Blood sugar refers to the concentration of glucose in the blood, and it is an indicator of one’s general health. A permanently high blood sugar value is associated with a significant risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In a healthy individual, the blood glucose levels are regulated, so that they remain within normal values, this is why it is critical to maintaining a blood sugar log for yourself.
Throughout the day and depending on the food intake, the blood glucose levels have the tendency to vary. The highest level occurs after one has eaten, returning back to normal after approximately one hour. Upon waking up first thing in the morning, the levels are at the lowest value (fasting value).
- Tracking and managing blood sugar levels
- What kind of information should one record?
- Paying Attention to Sugar
- Reminders for measurements & medication
- Blood glucose monitoring
- Maintaining Your Blood Sugar Logs
Tracking and managing blood sugar levels
If you are interested in keeping a track of your blood sugar values, you might want to consider using the CareClinic health app, which is available on both iOS and Android for Diabetes. You can use the application as a blood sugar log, recording daily readings, as well as the treatment(s) recommended, meals, level of physical activity, additional health issues and sleep.
The accurate tracking of a person’s blood sugar becomes even more important in the situation that one already suffers from diabetes. The blood glucose logs can be thus shared with the treating physician, allowing both you and the specialist to identify unhealthy patterns and customize the treatment according to your needs.
The health app represents a modern and effective alternative to a printed blood sugar log sheet. Such sheets have been used for a long period of time, however, digital health solutions are considered more useful nowadays. It has a user-friendly and intuitive interface, a number of beneficial features and it allows one to carry health-related information wherever he/she goes. The application is available on both iOS and Android smartphones, and there is also a web version that comes with similar features and benefits.
The blood sugar levels should be tracked throughout the entire day, with details on the food intake and the level of physical exercise (both diet and workouts can affect blood sugar levels). Just as you would record this information in a simple blood sugar log sheet, you can trust the application for a similar purpose. (R)
What kind of information should one record?
You should document your daily blood sugar levels, noting the time of the day and additional information on how you are feeling at the moment. The values can be then compared to the targeted range, including three main categories: fasting, pre-meal and post-meal. These values can be recorded within the application, as it will make the actual comparison easier. You can then export the monthly report as a PDF document and share it with your doctor. A printable version is also available for the information recorded from the daily log.
Aside from recording blood sugar levels, one might also use the application to keep track of insulin values. Details about using an insulin pump can be added (including basal rates), as well as the results of ketone tests. One might also use the app to keep track of the A1C levels and ketone bodies (urine), which are tested by the diabetologist.
Health measurements, such as weight or BMI, can be easily added, as these are important to observe as well. Additional factors that might play a role include stress, daily meals, activity levels, and other health issues.
Paying Attention to Sugar
One should pay attention and record the number of carbs eaten with each meal or snack, as these play a definite influence on the blood sugar levels (pasta, fruit, etc.). It might also be useful to record any medication that was prescribed to reduce blood sugar values. Aside from medication, you can enter vitamins, supplements and other natural health products you are taking. For each treatment or supplement, be sure to add the dose, frequency, and purpose for which it was prescribed/recommended.
Taking advantage of the built-in health diary, you might want to record how you are feeling after each meal or blood sugar test. These notes will be quite useful for the treating physician, allowing the healthcare professional to determine the most effective target ranges for your blood sugar.
How Apps Can Help manage Diabetes
Many people also use the application as a food diary, registering their meals and the food breakdown into proteins, carbs, and fats. Using the CareClinic app as a food diary can make one more accountable whereas eating habits are concerned. It can act as a free journal, or as a food and blood sugar log. Moreover, one can uncover unhealthy eating patterns and potential trigger foods leading to hyperglycemia.
The doctor will determine the healthy blood sugar ranges to strive for. Only your healthcare provider is able to determine the most effective pattern for you. Just because other people measure their blood sugar levels seven times a day, this does not mean you should do the same. The testing pattern should always be individualized to the needs of the patient. (R)
Reminders for measurements & medication
The mobile CareClinic health app allows you to set up reminders. These can be used to remind you of the test time, insulin administration, other treatments or doctor appointments. The application sends push notifications and there is even a snooze feature to help you stay on the right track.
One can even set up a reminder for logging the blood sugar levels. The main advantage is that this application allows one to stay organized and in control of the health status. The reminders reduce a lot of the stress associated with checking blood sugar values, logging them, taking treatments or going to the doctor.
