November is Diabetes Awareness Month; sad to say, this disease has touched my family very deeply. I watched my grandmother lose her sight, watched my uncle disappear piece by piece. Now a couple of cousins are suffering through the trials and tribulations of Diabetes BUT...with so many wonderful technological advancements, the suffering is perhaps a little less traumatic.
I have been so impressed with the "tech" evolution for diabetics, that I thought it would be a great subject for which to blog, especially this month.
I remember the most painful part of Diabetes for my grandmother was the blood sugar monitoring. Several times a day, every day, she became an observational pincushion.
But now, blood monitoring is virtually painless due to devices such as a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that can test your blood sugar every 5 minutes throughout the day. It tests through tiny fibers on a patch stuck on your skin. Results are sent wirelessly to a small monitor that can be held or clipped on to a belt. Some CGM devices can send data to the doctor's office through a wireless signal. How amazing is that?
Keeping track of the blood sugar levels was also frustrating and bothersome, and really, a thorn in the diabetic's quality of life. Now, new Smartphone, Tablet, and computer apps make it much easier for those who don't like to,or have a tendency to forget to write things down.
Apps can help you track:
- Calories, carbs, and other nutritional information
- Daily exercise and calories burned
- Stress levels
- Blood sugar test results
Keeping a food diary is very helpful in managing diabetes.A phone app to record information is convenient and present all the time so it makes it a lot easier to log. People get tired of checking their blood sugar, too. So it's helpful to have some way to track it that is easily uploaded. Apps can also sync with the doctor's office so levels can be discussed at the next appointment.
New fitness gadgets clipped onto a belt or worn around the wrist measure physical activity, and heart rates or number of steps can be uploaded to social media sites like Facebook to keep up motivation when trying to reach weight loss or exercise goals.
The Smart phone is another tool to help stay healthy. For example, the doctor can send a text or an email or call as a reminder to test blood sugar, take medication, or check for cuts on feet. A very new approach to help educate and keep diabetics on track.
So as medical professionals and dedicated scientists continue in their best efforts to find a cure for diabetes, the tech industry, I'm proud to say, continues to use technological discoveries and advancements to make life a little more "livable" for diabetic patients.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month...so here are some common symptoms of which to be aware...
Hunger and fatigue. Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need insulin to bring the glucose in.
If your body doesn't make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can't get into them and you have no energy. This can make you more hungry and tired than usual.
Peeing more often and being thirstier. The average person usually has to pee between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more.
Why? Normally your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your body may not be able to bring it all back in. It will try to get rid of the extra by making more urine, and that takes fluids.
You'll have to go more often. You might pee out more, too. Because you're peeing so much, you can get very thirsty. When you drink more, you'll also pee more.
Dry mouth and itchy skin. Because your body is using fluids to make pee, there's less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated, and your mouth may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy.
Blurred vision. Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in your eyes swell up. They change shape and lose their ability to focus.