shower without removing the sensor.
3. Can I connect the CGM to my smartphone?
Dexcom CGMs can be connected to smartphones, while Freestyle Libre requires a separate handheld reader or smartphone app.
4. Which system has longer sensor wear time?
Dexcom sensors last up to ten days, while Freestyle Libre sensors need to be replaced every 14 days.
5. Are these CGM systems covered by insurance?
Both Dexcom and Freestyle Libre are often covered by insurance, but coverage may vary depending on your plan.
6. Can I share my CGM data with my healthcare provider?
Yes, both systems allow you to share data with your healthcare provider for better diabetes management.
7. Do these CGM systems require fingerstick calibration?
Dexcom requires fingerstick calibration twice daily, while Freestyle Libre does not require any calibration.
8. Which CGM system offers customizable alerts?
Dexcom offers customizable alerts for high and low blood sugar levels, while Freestyle Libre does not have this feature.
9. Can I use these CGM systems with an insulin pump?
Yes, both Dexcom and Freestyle Libre can be used with compatible insulin pumps.
10. Which CGM system is more affordable?
Freestyle Libre is often considered more affordable than Dexcom, especially for individuals without insurance coverage.
11. Do I need a prescription to purchase these CGM systems?
Yes, a prescription is required to purchase both Dexcom and Freestyle Libre CGM systems.
In conclusion, both Dexcom and Freestyle Libre have their own strengths and weaknesses. Dexcom offers real-time readings and customizable alerts, but requires fingerstick calibration. Freestyle Libre, on the other hand, is more convenient and affordable, but lacks real-time readings. Ultimately, the choice between these CGM systems depends on individual preferences, insurance coverage, and specific needs in diabetes management. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which system is the best fit for you.