Today, if someone asked me could I survive a day without my phone, I'd say no. Not because I would shrivel up and die without Instagram access, but because my phone helps me to control and understand type one diabetes in so many ways every, single day. Here's a few of my favourite features of my phone and apps that I've found particularly useful for handling my type 1 diabetes.
The Carb Manager- Keto & Low Carb Diet Tracker app is a must-have for anybody who carbohydrate counts (which should be most type 1 diabetics.)
On this app you can scan any food's barcode to find out all of its nutritional info. What makes this app different from any other diet tracking apps is that it not only tells you the amount of carbohydrate in the food, but also considers the amount of fibre the food has and gives a more precise estimate of carbs that affect glucose. This is given the name 'Diabetes carbs', and is always what I go by when judging how much insulin to take.
Sugar Level Predicting
Manage BGL is an extremely helpful app for anyone who has just been diagnosed and is finding it hard to manage their sugar levels and calculate how much insulin to take.
Its built in dose calculator recommends the amount of insulin to take and predicts what your sugar level will be after taking it.
I used it religiously at first and found it extremely reliable. I once took insulin without checking the app's recommendation, then when I entered in the dose I took, the app predicted that I had taken too much and that I would have a hypo- specifying what number it would go down to and at what time. Of course, it was right and I was able to have my skittles at hand. After a while I found that I didn't need to depend on it anymore and could calculate my doses myself, but its a great starting point.
Sugar Level Tracking
I recently got the FreeStyle Libre and couldn't recommend it enough. It is FREE to anyone under the age of 21 living in Ireland (which I was told about 2 weeks prior to turning 21), so take advantage of it if you can!
Its a small, circular patch that's worn on the arm as you can see in the photograph and comes with a downloadable app on your phone.
Just from entering the app and holding your phone up towards the patch, your sugar level will be displayed on the screen. You're essentially a walking blue-tooth device but it is extremely impressive and means no more finger pricks! All of your sugar level data is tracked in a logbook, showing patterns and the amount of time your blood sugars are in range.
If you don't have the FreeStyle libre a great app for tracking sugar levels is MySugr. This app can be connected to many glucose monitors but if yours isn't on the list you can enter in your data manually. This app shows a graph of your levels throughout the day and you can add in different factors such as exercise, alcohol, fasting and even office work!
I'm not a massive podcast fan, but The JuiceBox podcast is one I'll make an exception for. It's hosted by a Dad of a young girl with Type 1 Diabetes who interviews a variety of other Type 1 diabetics. He covers everything from why you shouldn't be afraid of insulin to how to stop diabetes from having a negative impact on your life, and even after 10 years of being a diabetic, I learn something new every time I listen. It's not as heavy as it sounds either- he's funny and lighthearted so its easy to listen to while you're out and about.
The Step Tracker
You may already know this, but if you have an android or an iphone, there is a feature under 'health' that tracks the amount of steps you take throughout the day. Once I discovered this feature, I found that it helped me to control my sugar levels immensely.
Not only did it motivate me to walk more and take the stairs to get those extra steps in, but it provided me with the answers to a lot of my sugar level queries.
For example, it would show me that I was actually a lot more active than I realised one morning compared to the previous morning- which was the reason that although I ate the same meal and took the same amount of insulin, my sugar levels were lower at lunch.
This may sound obvious, but these little factors play a large part in affecting blood sugar levels, and the more aware you are of them, the better!
So, these are the ways that my phone helps me handle my diabetes on a daily basis- Hope this blog post has helped x