Whether it’s a new phone or a Fitbit, recent years have seen a whole number of new technologies built to make our lives easier. More recently, however, technology has also found ways to make us healthier. In particular, there has been a significant growth in the research and creation of self-monitoring devices for people suffering from diabetes. With Contec’s Blood Glucose Monitor costing only £14.99, we take a look at how new technologies can help sufferers of diabetes.
What are the advantages of a self-monitoring device?
Diabetes, as anyone who suffers from the disease will know, can be incredibly difficult to control, especially in the early days. It causes you to regulate your entire diet, changes the amount of exercise you can and can’t do, and requires a significant amount of attention. The invention of self-monitoring devices, therefore, is proving crucial in helping people suffering from diabetes to control their own condition and monitor blood levels much more efficiently. Using such devices can both give you regular updates on your blood sugar levels and alert you when these levels become uneven.
Sufferers of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have praised the freedom these devices can create, particularly when you have a child who suffers from diabetes. Parents are able to keep an eye on their child’s diabetes day-in day-out simply through checking an electronical device. By receiving regular updates and daily analysis, self-monitoring devices allow you to ensure that your glucose levels always remain healthy.
In a world in which Siri saved a baby’s life by calling 999 while her mother tended to her, and where a self-driving car safely transported its driver to A&E, technology has also found a way to help improve the quality of life for those suffering from one of the world’s most common diseases.
Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes – can everyone use self-monitoring devices?
The good news is that self-monitoring devices can be used by sufferers of both types of diabetes, although their exact purpose for Type 2 diabetes is more ambiguous. For Type 1 diabetes, self-monitoring devices have obvious advantages: because Type 1 sufferers have to take insulin, devices enable them to register and analyse intake throughout the day. Furthermore, Type 1 sufferers are often children whose parents can use such devices to monitor their children’s glucose levels. However, a number of Type 2 diabetes sufferers have also lent their support for self-monitoring devices, claiming that these devices can help to empower sufferers and give them the ability to self-manage their disease and improve their quality of life (can provide link to this).
I am a diabetes sufferer. How can I improve my health more generally?
Diabetes may change the way you live your life, but it shouldn’t stop you from having an active and healthy lifestyle – and, in fact, should only encourage maintaining such a lifestyle. There are a whole number of ways you can improve your fitness levels: from walking every day to playing tennis at the weekend. The key is just to start simple: going for a run once a week; taking the bike out for a short cycle; using a pedometer and creating a target for steps every day. Exercise doesn’t have to be a strain, or particularly time-consuming; what’s most important is regularity. Furthermore, with Lift Your Way, you can not only improve your fitness regime but look good doing it.
However, if exercise really isn’t your thing there are always other ways – even tasty ways! – to ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Famous people with diabetes
“I hadn’t appreciated the degree of management it [diabetes] requires.” Did you know that our current Prime Minister, Theresa May, suffers from Type 1 diabetes? May was diagnosed with diabetes only four years ago, even resorting to sneakily eating a bag of nuts during a House of Commons debate in order to maintain her blood sugar levels.
“I decided early on that diabetes was going to live with me, not me live with diabetes.” Sir Steve Redgrave, an Olympian rower, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1997 but that hasn’t stopped him winning five gold medals at five Olympics in a row!
Similarly, footballer Ben Coker – a defender for Southend United – hasn’t let his Type 1 diabetes affect his footballing dreams, claiming that maintaining a healthy diet has enabled him to continue pursuing a sporting career regardless.