Got Diabetes? Here’s How Modern Technology Can Help You Cope

Imagine a disease that kills more people annually than breast cancer and AIDS put together, and you would be imagining diabetes. Every three minutes, another person dies as a result of diabetes, and that’s just here in America.

Even for those who survive, they may face blindness, amputation of limbs, stroke, kidney failure and worse. Thankfully, there is a whole new world of technology that is being developed to help sufferers cope in positive, healing ways.

In this article, you’ll learn how modern technology can help alleviate your diabetes symptoms and put you on a path to better health.

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes: Type I, Type II and gestational. The third happens only to women who are pregnant, and usually resolves on its own after the woman gives birth, but leaves her at higher risk of developing Type II diabetes later on.

Type I diabetes is sometimes nicknamed “juvenile” diabetes both because it is thought to have a genetic component and because it often shows its face early in life.

In contrast, Type II diabetes has earned itself the nickname “adult onset” diabetes because normally it appears at age 35 or older.

All three types of diabetes can be difficult to manage. Thankfully, monitoring diabetes with technology can make disease management easier regardless of your age or health situation.

Here are some helpful links for measuring your blood sugar, as well as checking what weight range is healthiest for you!

Choosing a Healthier Diet

One of the key ways today’s technology can help diabetes patients is by giving them access to a portable, digital food log. Here, you can keep track of every bite and every sip in digital form so you don’t have to rely on memory. Some apps even let you take photos of your dinner when you eat out so you don’t have to stop and write it all down while you’re trying to socialize and catch up.

According to WebMD, these apps are great sources of extra support when used in conjunction with regular doctor visits and careful manual monitoring.

Here are some great diabetes diet apps that can help you track your meals:

Diabetes in Check (Everyday Health)

This free iTunes app has it all – as it should, since the designer is a diabetes educator. The app is designed to help in five key areas:

  • Manage blood sugar levels
  • Eat for your health
  • Stay fit and active
  • Count your carbohydrates
  • Stick to your weight management goals

CalorieKing (CalorieKing)

This fabulous free iTunes app offers an entire food database (70,000+ food items) from grocery stores, fast food restaurants and other places.

All you have to do is click on a food item and you can learn all about it — including whether it will be helpful or safe to eat as part of a diabetic healthy eating plan.

GoMeals (Sanofi)

The GoMeals app is free on both iTunes and Android. This app makes it easy to monitor both eating and fitness because it links to FitBit activity trackers so you can track what you eat against the calories you burn during exercise.

This app also helps you track glucose levels, compare local restaurants and sync your account between multiple smart devices.

Carb Counting with Lenny US (Medtronic)

This free app for iTunes and Android is tailor-made for the younger set. It makes it fun and easy to count carbohydrates with games, contests and customized food lists.

Monitoring Glucose Levels

One of the biggest daily challenges (and chores) for many diabetics is monitoring glucose levels.

If you have Type I diabetes and are fully insulin-dependent, you likely have a glucose monitor that stays with you all the time. If you have Type II diabetes or gestational diabetes, however, you may use oral or injectable insulin as needed to control your symptoms.

But sometimes life just isn’t conducive to remembering to do glucose checks on time or stop to record your levels in different places. Here is another place where the option of monitoring diabetes with technology really comes in handy!

These apps can make glucose level monitoring easier:

MySugr Diabetes Logbook (mySugr GmbH)

This free iTunes and Android app will issue reminder alerts so you don’t forget to do glucose checks. It also syncs to your glucometer to make logging carbs and glucose levels a cinch.

As the top choice log app for diabetes (Type I and Type II) in six countries, clearly there is much to love about MySugr.

NOTE: There is also a kid-friendly app called MySugr Junior that makes it fun for kids to monitor fitness, glucose and carbs and learn more about diabetes. The app is free for iTunes and Android.

OneTouch Reveal (LifeScan Inc.)

If you use a OneTouch Verio Flex meter, you will be delighted to learn about the OneTouch Reveal free iTunes, Android and Windows app that syncs with your smart phone.

This app can be especially helpful for newly diagnosed diabetics who are trying to get a handle on glucose level trends and stay in close touch with their treating physician (the app lets you send results right to your doctor!).

Accu-Check Connect (Roche Diabetes Care)

If you use an Accu-Check glucometer, this handy free iTunes and Android app syncs to track exercise, carbohydrates and insulin levels. You can also snap photos of your meals to help you learn carb counting for future meals. The app even offers meal choices advice.

Keeping Fit and Losing Weight With Diabetes

With every other to-do list item that diabetes adds to your daily list, who has time to get fit and lose weight, let alone stay that way? These apps help you keep track of your fitness and weight loss goals and even help find you a friend to share the journey with.

Weight Loss Coach (Fooducate)

This free app for iTunes and Android will give you the tools you need to lose weight by choosing the right diet and tracking your daily allotment of carbs. You can also share your progress through the Fooducate community.

Diabetes Connect (Alliance Health Networks)

This free app for iTunes and Android instantly connects you to a worldwide community of people who also have Type I or Type II diabetes. You can ask questions of the community, share your progress towards your goals, track your glucose levels online, start new conversations, make friends and more.

By taking advantage of the many tools for monitoring diabetes with technology today, you can minimize the impact a diabetes diagnosis has on your day-to-day life and simplify the necessary tasks of managing diabetes. As well, you can put reminders and tracking systems in place to automate the things you have to do regularly and even share them electronically with your doctor.

Best of all, this new breed of diabetes apps gives you the chance to make new friends who will understand what you are going through and be able to provide you with encouragement, ideas, support and hope. With the help of technology, you don’t have to feel alone anymore, whether you are a patient managing your diabetes or a carer helping a loved one do the same.