by Lorena Drago, RD, MS, CDN, CDCES
Managing diabetes requires multiple daily calculations and careful tracking. If people living with diabetes don’t have an excellent memory, they may miss recording vital information necessary for effective decision making. However, there are solutions that can help
Ivan is a client who has type 2 diabetes and takes insulin. He counts and tracks the time and amount of carbohydrates he consumes, his exercise, his glucose levels and insulin dosage. Together, we review and decipher the data. In a perfect world, Ivan would track every single insulin dose, food and activity, but he is a family man who works long hours in a busy job and does not always have the time to log everything. And he’s not alone.
Many people living with diabetes wish they could find easier ways to track their insulin and how it affects their glucose levels. In fact, a recent national survey conducted by ADCES and supported by Sanofi found that 65 percent of respondents living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who take insulin feel they are doing everything possible to manage their diabetes, while at the same time, 67 percent feel guilty about not doing a better job.
So, back to Ivan. I asked him to share his logbook so I could review his entries prior to our appointment. On a few days, he had only logged his pre-prandial glucose level and morning insulin. On those days, he had been remarkably busy at work, and while he had the best intentions to log at the end of the day, he simply forgot.
Ivan’s experience echoes the findings of the ADCES national survey. Sixty-two percent of people living with diabetes reported being too busy or forget to log their insulin use at least once in the past month. This poses a challenge for the person living with diabetes and the healthcare team. Without this information, it is difficult to adjust insulin and create a meaningful plan of action. However, this is where technology can really make a difference.
Eighty-two percent of people with diabetes wish all of their diabetes data were in one place so they can make appropriate decisions. More than eighty percent of respondents believe a device which connects to an insulin pen, automatically tracks insulin use and wirelessly sends the information to an app, would be helpful in more effectively managing their condition.
Ivan and many other individuals who use insulin, check their blood glucose, track their food intake and exercise have options to make their lives easier. It’s important to discuss with your clients, like Ivan, what technology solutions might exist and how they can access and use them effectively. Check out a new discussion guide from ADCES to help people with diabetes have those conversations with the healthcare team.
Learn more today at DiabetesEducator.org/TechnologyIntegration.
About the Author:
Lorena Drago, RD, MS, CDN, CDCES, maintains her own private practice and is the owner of Hispanic Foodways, which specializes in creating culturally and ethnically-oriented nutrition and diabetes education materials.
ADCES Perspectives on Diabetes Care
The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists Perspectives on Diabetes Care covers diabetes, prediabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions. Not all views expressed reflect the official position of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.
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