Because of your diabetes, you'll want to know about tools that help you track what you eat, what your blood sugar levels are, how much you exercise, and how you feel each day. Some of these include:
- Smartphone, tablet, or computer apps to log your blood sugar or meals and snacks
- Devices that test your sugar levels every few minutes
- "Smart pumps" that give you insulin as your body needs it
- Texts, calls, or emails that remind you to test or to take your medicine
Track Your Blood Sugar Patterns
If you notice patterns in your levels over time, the information can help you and your doctor better manage your diabetes.
To find out more, you or your doctor might use a device called a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that can test your blood sugar every 5 minutes throughout the day. It tests through tiny fibers on a patch stuck on your skin. Results are sent wirelessly to a small monitor or insulin pump.
The results can help you and your doctor spot spikes after you eat certain foods or work out, or while you sleep, says Robert Vigersky, MD, medical director of Medtronic Diabetes.
A continuous glucose monitor doesn't take the place of old-school testing, though. The device's maker says you need at least one finger-stick every 12 hours to set the device, and suggests regular testing three to four times a day to make sure the numbers match up.
New, "smart insulin pumps" that can sync with a CGM are great for people with type 1 diabetes, Vigersky says. "If your sugar goes too low, it will stop an insulin infusion for 2 hours," he says. Smart pumps can help you avoid dangerous dips in your blood sugar.
Apps to Stay on Track
New smartphone, tablet, and computer apps can be good if you don't like writing things down in a journal, says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian in Atlanta. She works with people who have type 2 diabetes.
Apps can help you track:
- Calories, carbs, and other nutrition information
- Daily exercise and calories burned
- Stress levels
- Blood sugar test results