Apps to Help with Diabetes Management
I love apps. I love free apps. Some I use on my phone, some on my tablet. Since I have this thing called type 2 diabetes, I have looked at and tried out many apps to support keeping track of all the information that helps me manage it. My suggestion: before you load any app, read the reviews people post! You can find out a lot about an app that way: “buggy”, “don’t buy the paid version”, etc
My Fitness Pal
When I was first diagnosed, I loaded this app on my tablet. Very quickly I took it off. The landing page made my head spin. It was overwhelming at the time. Recently, I reloaded it and have found some great features for weight loss, tracking carbs, exercise, etc. For tracking foods eaten, it has a massive food database. Scan the barcode on the package using your phone’s camera and add the food to your diary. It syncs with many fitness watches or similar devices. It has both iOS and Android capability. There is a free and paid version. The free version is all you need.
It is simple to use, the landing page was pleasant to look at and I didn’t feel information overload. This app lets you track your food intake, weight loss, and exercise. I lost 60 lbs using this app. It is also barcode capable if you don’t have a lot of time to enter your foods and their database is also huge. It can sync to some fitness trackers to make it simple to add your exercise. The free version is great and may be all you need. The paid version has some helpful features like planning your meal intake for the next day and an easier way of calculating your carbs at a glance. I’d stick with the free version. Also available for iOS and Android.
Carb Manager: Keto Diet App
I have not used this one personally as I don’t follow the keto way to eat but this one rates pretty high for those who do. There are over 10,000 reviews and has a rating of 4.7/5! As implied in the name it is for diet only. It allows for barcode scanning for ease of adding foods to your diary. They have a free version and a paid one. The paid version allows you to track your blood glucose and ketones. If I were following keto, I’d give this app a shot.
Map My Walk/Run/Ride (etc)
These apps are by the same creator of My Fitness Pal (MFP). They have limited capability unless you buy the paid version. There is another(!) app that they say coordinates these apps however I found they do not talk well to each other even with that app and some days it’s an ‘exercise’ in futility. I didn’t find their tech support too helpful either. I gave up using it after about 3 months of frustration. On the flip side, many users LOVE these apps. I guess it’s pretty individual.
Another popular free app to track your blood sugars. It looks busy when you first load it but it’s pretty easy to work your way through it. It supports both US (mg/dL) and International values (mmol/L). I’m not an insulin user but this app states it can assist with calculating the insulin you need. There is both a free and ‘full’ version. From what I read, there doesn’t appear to be a huge difference between the two versions, so why pay? I like the free version. Both versions of the app get very positive reviews, 4.8/5 and as a bonus, this app has been around a long time and those reviews are positive over time.
For those using the Verio Flex glucose monitor, this free app is great. Very easy to use. It gives me all the info I need without overwhelming me. I can add comments to my values so when I go to my endocrinologist I can speak to some of the values I have seen over time. It uploads from my monitor via Bluetooth and unlike some other apps, I rarely have problems with the sync between my monitor and the app. I can see how my glucose has been over a short period of time and over the 3 month period. I have nothing to complain about with this app but it is specific to that monitor.
That’s it for now. I’ll offer my thoughts again on other apps soon!