Living with type 1 diabetes can be tough. You have to take care of your body and monitor your blood sugar levels on a regular basis, and be mindful of the amount of carbohydrates you consume. The mental load of diabetes management can be a load to handle on your own, which is where diabetes apps can come in handy. Apps can be a great resource for people with type 1 diabetes (or those who want to help support you) as they provide immediate access to information at all times. In this blog post, I will share some of my favorite apps that have made my life with type 1 diabetes easier.
Best Apps for Carb Counting
Carbohydrate counting is crucial for those with type-one diabetes. For people who are looking apps that will help them count carbs accurately, I suggest the apps below:
-CalorieKing Food Search: CalorieKing is an app that was designed for counting calories and weight loss. I know that both of these things can be triggering for some people, so please make sure that you are downloading the CalorieKing Food Search app. This app will allow you to search CalorieKing’s immense food database without having to input your height or weight. CalorieKing’s database includes: food categories, food brands, fast food chains, and ability to scan barcodes of your favorite foods for easy reference. This application is a great resource when you need a quick reference for carbohydrate counting.
-MyFitnessPal: Like CalorieKing, MyFitnessPal is an app that is designed for counting calories and weight loss. Unlike CalorieKing’s app when you download MyFitnessPal, you must input your height and weight to receive a breakdown of calories and macronutrients. Again, I know that this may be triggers for some of you so please use the other options that do not require you to enter this information if it is triggering. If you aren’t triggered by this information, MyFitnessPal has a robust library of nutrition information. By simply using the search bar, you will be able to find the nutrition information for most foods. One of the best features with MyFitnessPal is that you can input recipes by using a URL from recipe websites. You can also copy and paste or type a list of ingredients, and MyFitnessPal will match the list to items in their database.
-Google: okay, okay- I know that this one isn't an app, but it is a quick and convenient way to search for carb counts or nutrition labels for products. Sometimes with the carb counting apps mentioned above, it could be difficult to find the exact brand that you are looking for. By using google, you can find the nutrition label for the food you want just as quickly.
Best Apps for Insulin Dosing and Calculating
For people with type 1 diabetes who, like myself, aren’t on an insulin pump, there are apps for insulin dosing and calculating. When you are on multiple daily injections and try to do all of your insulin dosing calculations yourself, you will find yourself doing calculus in no time! There are apps designed for people with diabetes to assist with bolusing which can save you a lot of time and mental energy.
-T1D1: This diabetes app was designed by a 13 year old boy who felt overwhelmed and unsure how to calculate his insulin doses. This app is easy-to-use and has features such as: an insulin calculator where you punch in your current blood sugar and carbohydrates you will eat and the app will generate how much insulin to take. In the T1D1 app, you can change your setting to reflect your personal insulin dosing needs such as: correction factor and insulin to carb ratios for each meal. The app will also automatically log all of your inputs so you can easily send these reports to your diabetes care team without having to pick up a pen or piece of paper!
-Jade: Jade’s diabetes app was founded after a father and daughter duo had tried using an insulin pump and realized it wasn’t the best match for them. When they transitioned back to injections, they missed the ability to calculate a dose and to track how much insulin was still active. The Jade app has both a free and paid version and ability to integrate with continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM) and even takes into consideration other variables to blood sugar such as menstruation, stress, and exercise.
Best Apps for Blood Sugar & Food Logging
When it comes to managing type 1 diabetes, it can be helpful for you and your care team to review your blood sugar levels and food logs. For me personally, I had a really hard time carrying around a notepad to write down my blood sugar and what I ate for the day so utilizing apps were a convenient way to log this information that was easy to share with my care team.
-Glooko: Glooko works as an all-in-one diabetes app that helps you with blood sugar and food logging. This app will sync with most blood sugar meters and CGMs to help you and your diabetes care team find trends in your blood sugar levels. It also allows you to log the amount of carbs you are eating and insulin you took for a meal. Allowing you to have all of your information all in one safe place.
-Diabetes:M: Diabetes:M has similar features to Glooko and works as an all-in-one diabetes logging app. It offers a log book, bolus advisor, food database, and other paid features like running reports and analytical charts to assist you and your care team with your self-management.
-mySugr: mySugr is also an all-in-one diabetes app, like Glooko and Diabetes:M, but this app has a photo feature where you can take photos of your meals. This feature allows you to fine-tune how your blood sugar may be impacted by different foods and adjust your dosing strategy accordingly.
Best Apps for Parents and Caregivers of Type 1 Diabetics
When someone you love has diabetes, you want to be able to support them in ways that are helpful to them. One of the best ways to do this is by following their blood sugar levels so that you can step in and intervene or check in on them when their blood sugars are out of range. The apps listed below are great ways to help support your loved one with diabetes by being able to see their blood sugar levels in real time.
-Dexcom Follow: For Dexcom users, you have the availability to follow your loved one’s blood sugar in real time. By downloading this app, you will be able to get alerted when their blood sugar level is out of range allowing you to support them from both near and far.
-LibreLinkUp: Similarly to the Dexcom Follow app, LibreLinkUp allows Freestyle Libre users to share their blood sugar levels with their friends and family in real time. If your loved one wears the FreeStyle Libre system, you can monitor and support them by downloading this app and seeing their blood sugar in real time.
-SugarMate: Sugarmate is an app that integrates with the Dexcom CGM. One of my favorite features of this app is that it allows you to set up phone calls when blood sugars fall below normal range during sleeping hours. For most parents and caregivers of people with diabetes, they fear sleeping through a blood sugar alarm. SugarMate will call your phone, even when it is in Do Not Disturb Mode, and offers another layer of support to give you a peace of mind during nighttime hours.
-HappyBob: If the mental toll of blood sugars is weighing heavy on both you and your family, downloading the HappyBob app can make checking blood sugars more fun and rewarding for everyone involved. This diabetes app has a face that will provide engaging quotes or sayings about blood sugar levels. You have the option to choose a personality for your face between happy, snarky, or even karen. HappyBob is a great way to enlighten the mood around blood sugar checks for both you and your child and have a good laugh! HappyBob is currently only available for Dexcom users.
I hope this list of diabetes apps help you and your loved ones live an easier life with type 1 diabetes. Whether you are looking for apps with food databases for carbohydrate counting, apps that work as a bolus advisor for insulin dosing and calculations, or apps that have both of these features there are plenty of apps out there to assist you in your diabetes self-management.
I’ve compiled a list of my favorite diabetes apps, but if there are any others that should be added to the list please let me know in the comments below!