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Tracking Devices for Diabetes Patients

Lots of gadgets, like fitness trackers and wireless scales, can be your allies. They’ll provide a simpler, more accurate, and more fun way to monitor and manage your diabetes.

Why Tracking Helps With Diabetes

Ever get a high phone bill? Then you know how looking closely at the specific charges can help you change your behavior. The next month you'll be more careful about your minutes or the number of texts you send.

It's the same with tracking when you have diabetes. By getting an accurate view of your blood sugar along with how much you're exercising, eating, and sleeping -- not just what you want to believe is true -- you can make some real improvements.

Having data gives you power.

Research shows that tracking -- and the awareness that comes with it -- really works. One study found that people who wore pedometers naturally increased their activity by 27%.  (And they lowered their blood pressure and weight, too!)

Other studies have found that people with diabetes who used apps -- to record food, exercise, and other behavior -- had better long-term blood sugar control. 

Tracking Exercise

By tracking steps and the calories you burn, fitness trackers from Basis, BodyMedia, Fitbit, iHealth, Jawbone, Nike, and others can help anyone get more fit. But they have special benefits for people with diabetes. Here's why.

Exercise. Physical activity is essential to caring for diabetes. It helps lower your blood sugar, helps your body use insulin better, and lowers your risk of having complications.

A fitness tracker could be just what you need to jump-start your exercise routine. Walking is great for people with diabetes, and counting your steps with a fitness device is an easy way to stay on track.

Many devices also track the number of calories you burn throughout the day. Step up your daily calorie burn and you'll help control blood sugar.

Sleep. Many trackers have motion sensors that track your sleep.

This is a helpful feature if you have diabetes, since they tell you about your:

If your device records many restless nights, talk to your doctor. Waking up a lot in the night can be a sign your blood sugar is getting too low.

  • Sleep duration. Not sleeping enough can push your blood sugar out of whack. Sleep tracking can reveal the truth.

If you see how little sleep you are getting night after night, you might be inspired to turn off the TV an hour early and get to bed.

Food. Most fitness trackers have web sites or apps to enter in what you've eaten, or plan to eat, and then show you the calories.

They also balance the calories you burn with the ones you eat, so if you work out a lot, you can eat a tad more.

Many devices sync with diabetes-specific tracking apps for your carbs and insulin doses, so you can see all your data at once in easy-to-read graphs and charts.

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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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