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Trend Report: High-Tech Glucose Monitoring

Apps for Diabetes

Even if you don't want to spend the extra cash on a fancy syncing glucometer, you can get a lot of the same benefits with low-cost or free phone apps or web sites.

You do have to remember to enter your glucose readings into the app or web site yourself. But besides that, you'll get a lot of the other benefits of high-end devices -- the ability to share information, enter carbs or exercise, and track trends over time.

Some examples of diabetes-specific apps include:

DiabetesPal syncs with the BodyMedia Fit and Withings Pulse fitness trackers. So you have a record of your physical activity side-by-side with your glucose readings and other data.

dLife Diabetes Companion not only lets you track your glucose and food, but it offers recipes, videos, and expert Q&As.

My Glucose Buddy is a popular and easy-to-use tracker that records glucose levels and other info.

MyNetDiary's Diabetes Tracker has a FoodCheck feature that lets you compare foods when dining out or shopping. It also syncs with the FitBit exercise tracker.

TactioHealth syncs with the Bodymedia Fit, Fitbit, and Withings Pulse fitness trackers. It also stores your glucose, A1c, and other data and lets you print out detailed reports for your doctor.

A lot of these apps and web sites have online communities that you can join. Using them is a great way to get support and stay inspired.

Your Glucometer Shopping Checklist

Whether you're going for a high-tech glucometer or a more basic model, there are some key factors you need to consider.

The eyes have it. Make sure your device has an easy-to-read display. Some glucometers have a backlight so you can check readings in the dark, like the Contour Next Link, EasyMax Light, Freestyle Lite, OneTouch Ping, and WaveSense Presto. Others have a bigger readout or a sharper contrast to make them easier to see.

Listen up. If you have vision problems, check out a glucometer with voice readout -- it will speak your reading.

Some meters with voice readout include the Advocate Redi-Code, Easy Max Voice, Element Plus, Fora (many models), and Prodigy.

Give it a test run. If you can, get your hands on a device before you buy it, so you'll know how it feels. Make sure the buttons are well-placed and easy to press.

If you have trouble picking up small things or have dexterity issues with your hands, using larger strips may be more comfortable.

A glucometer with an attached strip drum or disk may be easier to handle, too. You won't have to mess with those tiny, slippery test strips.

Watch for hidden costs. Don't forget to price the strips --a cheap or even a free glucometer can be costlier in the long run because the strips are so expensive. Make sure your insurance company will cover the strips for any device you choose.

WebMD Medical Reference

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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