If you’ve been recently diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor has told you that managing your condition is essential. Fortunately, there are a lot of affordable technologies available — from apps to continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) to smartwatches. As a result, you can stay motivated, feel confident, and keep track of your progress.
Continue reading to learn about 5 affordable ways technology can help you manage your diabetes and how exercise and nutrition play a crucial role in successful diabetes management.
1. Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGM)
Most CGMs are surgically embedded in the patient for an extended period of time (usually 90 days in the US) and send alarms that alert them of changes in sugar levels. However, specific features in each CGM can vary. Med City News compares CGMs and reports that some don’t require surgical implantation, whereas others require calibration with blood glucose meter readings twice daily. You’ll want to work with your healthcare team to determine which CGM is best for you. Popular CMRS included in Med City’s comparative analysis are Sensonic’s Eversense and Medtronic’s Guardian Sensor 3. Other popular products are the Dexcom G6 and FreeStyle Libre 2.
2. General Diabetes Management Apps
Use a reliable diabetes management program such as Diabetes Connect to track data related to your diabetes. Available on Android or Apple, Diabetes Connect can be used when you have either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. It tracks your blood sugar levels, weight, insulin injections, and other important information you need to know to improve your health.
3. Nutrition Apps
The SparkPeople Calorie Tracker is available in both Apple and Android, tracking your diet and calories. In fact, it acts as your own nutrition coach which breaks down your calories daily or by meals. In addition, when you use the SparkPeople app, you have access to free advice from nutrition and health coaches. You also have access to the SparkPeople community feed and can share your goals and successes with members of the SparkPeople community.
4. Smartwatches and Fitness Apps
The latest Apple Watch Series provides a lot of metrics that can guide you as you make progress toward your fitness goals, as well as 18 hours of battery life, comfy watch bands, and a proactive heart monitor. For an app that works with Fitbit, there’s Fitbit Coach: It tracks your progress on your walk workouts, monitors your body weight, and much more. For the best experience possible, Fitbit recommends that you access your Fitbit Coach programs through your FitBit device. You can download the Fitbit Coach app for free from the Google Play Store or from Apple, as well as from the Microsoft store.
5. Exercise and Diabetes Management
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports evidence showing that exercise is essential for managing the health of diabetes patients. The ADA emphasizes the importance of remaining active when you have been diagnosed with diabetes. It stresses that when you have diabetes, avoiding extended periods of sitting by walking for three minutes every 30 minutes can reduce your diabetic symptoms. Evidence presented in the article also shows that doing aerobic exercises, performing resistance exercises such as weightlifting, and having daily stretching sessions can help fight conditions associated with diabetes and contribute to your general well-being. You’ll want to work with your healthcare team to devise specific exercise plans that best suit your individual health needs.
In short, CGMs, individual apps, and wearables like smartwatches are just a few of the technologies available to help manage your diabetes. Once you and your healthcare team have found the diabetes management tools that are right for you, you’ll be able to monitor every essential aspect of your condition, track metrics, stay aware of any changes, and play an active role in your own health management.