Controlling Diabetes with the Help of Smartphone Apps

In my research I came across some information I felt I must share with you (my readers). Smartphones are just the “hottest things since slice bread” (smile), this speaks to my age (now you get to laugh). But, seriously, smartphones have revolutionized our lives. I thought I just needed a phone to say “hello” and once I can hear the person and they are hearing me, then all was well. In my country, we call these simple, not so smart, hard to damage, very cheap phones, “bangers.” Especially the Nokia Brand, they drop, you put the pieces back together and they are as good as new again.

Smartphone for Pre-Geriatric Girl Elderly couple

For me, back then, there was absolutely no need for these “smartphones.” Until, my best friend gave me my first smartphone. Sorry, I am not ungrateful, I am just a member of the  Pre-Geriatric Club and so I can’t, at least at this moment remember the brand. Ok, so what was I talking about again? Hmm, senior moment? Hey, I am kidding. I suppose I am extremely happy today.

Yes, back to the smartphone. I liked the idea of all the things I could do on these phones-Internet browsing, e-mail, and all the wonderful apps. Well, here I will bring to your attention some information about using smartphone apps to help you as part of the strategy to eliminate diabetes from our lives. Yes, continue to read. I am finally getting to the point and I trust that you are still smiling. Don’t be stressed, your blood glucose and your blood pressure could spike and I would hate this article to be blamed. Yes, to the point.

Blessing in Disguise

There are smartphone apps which we can use to help us to monitor our blood glucose and the researchers are thinking that this could help us to control diabetes. The researchers I speak of are from the Cardiff University. According to them, Specialists Diabetes Apps can help us to lower our blood glucose levels. These diabetes self-management apps can allow us to:

  • Enter our blood glucose readings
  • Keep track of our medication
  • Plan our meals
  • Link us with recipes
  • Become our secretaries and remind us of important information, such as time to take medication
  • Help us to plan for our appointment at the doctor and to do our blood tests at the labs

One Stop Shopping

This reminds me of going to PriceMart, MegaMart or Sams. They are “one stop shops” for a number of things and so they are ultra-convenient. To be able to purchase my produce, meat, bed, and refrigerator in the same store can be pretty helpful and save me some valuable time. That’s how I see these apps.

Is Age a Number? Number 98

Some of you are probably thinking that this is for “young people.” Well, please, allow yourself to be further educated at this moment. I will not tell you “age is a number.” But, I can state this with irrefutable confidence, “when you eat lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts and grains, your body begins to repair itself and you do not feel as old as you did before when you were eating highly processed foods.” Yes, that is my experience. So, you see, you may actually cut a few years off and stay away from  the Pre-Geriatric Club a little longer. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Well, if you were thinking that the younger generation would more embrace the smartphone apps, then guess what? You are perfectly correct. The researchers looked at 1,360 patients and the younger folks were the ones who reported a benefit. However, there was no report from Type 1 diabetes patients.

I Can Think Clearly Now, the Processed Foods are Gone

I am sure you will agree that this is interesting information. Here are my thoughts, and remember, I am thinking clearer now that my lifestyle supports eating whole foods and as a result, I am more active.

  • Younger people reported benefits, but nothing from Type 1 patients…. A lot of the folks with Type 1 diabetes I would imagine are from the group of “younger folks.” Right? Why do we not see any reports from this group? Yes, more research is needed and this group also needs to be heard from in order to make these smartphone app findings inclusive.
  • The reports were given by younger people….Why? Is it possible that the people my age could not bother with the reporting bit of the research? Or, is it possible that we did a poor job of using the apps and so have nothing positive to research? I kept journals/diaries as a child and a young adult. Sometimes when I really wanted to “tell somebody off,” I wrote it in my diary and kept the peace. Now, I don’t necessarily “tell people off,” if and when I can keep my cool, but one thing is for sure, the older I become, the more I feel the urge and I do give in to that urge and yes, I tell people how I feel about what they did or said and how it makes me feel. You see, this comes with age. You learn how to say what you have to say and still keep the peace (Maturity 101). Is this the same with the smartphone apps? Is it that older folks can’t be bothered with this level of documenting and reporting?Hands Writing
  • I really would have been happy to see some results from the more mature audience. Maybe we failed to use the app? Is that a possibility? Should we make an effort and see how it goes? Maybe we should. I started logging my blood glucose and blood pressure readings every day. I was also logging what I ate and my exercise activities as well. I got fed up of all the writing and started documenting just the test results. I am now seeing that this was a bad idea. Here is why. When there is a spike in my blood glucose, then I have no point of reference to say, yes when I ate this before, I had a horrible spike the morning after. It takes way the intelligence and so I am sometimes left with little to inform my decisions. I have to rely heavily on memory and although this is better now, I can’t always trust this source. Documentation is important. Let me add to this for emphasis. Documentation is extremely important. Yes, you assumed correctly. I only read this report today, but I will be checking out one of these apps soon. Who to tell? Maybe I will give an update on said use.

Smartphone Apps for Diabetics

Kindly see below for a list of some of the smartphone apps. I downloaded and I am using number 1 on the list. I am not certain that all of them are still available and that they are free. I, however, was able to identify nos. 1 to 5 using my IPad.

  1. Diabetes In Check: Coach, Blood Glucose, and Carb Tracker. I decided to try this one, starting today (October 30, 2016). I got tired just putting the information into the software. However, once you place your set weight loss goal, the medication you are taking and your fitness goal, this information is stored for future use.  I also like the fact that I get a planner, recipes, articles and a community, along with my journal. The shocker was how difficult it can be to get the required amount of fibers and to stay within the required range for sugars, cholesterol, and sodium. It is an eye-opener and I can see how this will keep me control my blood glucose. I will be using it and I will give some feedback at some other point. Smartphone
  2. Best Diabetes Control.
  3. Diabetes App.
  4. Glucose Wiz-Blood Sugar Log and Medication Tracker.
  5. Glucose Companion.
  6. Glooko.
  7. MySugr Logbook
  8. Diabetik
  9. Dexcom Share and Follow.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Documentation is important as a guide and a point of reference. It can be the hard copy of your memory and is of extreme importance to help us to make informed decisions. The use of a smartphone app to help us to record our blood glucose readings, the medication we are taking, our last doctors’ visit and the last time we went to the lab and the tests we did is and can be valuable as we continue to effectively win the battle with diabetes.

To think that your phone can be used as your diabetes personal helper and remind you to take your medication and what to take and to help you to plan your next visit to the doctor and the lab is priceless and yes they are, as most of them are free. It is time to act now.

A list and a synopsis of some available apps were given for you to use in tandem with eating whole foods and being more active. Let us be more determined to win this war and eliminate or at least control diabetes by eating mostly plant-based foods and documenting on these smartphones our readings and everything related to our struggle to ensure that we are victorious. It can be done and I am living proof. Come, please act now to be diabetic-free.

 

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2 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I can see that using an app to control your diabetes can be helpful for some of you.
    I wouldn’t like having an app for that reason. I don’t like to write down my numbers
    and document everything I do.
    I think the best for me is to live with awareness of what I am eating and how I am
    treating myself from day day.
    Thanks for sharing, Josephine.

    Tove


    1. // Reply

      Tove, I appreciate your comments. Trust me, you are perfectly correct. I tried using an app and it was good as a guide in the early days. Yes, it is quite handy for you to see if you are over-doing it on some foods, but, I found it to be a bit tedious in the end. I however am now guided by what I discovered whilst using the app and like you, I am now more aware. It was worth the try, but it is not my thing either. All the best Tove.

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