Diabetes is one of the most common medical conditions, which affects more than 29 million Americans or about 9 percent of the population. Of this number, more than 8 million live undiagnosed. This is a huge problem because the early detection and treatment of diabetes are vital for decreasing the risk of developing the complications of diabetes.
There are three types of diabetes. Type 1 in which body does not produce insulin and that affects about 5% of people with diabetes, Type 2 in which blood glucose (sugar) levels rise higher than normal and which is the most common form of diabetes, and finally, gestational diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.
Whatever the type you might be diagnosed with, living with diabetes is challenging and it would probably turn your life upside down. It'd require complete lifestyle and habit makeover.
One of the most daunting tasks would be tracking things, including your symptoms and medication use. You'd also have to start eating healthier and track and log nutrition and calories, which is important for keeping blood sugar levels safely.
Fortunately, there are many mobile apps that can help users track their blood glucose levels, carbs, medications, and activities, and manage their diabetes much easier. We have already reviewed several diabetes tracker apps, including mySugr app, Diabetes Kit app and SocialDiabetes app.
The app we review today called Diabetes in Check is another tracker that helps people with diabetes control and manage their condition by tracking their blood glucose levels and counting carbs every day.
The app is currently designed for patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-diabetes. The patients with Type 1 and Gestational diabetes can also use trackers, but generally, the advice provided in the app does not apply for these conditions.
Upon starting the app, you'd be asked to register an account and choose the type of diabetes you have. Diabetes in Check would then allow you to add other conditions you can track and manage with this app, including anxiety, allergy, pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more.
After that, you'd be asked to provide some basic information about yourself, including height, weight, gender and DoB, and after that you'd be able to proceed to the next page where you can complete creation of your profile, by providing your first and last name, email address, screen name and password you want to use in the app, and your ZIP code.
The app opens to the Journal page where you can easily track your blood glucose levels, medications, carbs, exercise, and weight. The today is marked by default, but you can see other days of the week (and switch between them) at the top of the screen.
Adding new entries is straightforward and super easy. For example, when you want to track blood glucose levels, tap on it (the title on an orange ribbon) and follow the questions and instructions on the following screens. You'd be asked how often your doctor recommend you take your BG readings and at what time during the day. You can add glucose meters from the list, of course, if you use one, and finally, you would be asked to add your most recent A1c readings.
The app would return you to the Journal page, but you'd notice the change. Instead of Track your Glucose ribbon, there'd be an option to add your pre-breakfast glucose. Once you add these levels, the option on the Journal page would change to post-breakfast glucose, and so on, until you've completed entries for that day.
Besides BG levels, you can track your medication use. First, you need to choose between oral medications and insulin. Since this app is designed for Type 2 diabetes, I've chosen oral meds. Next step is setting the time of the day when you take your meds, and then choosing from the list of common oral medications. You can set the dose from the Journal page.
Diabetes in Check app also lets you track your carbs intake. First, you'd have to set your current activity levels, allowing the app to create a calorie budget for you, based on those levels. It will also provide you with a suggestion to space out your carbs with smaller, but more frequent meals.
You can add carbs manually, or add foods from the database that would automatically add servings, carbs, and calories for each food. That number would be subtracted from your calorie budget for that day.
Adding food from the database works two way, and both are very easy. First is by using search that has autocomplete and populates the list as you type. Another, even convenient way is by scanning the barcode on the food package. Diabetes in Check app utilizes your phone camera and turns it into a barcode scanner.
Diabetes in Check app can be used to track your exercise by setting the daily goal and choosing the type of the activity and duration. The app calculates the calories burned based on your weight and adds that number back to your calorie budget.
To see your daily, weekly or monthly progress (blood glucose and weight loss), simply tap on Progress on the top right and check the graph that the app generates once there's enough data.
Beside Journal tab, used for tracking and viewing progress, there are also other tabs, including Planner, Recipes, and Articles.
Planner suggests the food for you based on your calorie budget and activity level, and also provides eating guidelines with mealtime goals.
Recipes can be viewed in Meal Time categories, which include breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert, or listed by the popularity. They're shown in a traditional format, i.e. overview, ingredients, and directions.
Finally, the Articles section provides useful articles about diabetes, grouped in categories that cover important topics, such as living with diabetes, blood sugar control, managing weight, and so on. All content originates from Everyday Health, the creators of the app.
Diabetes in Check app also provides food guide with brief information about various foods, and access to the community discussions that, unfortunately, wasn't currently available.
Although the app allows users to choose other conditions to track and manage, there's no option to actually do this. Diabetes in Check can only track blood glucose, medications, carbs, exercise, and weight. I would actually call it a healthy recipe app with tracking abilities.
For someone with Type 2 Diabetes (or pre-diabetes), Diabetes in Check is an extremely helpful tool for tracking diabetes and proving tons of healthy recipes and eating guidelines. It is not available on Android.
Benefit: People with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes would find this app very useful