Freestyle libre how often to scan?

Are you tired of pricking your fingers for blood sugar tests? Or maybe your skin is allergic to the adhesive on continuous glucose monitors? Fear not, Freestyle Libre has got you covered!

But wait, how often should you be scanning with Freestyle Libre to make sure you’re getting the most accurate and helpful results? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Freestyle Libre?

First off, for those who may not know, let’s quickly review what exactly Freestyle Libre is. It’s a glucose monitoring system that consists of two parts: a small sensor worn on the back of your upper arm and a reader device that scans the sensor wirelessly. The sensor uses an electrode to measure glucose levels in interstitial fluid (fluid between cells) every minute.

And without further ado, let’s answer our question!

How often do I need to scan with Freestyle Libre?

The good news is: unlike traditional blood glucose meters that require multiple fingersticks throughout the day, you only need to scan once every eight hours with the FreeStyle Libre system! This gives you 288 distinct readings per day without any complicated calibrations or extra sensors – amazing right?!

However (and this is where things get interesting) it really depends on why each individual user needs their CGM data.

When should I consider more frequent scanning?

  • During periods when there are big changes in patient insulin doses/glucose management
  • For patients using fast acting insulins during meals
  • During exercise
  • Chronic disease management – keep data on top down approach

Basically if someone’s diabetes control becomes less stable they might need additional information than just one reading every 8 hours could provide-insulin sensitivity fluctuations can play havoc so then perhaps some extra scans would be warranted (like before meals for example♦)

In situations where tighter glycemic control or frequent alterations to medication are required for medical reasons it might be useful to scan more often.

When is less frequent scanning enough?

  • For patients on stable insulin doses
  • If a physician agrees and deems once every eight hours appropriate
  • Patients who just like the added sense of control/peace of mind but don’t need hyper-frequent monitoring

Less frequent (once every 12 or 24hrs) may still provide value for those managing their diabetes well, without adding much extra work. But ultimately, this all depends on an individual’s diabetes treatment plan that should always be discussed with qualified healthcare professionals.

Can I scan too much?

It’s not dangerous to “over-scan,” but it can quickly become obsessive and tiresome. More information doesn’t necessarily equate into better outcomes either – at some extreme level point we could get caught up in glucose fluctuations that aren’t clinically significant ♣ . So instead try making sure your data serves a purpose!

What else do I need to know about using Freestyle Libre accurately:

There are instances when scans may return inaccurate or incomplete data

Some common external factors causing moments of discrepancy include sweating and high humidity levels! Even after calibration with finger stick readings the sensor stability might drift so its important to have back-up supplies/know how and when reach out to customer support^(1).

Be mindful of alcohol affecting how sensors adhere.

If you’re throwing back some cold ones,don’t forget you might then need additional adhesive techniques

Moreover Sensors ‘expire’ and will give false reads if expired, so setting reminders / checking expiration dates is smart practice 💡

Another way users maximize accuracy? Ensuring proper placement during insertion plus quick hydration outside: current operating temperature range -4º F (-20º C )—132.8° F (56 ° C),if someone applies ‘under certain conditions’like nearby extreme heat—it may affect performance .


When it comes to using Freestyle Libre accurately, there isn’t a perfect answer on how often you should be scanning. Starting with once every 8 hours is a safe bet for most people, but more frequency may help when trying to stabilize or better understand erratic blood glucose levels.

Ultimately the choice of scanning frequency depents on underlying treatment goals & lifestyle choices too. Those who feel that they need extra information can opt into additional scans without causing harm.

♦ Fun fact: fast acting insulins take around 15 minutes -1hr to peak and thus this is typically when users might choose scan ahead/prior!

♣ Another Important Side note: The Free Style Libre still doesn’t replace finger stick readings taken throughout the day before mealtimes, since those test strips offer insights not obtained through CGM-data (such as ketone testing.)

^(1) Paid technical support schemes offered: checking them out means uncapping prompt / helpful resources like tips from other users⟷!

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