When we think of November, we often think of Thanksgiving, turkey and our favorite rich meals and decadent desserts that families eat on the holidays, but November is Also National Diabetes Month.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, but thanks to advancements in modern technology, diabetic patients are literally taking their health issues into their own hands.
Diabetes Type 1 usually develops in the average person by age 20, when the pancreas can no longer develop insulin, so patients have to be treated with insulin along with other medications.
However, the most common type of Diabetes is Type 2, which causes excess glucose in the blood, and it can be controlled through diet and exercise, or in some cases, reversed.
Whether you are concerned about becoming diabetic, have been diagnosed as prediabetic, or you have full blown diabetes, there are several gadgets out on the market people can use to monitor their blood glucose, provide support and help people avoid the serious health complications associated with the illness.
In honor of National Here’s a brief overview of 5 tools that can help patients tackle their diabetes.
Social Media Tool: Diabetic Connect
DiabeticConnect.com is a social network where diabetics can socialize in a digital space. Operated by social media company Alliance Health, it works much like Facebook, but the difference is it provides a very niche community specific to people wanting to learn from and help each other manage the disease. Among the community are educators and patient activists. Users can tap into resources like video libraries and users can choose to be completely anonymous, so they can discuss sensitive subject matters freely, without fear of revealing their identity
Food Tool: MyFoodAdvisor
One of the biggest parts of the battle in managing diabetes is managing what you eat. The American Diabetes Association created MyFoodAdvisor to give users a monthly meal plan of diabetes-friendly recipes. Subscribers get a monthly newsletter with recipes, tips on adjusting recipes with health substitutes and much more. Check it out: http://tracker.diabetes.org/
Blood Glucose Meter Tool: Accu-Chek Aviva, $20
This meter stores up to 500 readings of your blood glucose levels and calculates averages over time. Users can flag their results as pre- or post-meal for reference. It works well for Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes patients who take insulin. https://www.accu-chek.com/us/glucose-meters/aviva.html
Glucose Phone App Tool: Glucose Buddy
This is a free website and phone app and that can be downloaded to Android iOS phones. You can enter your glucose numbers, your carbohydrate intake and your activity levels throughout the day. The app will use your data to create graphs and helps you to lower H1BC levels according to Tom Xu, the creator of Glucose Buddy. http://www.glucosebuddy.com/
Activity tracker: Fitbit One, $100
This handy tool can count steps, track calories and even monitors your sleep. It keeps you on track, telling you how close you are to meeting daily health goals. This tool is ideal for people who need a tool to help become more active. http://www.fitbit.com/
Do you have any good tips on managing diabetes? Don’t be shy, share them with us!