Reports, charts & graphs
Based on the information that you enter into the application, monthly reports will be generated. These will include details about your blood sugar levels, with charts and graphs showing average values and tendencies. These reports can be shared, as said, with the treating physician, being useful for treatment changes or adjustments.
The reports can be exported as PDF documents as well. They resemble a traditional logbook or the template you would normally create in an Excel document, containing all your diabetes-related information.
What are the healthy target ranges?
According to the American Diabetes Association, the suggested target ranges before a meal are located between 80 and 130 mg/dl. The values change one or two hours after the meal has begun, but they should always be under 180 mg/dl. These values are for an adult who suffers from diabetes, with no pregnancy present. The latter detail is important, as pregnancy can cause blood sugar levels to rise and even gestational diabetes can occur. The A1C value should be under 7%. In a healthy individual, the normal fasting value should be under 99 mg/dl.
In determining the blood sugar targets for each individual, the doctor will take into consideration the presence of diabetes, age of the patient, presume life expectancy, associated medical issues (especially cardiovascular disease and obesity).
The CareClinic app allows one to create health goals and set up a care plan in accordance with those goals. A healthy blood sugar level can be a goal in itself. When testing your values, you can compare these to your goal (before and after a meal).
Blood glucose monitoring
If diabetes is suspected, blood glucose monitoring is a must. When to log blood sugar readings? Every day, before and after each main meal, and snack. One must find out whether blood glucose values are within the healthy range or not. If there are too low, discomforting symptoms can appear, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, feeling faint or sweating profusely. Permanently high blood sugar levels, on the other hand, can be a sign of diabetes.
Logging the blood glucose values into an application such as CareClinic is vital for one’s health. Who should consider blood glucose monitoring? The list definitely includes those who are taking insulin and pregnant women, as well as those who have abnormally or difficult-to-control blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia or high quantities of ketones might also quantify for regular monitoring. (R, R)
How does one measure blood sugar?
The first thing to do is wash your hands thoroughly, using warm water and soap. One will have to poke the fingertip and apply a little bit of blood on the test strip. The strip will then have to be introduced into the meter, displaying your blood glucose values in a little bit.
Once you have recorded the blood sugar values, do not forget to record how you are feeling and the factors that might have influenced them, such as your previous meals, level of physical activity or stress. You can refer to the CareClinic health app to see if your blood sugar levels have either been too high or too low for a period of time.
Thanks to the application and the regular recording, you can notice how your blood sugar level fluctuates and what are the factors influencing it. If you notice similar values several days in a row, and especially around the same hour in the day, it might be a good moment to visit the doctor. You may find that it may be necessary for the diabetes care plan to be changed or adjusted.
It is also important to remember that, upon seeing the blood sugar values, many people might experience emotional symptoms. However, it is normal to feel upset or confused, as well as frustrated, depressed or angry. After a certain age, it is necessary for blood sugar levels to be monitored on a regular basis.
If you are dealing with such issues, you might benefit from seeing a specialist. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been known to help people accept their health issues, including diabetes and the associated changes. (R)
When should you go to the doctor?
If you are experiencing high glucose levels frequently, you should consider going to a specialist. Hyperglycemia can be a sign of diabetes, a chronic condition that requires adequate management in order to avoid life-threatening complications.
Insulin resistance can occur, preventing glucose from being properly absorbed by the body. Without adequate treatment, one might experience vision loss, suffer from kidney disease and even kidney failure, as well as severe foot ulcers and erectile dysfunction.
Permanent nerve damage can occur, leading to numbness and tingling. Wounds heal with difficulty, and the patient presents a significant risk of stroke or heart attack. Cognitive decline is another potential complication of hyperglycemia. This is believed to be connected to the reduced blood flow to the brain, which affects various cognitive functions.
Maintaining Your Blood Sugar Logs
It can also happen that one presents abnormally-low blood sugar levels. Especially if the treatment for diabetes is not adequate or one has forgotten to take insulin. Enzyme defects and stomach surgery can cause such problems as well. Either way, a visit to the doctor is the first step towards getting one’s blood sugar levels back to normal.
CareClinic offers an easy and convenient solution for maintaining blood sugar logs, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and making managing your health and wellness easier. Whether you are suffering from type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, you have a lot to gain by using this health app.
Hyperglycemia is a metabolic change that is present not only in those who suffer from diabetes but also in people who have additional health issues, such as Cushing’s syndrome. Taking oral steroids can affect blood sugar levels negatively, causing them to increase. (R)
Learn more about tracking your blood sugar levels with CareClinic by watching our short video: