Remember to take your meds, check your blood sugar, and calculate carbs: That’s just a peek into your daily life as a diabetic. Managing your type 2 diabetes can feel like a juggling act at the circus, but it’s no laughing matter.
If it’s of any consolation, you’re not alone. Research shows that more than 37 million Americans, or one in 10, live with diabetes.
Fortunately, several practical resources, from apps to glucose monitors, are available to help people with diabetes cope with this disease’s emotional and physical demands. With the right resources, you may be able to lower your blood sugar level, lose weight, and improve your overall health and wellness.
Let’s explore some of the most helpful daily tools for managing your diabetes with ease.
Diabetes Monitoring Apps
Are you looking for a way to simplify your diabetes management? Monitoring your blood glucose is the most critical part of diabetes management, so investing in a quality glucose-tracking device is paramount. Fortunately, a diabetes monitoring app, like BlueStar, maybe the answer you’re looking for.
This app, which has earned FDA approval, offers actionable advice to diabetics to help them improve their blood sugar numbers. For instance, through the app, you can receive coaching on your blood sugar results and nutritious food choices in real-time. You can also use the app to organize your medications and set reminders to take them. You may even find your next favorite diabetes-friendly recipe.
The app can additionally be synced with your glucose meter (more on this later) so that you can send your blood sugar numbers to your doctor.
Additional Technological Solutions for Controlling Blood Sugar
Other apps that may be worth investing in include Glucose Buddy and mySugr. These apps will also sync with your sugar monitor to help you track your blood glucose level, medications, and insulin. These apps can also send your charts and data to your doctor so that you can discuss your diabetes management progress with them.
Searching for an even more sophisticated way to track your blood sugar? Try a glucose alert system and display, like SugarPixel. This device is similar to a bedtime alarm clock but displays blood glucose levels instead of the time around the clock.
This type of device will gather data from your glucose monitor using your house’s WiFi. It can then display a blood sugar measurement using warm, soft lights. You can also find out how much your blood sugar has increased or decreased since your last glucose reading. A high-quality system might even put two glucose monitors’ readings onto a single display. This may especially be convenient for families where multiple members have diabetes.
With SugarPixel, you can additionally customize your display using more than 100 colors. In addition, the system comes with an easy-to-use silent alarm vibrating puck you can put beneath your pillow. It will tell you your glucose level any time of the night so you can correct your sugar level as needed before returning to sleep. It’s ideal for sound sleepers who otherwise may have a hard time hearing their alarms throughout the night.
Another handy tool for managing your diabetes is a diet-tracking app. It’s the perfect solution for diabetics who struggle to consistently count calories or carbs, stick to diets, or find the right food options for their blood sugar.
With a diet tracker like MyNetDiary, MyFitnessPal, or Fooducate, you can search large databases of food by the following:
- Hidden ingredients
- Added sugars
Some of these diet trackers can also give you barcode scanners so you can quickly look up nutrition information at your local supermarket. You might even find low-sugar meal plans and be able to customize these apps for your nutrient needs.
Did you know exercise can lower your blood sugar? This happens because exercise increases your insulin sensitivity. That means your muscles’ cells can more effectively use your body’s insulin to absorb glucose when you’re active, as well as after an activity. This can decrease your insulin resistance—the condition that leads to high blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetes.
This is why using a fitness app is one of the most helpful ways to manage diabetes. Apps like MyFitnessPal and Fitbit can easily help with managing blood sugar levels and reducing your chances of developing diabetes complications. These apps work by tracking your activity level, hydration level, and heart rate. They can also remind you to get up and move. With these tools, you can easily assess whether your activity level is high enough to support your blood glucose level and overall health.
A continuous glucose monitor, or CGM, is another excellent tool for controlling your glucose level. This type of device is usually pricey, but if you have type 2 diabetes and you use insulin, your medical insurance may cover the cost. Examples of CGMs include the Freestyle Libre and the Dexcom G7.
These devices can give you a clear peak into your glucose level, allowing you to detect patterns. You and your doctor can then troubleshoot any sugar spikes. The devices may even send you an alert about a dangerously low sugar reading. The best part? They have become increasingly smaller over time, making them even more convenient to carry around town or on vacation.
Diabetic test strips are also critical to have on hand if you’re trying to manage diabetes. These diabetic supplies work with blood sugar monitors to help you stay within your perfect blood sugar range and avoid short-term and long-term health issues. You place one of these thin, plastic, tiny strips into your blood sugar meter to find out your current glucose value.
Unfortunately, test strips can quickly add up when you’re using two strips each day to check your blood sugar. This is why you should look for diabetic test strips that are available in discounted multiple-packs from companies like One Touch, Aviva Plus, Accu-Chek, and True Metrix. If your strips are not opened, they will last until their expiration date. If you open the strips, you must use them by their expiration date or within three months to six months—whichever date comes first.
Your diabetic test strips should be stored in their original container, and you should keep the container firmly closed. Store the strips away from humidity, heat, and light. Avoid using expired strips; they are not safe to use because they can give inaccurate blood sugar readings.
Your arsenal of diabetic supplies isn’t complete without high-quality diabetic pen needles if you regularly take insulin. The needles will help you give yourself insulin to keep your blood sugar level within the target range.
The best insulin needles are thin and short, as this helps with reducing anxiety and pain during insulin injections. Look for ones designed for both adults and children, which should be user-friendly and comfortable. In addition, some of the best needles provide reliable injections without requiring to “pinch up” the skin.
Chances are you’re taking an oral medication to control your diabetes. You might even be taking other medications, too. The best way to organize your pill intake is an automatic dispenser. This will help you avoid confusing or forgetting pills.
An example of a popular pill dispenser is MedMinder. This small dispenser contains enough pills to cover you for a month and is designed to help you open the proper pill compartment each day. This tool is especially helpful for older individuals or people who have a hard time staying on top of their pills daily.
When was the last time you took your insulin? If you often find yourself forgetting if you’ve taken it, then a Bluetooth insulin pen cap may be in order. This will help you avoid missing doses or doubling up on them accidentally.
For instance, the electronic cap Timesulin will let you know when your last insulin shot was. You slide the cap over an insulin pen, and it will immediately start counting how much time has passed since you used insulin last. The Bigfoot Unity Diabetes pen is another high-tech option that can give you insulin dosing recommendations if you sync it with your glucose monitor.
Manage Your Diabetes with Confidence Today
A broad range of tools can help you more easily manage your diabetes daily. For instance, use a diabetes management app to track your blood sugar and access diabetes-friendly recipes. In addition, use exercise-tracking and diet-tracking apps to keep track of your activity level and food intake, which can also impact your glucose level. A high-quality glucose monitor, diabetic test strips, insulin pen needles, and an auto pill dispenser can furthermore help you keep your diabetes under control.
Consider all of the above-listed tools for managing diabetes as you seek to stay healthy and live your best life — one not controlled by diabetes — for years to come.