How To Organise Your Medical Records With Ease

Raise your hand if you have all your medical records (lab results, x-rays, release documents, measurements) neatly stored in one place, organised by date and type of record. Yeah… I thought so. I think it’s about time to sort things out. No, it doesn’t take long. No, it’s not complicated. Yes, just take a photo of your papers with our app.

I assume by now you’ve guessed what this post is about. We just rolled out a new feature to manage your medical history so you can easily visualise and understand your past health related events. From now on, beside your self-measurements, you can also upload results you received from your doctor just by snapping a photo of them. You can also enter any medical procedures that you may have had. We are already working on the web version of this feature so you will soon (i.e. in a couple of days) be able to see your med records on a neat timeline on the monitor of your computer. We are also working on something VERY cool that helps you make use of the information you store in the Laborom cloud, but I can’t tell you what it is just yet. Hang tight… you’ll love this!

Oh,  there is one more thing: you can also set future events (i.e. reminders) in the Medical Records feature that will help you remember doctor’s appointments. 😉 After the appointment these automatically turn into an entry in your medical history.

That’s it for today.


If you think we are on the right track then don’t forget to download our app for iOS and Android!

Useful Fruits For Diabetes

There are some exceptionally beneficial fruits for diabetes. Here are three that can help you keep your diabetes on a short leash.

Apple

This popular sub-acid fruit one of the most valuable of all fruits, has been found beneficial in the treatment of diabetes of its rich pectin content. Pectin is a natural therapeutic ingredient found in the inner portion of the rind and the pulp. It aids in detoxification of the body by supplying the galacturonic acid needed for the elimination of certain harmful substances. This food element reduces the body’s insulin requirements by approximately 35 percent.

The apple is also considered valuable in depression. The various chemical substances present in the fruit, such as Vitamin B1, phosphorous and potassium, help the synthesis of glutamic acid, which controls the wear and tear of nerve cell. This fruit acts as a very effective tonic and recharges the nerves with new energy and life.

Grapefruit

The grapefruit occupies a high place among citrus fruits because of its favor, its appetizing properties and its refreshing qualities. It is a well-known authority on nutrition, believes that it is a splendid food for diabetics and if this fruit were taken more liberally, there would be much less diabetes.

According to Dr. Riley, any person suffering from high blood sugar should take grapefruit three times a day. A person who does not have high blood sugar, but a tendency towards it, and wants to prevent it, should also use the fruit three times a day. Simultaneously, consumption of starches, sweets and fats should be reduced and diet made rich in fruits, vegetables and juices. Two weeks of this grapefruit rich diet will bring down sugar level in individuals not taking insulin. In those who take insulin regularly, it takes longer.

Jambul Fruit

The jambul fruit also known as rose apple is grown all over India. It too possesses anti-diabetic properties.

In the indigenous system of medicine this fruits is regarded as specific remedy against diabetes because of its effect on the pancreas. The fruit, the seeds and fruits juice are beneficial in treatment of this disease. The jamboline contained in the seeds in believed to check the pathological conversion of starch into sugar in case of increase production of glucose. The seeds are dried and powdered. This powder mixed with water, taken three or four times daily reduces sugar in the urine and allays thirst.

In Ayurveda, the inner bark of the jambul tree is considered valuable in the treatment of diabetes. The bark is dried and burnt, to produce a white colored ash. This ash is pestle in the mortar, strained and bottled. The diabetes patient should be given. The diabetes patients should be given about two grams of this ash in the morning on an empty stomach and two grams each in the afternoon and in the evening and hour after meals.

The seeds of the jambul fruits are considered beneficial in the treatment of excessive urination. The powder of these seeds in doses of one gram each, in the morning and evening is effective in controlling this condition.

Do you have something to add? Share it in the comments below!

Knowing Your Body Mass Index Can Help You Fight Diabetes

This is how staggering the rise of obesity has become: according to the Surgeon General’s office, the number of obese or overweight adults in this country is 50% higher than it was just a decade ago. Recent studies have projected that 1/3 of the children born in 2000 will develop Type 2 Diabetes, which was once commonly referred to as adult-onset diabetes and is primarily driven by excessive weight. And perhaps most unsettling of all: over the last ten years the number of deaths directly related to obesity-inspired diseased has increased by 33%.

Obesity contributes to diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. Diabetes leads to an increased risk of heart disease, blindness, limb amputation, and kidney problems. The close relationship between excessive weight and diabetes is undeniable. Which is why it’s so important for those who are either pre-diabetes or have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes to monitor their body mass index.

What is your body mass index (BMI)? It’s an easily calculated number which tells you the percentage of your of body weight that consists of fat. Although this number is not 100% on-the-money perfect, especially when the calculation is based solely on height and weight, it’s a good ball park figure. Certainly good enough to use as a guide if you’re trying to lose weight. Other factors that are normally taken into consideration are sex and age.

The most accurate way to determine your body mass index is by working with your doctor. Not only can he offer you some additional insights into the meaning of the number, he can advise you on how best to start losing weight.

