If you or a member of your family have diabetes, you’ll already know this universal and chronic condition can complicate already busy and hectic lifestyles. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 1, 2 and gestational diabetes affect over 29 million Americans, and can have hazardous health consequences if not monitored and taken care of properly. The good news is, where monitoring your diabetes was once a full time job, it’s now easier than ever. Enter the technological era of smartphones, where helpful apps are on the rise to support and manage self-care of diabetes, including eating healthy food, exercising, remembering to take medicines like insulin, and sticking to your treatment plan. There are plenty of life-improving apps out there, and this list will help figure out what you need to look for in a diabetes app.
Food and Exercise Apps
When it comes to diabetes, there are certain key aspects of your health you need to be on top of – primarily your blood sugar levels, carbohydrate intake and body weight. So the right app for you will depend on what aspects of diabetes you find most difficult to monitor. If your body weight is the issue, there are numerous food and exercise apps which can help you log and track your calorie counting and body weight. MyFitnessPal (free on iOS & Android) for instance, is an extensive app that offers a calorie counter and diet/exercise journal, so you can track exactly what you’re eating and how much exercise you’re getting. It has an easy-to-use interface so works well if you’re not immersed in the mobile-app world.
If you’ve been struggling with nutrition and health long-term, the app Fooducate (free on iOS & Android) aims to help you make healthier food choices. What’s really smart about this app is its internal barcode scanner, which you can use to reveal all sorts of useful nutritional information about the food you’re eating. Upon scan, you’ll be given a personalized grade, notifying you how nutritional this item is for you based on your own profile – sort of like having your own weight-loss coach in your pocket.
MyNetDiary is designed for Type 1, Type 2, Prediabetes and Gestational diabetes, focusing on educating and coaching users on how to lose weight and keep fit. The app will show you what affects your blood glucose, and how you can change your lifestyle accordingly. It helps you to decide on a realistic weight goal and lose weight in a steady, comfortable fashion,
For those adults or kids who have been newly diagnosed with diabetes, life can be turned upside down and you might be experiencing a serious lifestyle shift. The condition can be difficult to comprehend, especially for kids. An entertaining yet informative app specifically targeted at kids is Carb Counting With Lenny (free on iOS & Android). With the help of Lenny the Lion this app turns carb-counting into a fun experience for both kids and adults alike. The app offers a food guide feature which educates users about the carb values of different foods, and the carb games feature will test you or your kids knowledge using fun interactive games.
Tracking Those Glucose Levels
Regardless to whether you’re brand new to the diabetes life, or an experienced virtuoso, tracking your blood sugar levels can be tiresome. Type 2 diabetes can, in some cases, initially be controlled by healthy eating habits and weight loss, whereas treating type 1 diabetes is essentially based on daily insulin injections. To avoid the complications of diabetes, you must be on top of your blood glucose level to minimize the risk of hyperglycemia (glucose level is too high) or hypoglycemia (glucose level is too low).
If you need some extra help managing your sugar level, the app My Sugr (free on iOS & Android) helps you log and monitor your daily blood sugar level, record your insulin and use the app to track your carb counts. It also syncs with your other devices and this sophisticated app has an HbA1c feature, to test your blood sugar level. This gives you an overall picture of your average blood sugar levels based on personalized tracking statistics.
The app Glucose Buddy (free on iOS & Android) is another logbook where you’ll be able to keep track of blood glucose, carb intake, medication use, activity levels and more. The app provides you with push notifications so you’ll never forget to test your blood sugar. It also includes graphs and charts to show you trends in your numbers.
Another popular app Glooko, helps users keep track of their insulin usage, count carbs, and understand how certain foods, activities, times of the day, and medication affect their blood glucose level. However if users want to sync data to the Glooko app, they must purchase a subscription for $59.95 per year.
BG Monitor, a new app available only for Android users, can track everything for you, calculate your insulin levels, clearly display your data, and give you warnings when your blood glucose is too low. You can even snap a photo of your meal so you remember exactly what you ate. You can also share all data and reports with your doctor and family members.
For Type 2 Diabetes
Different types of diabetes will require a different type of management system. With type 2 diabetes, it’s important that in addition to blood sugar level tracking, you also keep on top of your health and weight management. Diabetes in Check was developed especially for type 2 patients and promises to help users lower their blood glucose levels, get more active, eat healthier, and manage their weight. The app includes digital coaching with blood glucose tracking; medication tracking; feedback; and reminders. Additional features include a carb tracker; barcode scanner; hundreds of diabetes-friendly recipes, a personalized meal plan, and helpful tools to get active.
Support for this chronic condition can be at times hard to find, especially if you’ve never met another sufferer. The app Social Diabetes (free on iOS & Android) was set up to address this specific issue, and help you feel less alone. In addition to being able to track your insulin dosage, carb intake, and blood sugar levels, the app gives you access to a worldwide community of diabetes patients. The app helps you connect to like-minded users where you’ll be able to learn helpful information about living with diabetes.
The right diabetes app will need to successfully track reliable information, so you want to make sure you choose the right app that meets your specific needs. Understanding when and why your blood sugar spikes and dips is key to managing your diabetes and there’s plenty of apps that offer these tools and features. Diabetes doesn’t need to take up all your precious time, so go ahead and choose an app that works for you.