Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. There are two types of Diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. With Type 1 Diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With Type 2 Diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well (due to insulin insensitivity or insulin resistance). Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood.
Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious health problems including cardiovascular diseases and heart attack. It can damage your eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb. Pregnant women can also get diabetes, called gestational diabetes.
A blood test can show if you have diabetes. Exercise, weight control and sticking to your meal plan can help control your diabetes. You should also check your glucose level and take medicine if prescribed.
Management of Diabetes
The mainstay of diabetes management is controlling blood glucose, eating low glycemic foods, eating on time and taking medications on time. If you are taking insulin, you also need to check blood glucose very closely compared to just taking oral diabetic medications.
In today mobile world, the smart phone and apps can be a great tool to help patients manage their diabetes. Here are a list of apps categorized by various ways to manage diabetes.
Apps to track blood glucose
- Glooko logbook – Glooko logbook quickly and accurately record your numbers by syncing straight to your glucose meter. Just connect your iPhone to your meter with the Glooko MeterSync Cable ($39.99). The cable and app are capable to sync with 17 different glucometers (most common ones are there). The benefit with this system is that it allows health professionals to get access to patient’s glucose data (if allowed by patient). By syncing patient-recorded data to Glooko Web Dashboard, diabetes management teams have direct access to patient’s data. During appointments, accurate logbook data on medicine, insulin and food help clinicians adjust therapy and improve dialogue with their patients. (iOS only)
- Glucose Buddy – It is glucose logbook with push notification. It will remind you when it is time to log glucose. It has “Simple Time” reminders (functional alarm when the app is closed) and “Coordinated with Event” reminders (alerts you to check you blood glucose two hours after you’ve entered a BG or Medicine log). (iOS and Android)
- iBGStart Diabetes Manager – This app allows you to track not only blood sugar readings, but also you carb intake and insulin doses. You can even make customized notes about your readings with mealtime and exercise tags. With the data management features, you can see a dynamic graph of your results. You show your results to your doctor on iPhone or email him/her. (iOS only)
- Diabetes Tracker with Glucose log by MyNetDiary – It provides easy and comprehensive diabetes tracking, adding blood glucose, insulin and medications tracking to the best calorie counter – MyNetDiary Pro. This app is not good for tracking glucose, insulin but also daily calorie intake (iOS only) – $9.99 for iOS app. Calorie Counter pro for Android is $3.99.
Apps for meal planning and food selection/guidance
- Fooducate – This app help you make good choice for your food choices. Once you register for the first time and enter all your preferences (including diabetic diet), it will keep in mind your preferences while guiding you regarding your food selection. Once registered, you can browse or bar code scan the food time and it will give you a Nutrition Grade – A, B, C or D for the particular food (see here for more details) (iOS and Android)
- Shopwell – This app helps you choose the right food for you. You can browse, search or scan food products for recommendations. It also provides alternatives for each products as well. You can also optimize food recommendations for various goals, such as, weight management, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, etc. The app also tells you which grocery store has the particular product searched or scanned nearby. It has option to create a grocery list. (iOS only)