Friday, February 25, 2011

Using technology to manage your diabetes

Yesterday, USA Today ran this article, about how smartphone apps keep health at your fingertips.  I've been using an app to track my blood sugar for at least 6 months now, probably longer, so I found the article especially interesting — even though it didn't mention anything about blood sugar or diabetics.

I use a pretty basic iPhone app, called Glucose Buddy, for tracking my blood sugar.  It was a free app when I downloaded it, but since then they've added a lot of fancy (and, at least for me, unnecessary) features that you have to pay for.  They've also added advertising, which wasn't there before.  However, it is a decent little app and does what I need it to do.  I can input my blood sugar, insulin doses, gram of carbs eaten, exercise, and even (a newer feature, but still free) my A1c.  To review past logs, I have to scroll down a list on my phone.  The graph only shows the high, low, and average values for each day, which is too bad — I'd rather see a graph of all my values for one day — but it's still useful.

Do you use any iPhone apps to keep track of your diabetes?  If so, which one or ones do you recommend?  Please don't forget to include the price of the app, and if it costs something, what makes the app worth getting instead of a free app.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Energy drinks and diabetes

The other day, this article ran in USA Today: 'Pediatrics' study disputes energy-drink claims.  Essentially, studies are now contesting the claims of energy drink manufacturers, that the drinks provide any benefits for physical and mental performance.  In fact, the study claims that the drinks can cause some serious health problems in kids with other conditions... such as diabetes.

I am curious if other diabetics have had similar experiences with energy drinks as I have.  Caffeine usually causes an increase in my blood sugar, and energy drinks seem to be particularly bad.  Every time I've drank them to try to stay up late to work on a paper for school, or something of the sort, I've ended up with ridiculously high blood sugar.  I suspect it has something to do with adrenaline causing the body to release extra sugar into the blood stream.

What about you?  Have you found that you need to avoid energy drinks, or even that you have to watch your caffeine intake?