Cursory review of SugarStats.com

As I mentioned earlier this month I have been using the SugarStats.com web site to track my blood glucose and insulin dosages. Along with the Calorie King Exercise and Nutrition Manager the web site has helped me in controlling my BG. It’s the modern day equivalent of a log book. I can see how my BG changes over time and how insulin and diet affect my BG. It’s like a feedback loop. I log my current BG, record my meal carbohydrates and decide on how much insulin to take. Later when I test my BG again I can look back to how the insulin and food affected BG. I eat the same breakfast each morning which gives me a baseline for comparison. My one big feature request is for the folks at SugarStats.com to work with the folks at CalorieKing.com so that I can enter my BG, insulin, and food intake all in one place.

Using SusgarStats.com is easy. After you sign up for a free account there is some initial setup to configure your account profile (insulin, measurement units, foods, etc).

SugarStats.com - Simple Online Blood Sugar and Diabetes Management

Navigation is quite easy with the menu bar always near the top of the site. SugarStats.com - Index - Simple Online Blood Sugar and Diabetes Management

The Messages area allow you to send a small note with your BG and insulin readings to your anyone. This would be great for sharing my progress with my endocrinologist; if only he had an email account. The Logs section is I put information about my last doctors visit such as HbA1C and any changes recommended by my doctor. The medication section is where I enter information about the type of insulin I take and the units.
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As you can see it’s fairly straight forward.

One interesting feature of SugarStats.com is the TrustedVue Login.

TrustedVue is a SugarStats feature that lets you easily share your statistics with your friends, family or health care professional.

I put my wife on this list. At anytime she can login with a username/password and see how I am doing. Again, if only my endo would use this…..

Of course all this is nice but what about entering and viewing data. Across the right hand side of the SugarStats page is a set of links for Views and Graphs and Trends. There are views for Today, Yesterday, Last 7 days, Last 14 days, and Last 30 days. There is even a link to upload data from your glucometer. Although only one meter brand is supported at this time I expect that to change as more people use the site and demand support for other meters.

The view section is where the user enters information about insulin dosage and BG readings. Data entry is fairly simple. SugarStats.com - Day - Simple Online Blood Sugar and Diabetes Management
Enter your BG (or medication) value, pick a time and event and click “Save Entries”. You can enter information throughout the day or all at once (“Add Another”). Your entries show up as a list below the input area. Once you have enough entries added SugarStats will start to compile your…welll…er…stats.
SugarStats.com - Day - Simple Online Blood Sugar and Diabetes Management
While knowing your average blood glucose, high and lows are interesting, for me the most exciting feature are the graphs. You can get to these by clicking on one of the “Graphs and Trends” links on the right side of the site. There are links for 7 day, 14 day and 30 day, one month, 3 months, etc. graphing.
SugarStats.com - Last 30 days - Simple Online Blood Sugar and Diabetes Management
The 30 day graph is my favourite. I love seeing how my BG trends over time and comparing that to my food log for the same period to see how different food affect my BG. One feature I would like to see added is the ability to click on any of the points on the graph and be taken directly to the entries for that day.

The other graph shows how your insulin dosage has trended over a similar time period to your BG.
SugarStats.com - Last 30 days - Simple Online Blood Sugar and Diabetes Management
I can see that over the last 30 days I have increased my Levemir dosage while my Novolog dosage has remained within a narrow range. Looking back at the BG graph I can see that during that same time period my daily BG average has decreased. It’s a feedback loop. I know my dosing regimen is working because I can see the effect on my BG over time.

In summary, SugarStats.com is a welcome addition to my overall diabetes management strategy. I can only imagine the wonderfully useful things that Marston and his team are working on.

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Diabetes Notes

Diabetes Notes
A team of Hong Kong scientists have come up with a nifty little device. A machine that can test your blood sugar without actually pricking your finger.

My pancreas has a brain

Think like a pancreasOther than myself, my wife is the person the most directly affected by my diabetes since she is the main meal planner and chef. Since I was diagnosed she has read almost every book available in our local library. She probably knows more about this disease than I do. She recently purchased a book for me to read that was recommended in one of her health magazines.

The book is called the Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin” by Gary Scheiner and Barry Goldstein. One of the authors, Gary Scheiner is a certified diabetes educator and an insulin pumper and details his early first experience with diabetes as a young adult. He also provides a history of diabetes and diabetes technologies. Boy, have things come a long way and I am happy that I developed this disease now instead of earlier in life! The rest of the book appears to be just as compelling and I will write a complete review when I am done.

Review of Calorie King Nutrition and Exercise Manager

I had every intention of writing a review of the Calorie King Nutrition and exercise manager but then ….well…I got busy with other things and now I have lost the motivation and interrest.

The salient features of the software are:

  • record everything you eat – The software has a nutrional database of over 50,000 food items including restaurant fare.
  • Nutrional information for The database is routinely updated and the user can add his/her own custom items.
  • track sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, calcium, and sugar, in addition to calories, total fat, carbs, protein, and fiber.
  • personal profile feature allows the user to tailor track eating habits againt personal health goals
  • Charts and graphs to track personal progress

If anyone is reading this then simply go to CalorieKing.com and download the trial software for your platform. I happen to use Mac OS-X. Personally, I think it’s a great piece of software that can help anyone to track what they eat. It is not geared toward people with diabetes but certainly does help. What features would I like?

  • Ability to download my meter readings
  • A journal to record my insulin dosages
  • Charts and graphs so that I can see how blood glucose was affected by what I ate

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CalorieKing

When I first saw the diabetician at Princeton Health Care she suggested a book called CalorieKing. This book has been a great help to me as I learn about the nutritional information about different foods. I thought bread was bread until I read this book. Some brands of bread can have as little as 13g of carbohydrate per slice or as much as 21g per slice.

At first I only brought food from home as I had very little information on the nutritional information for the menus for the restaurants in my area. I felt left out as my coworkers went out for lunch without me. I had resigned myself to eating alone at my desk. Then I started carrying around the CalorieKing book so that I could look-up restaurants so I could join my coworkers at lunch time. However, there were only a few ( 2 or 3 ) restaurants that I could feel comfortable eating at. My wife also needed the book to help her make dinner.

However, I soon discovered that the CalorieKing book has a web site. And on that web site I could look-up nutritional information and that their was more on the web site than in the book. I was elated. I found information for almost all the chain restaurants in my local area including my favourite Quizno’s.

My wife suggested I start a food journal so that I could track what I ate and the amount etc. Being a technology professional I of course looked for a software solution. I thought maybe I could use Excel or Word. However, that soon became too tedious for me; looking things up on CaloreKing.com and then entering each item. Then I had to remember what I ate for lunch so that I could write it down when I came home. Too much. Back to CalorieKing.com and the awesome software package that lets me enter the servings for almost everything I eat and have the nutritional information automatically entered for me. Now I can see how much fat I am eating ( too much ) and how many calories. I love this software. I can even save some favourite home made meals so that it’s a one click to add to my log.