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Diabetics Learn to Wear Monitor From Instagram
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The good news? "Failure rates were similar in the abdomen, outer arm and thigh," she noted.

The posterior arm -- towards the back of the arm, an area that tends to be slightly fatty -- was the most popular site, with almost 80 percent of people wearing the device there successfully, the findings showed.

Next in popularity was the abdomen, with a 77 percent success rate, followed by 69 percent success on the thigh.

More good news: These alternative sites were accurate, sometimes even more so than the abdomen. The sensor failure rate was 6.2 percent for the abdomen and only 2.2 percent on the outer arm and 3.3 percent on the thigh, the study found.

Litchman said people with type 1 diabetes seem to rely on social media posts to see other areas that people have tried. And they share information about what works and what doesn't.

Cynthia Rice is senior vice president for advocacy and policy at JDRF.

"It's very common to see [continuous glucose monitors] in different areas at JDRF events," she said.

Rice explained that the companies usually go to the FDA with a proposed use and the data that they have to support that request. Initially, she said, a drug or device indication is usually very limited, and then expands.

"But it's not against the law for people to use devices 'off-label' or for health care providers to prescribe them 'off-label,'" she noted. Off-label means in a manner different from the original indication.

Levister wasn't surprised by the study findings. She sees people use alternate sites all the time, she said. The one area she would caution against, however, is the calf.

"You want to be careful with the lower extremities and diabetes," Levister said. People with diabetes can get serious infections in the lower extremities, so it's better not to rely on that area, she explained.

Litchman's advice? "If someone is interested in trying a different location, they may want to ask their health care providers about the pros and cons of other sites," she said.

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