However, if you’d like to get a quick peek at where you fall in the BMI scale, fill in your height and weight in the laborom application and keep track of changes in your body.

weight diary card
weight diary card
weight trends
weight trends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After you’ve determined your BMI number, you’ll want to know what it means. As a rough guideline for adults a BMI of less than 20 implies underweight, over 25 is overweight, and over 30 is obese. I’m in slightly in the overweight category with 25.99 being my last BMI, but I’m gradually loosing weight by trying to eat healthy and going for short runs every couple of days. For a more specific idea of where you fall in the index, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides a complete Body Mass Index Table for your convenience. You can find it here.

The bottom line: if you’re overweight, you’re in danger of developing diabetes. This dreadful disease is nearly silent, yet it can cause kidney failure, heart damage, strokes, even the loss of limbs to amputation. This is why it’s so important to keep a close eye on your weight and particularly your body mass index.

7 Reasons Why Smoking with Diabetes is Even More Hazardous

Here are 7 reasons why mixing diabetes with smoking is a very bad idea:

1) You are more likely to get nerve damage (neuropathy). This is because smoking affects your blood circulation and that in turn means your nerve endings are not getting the nutrients they need. If this happens to the nerves in your feet it could lead to sores and infections and, if not taken care of properly, even amputation.

2) There is an increased risk – double in fact – of you getting limited mobility in your joints. It’s no fun trying to bend, climb stairs or lift something when you have a painful joint.

3) Because of smoking you could develop kidney disease.

4) When you smoke your blood pressure increases. Increased blood pressure creates a real risk of heart disease.

5) Research has shown that diabetics who smoke increase, 3-fold, the risk of dying of heart (cardiovascular) disease.

6) By smoking you increase your blood-sugar levels. This makes it more difficult to control your diabetes because your glucose levels could be fluctuating quite dramatically. This, in turn, leads to other problems.

7) And it also increases your cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of a heart attack.
In fact smoking – and passive smoking – have a seriously detrimental effect on the ABC’s of diabetes management:

A – 1C – the measurement of your blood glucose over a 3-month period
B – your blood pressure, which should be below 130/80
C – your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol levels include LDL, HDL and triglycerides. Your LDL should be below 100. HDL levels should be above 40 (for men) and above 50 (for women). Tryglycerides should be below 150.

And, of course, on top of all that there’s the proven risk of cancer!

7 Tips For Getting Started With Exercise for Diabetes

Getting exercise is a crucial part of staying healthy, especially when you are dealing with a chronic disease. It helps not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. Here are some tips on preparing yourself to take the first leap.

1. Start with small goals

You don’t have to wake up and run a marathon. You don’t even have to go running. If it’s what your fitness requires: start by walking. Use a pedometer like Fitbit, Withings Plus or Garmin Vivofit to track your steps. It is generally recommended that you walk 10,000 steps a day to start getting fitter. If you can do that: great. If not: start with as much as you can and gradually increase the distance. Whichever the case, don’t forget that you need to try to extend your comfort zone. When you start getting tired: go a little more!

2. Measure your glucose level

Before you do any exercise, you MUST measure your glucose level. If your blood glucose level is fine, then you start your exercise. Initially try to measure your glucose level often even during exercise, so you get a feel of how your body reacts to it (a CGM is recommended). Log your measurements in an app like laborom so you can see trends in how exercise effects you levels. Also: ALWAYS bring glucagon or any fast acting carbohydrates in case you get a low during your workout.

3. Measure your weight

Your weight is a good benchmark of how well your exercise is effecting your health. Don’t worry if you don’t lose a lot of weight all of a sudden. First your body needs to build muscles to get used to the exercise, and muscle tissue is heavier than fat tissue. You can also track your weight change in laborom and you might want to think about uploading pictures of yourself to the app for each measurement so you can see how your physique is changing over time. Often, even though your weight doesn’t decrease much your shape can improve tremendously.

4. Avoid fast-food

Fast-foods are usually pumped with artificial ingredients which can really mess with your blood sugar levels. Try to eat healthy foods like salads and generally low-carb meals. Whenever you exercise bring your own food so you know perfectly well how your body will react to it.

5. Time, consistency, habit

Probably the first time you go out for a walk or a jog it will be when some time frees up in your calendar and you have nothing better to do. When you finished your exercise and took a nice shower sit down and try to think how you could fit this into your busy schedule at least 3 times a week. Make a game plan and stick to it! Try to form a habit of doing this.

6. Bring a friend

For security, or for company get a friend to join you. Exercising together with someone is always more fun and interesting. They can also help you out if you should need anything. This is especially a good idea while you and your body are still getting used to the workout.

7. Reward yourself

After each exercise treat yourself to something that you would otherwise not do or get for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, it doesn’t even have to cost money. You just have to feel better for doing it. This will help with making a workout into a habit.

Do you have your own tips that helped you get started? Is there a pro-tip you can share with the community? Let us know in the comments!

Traveling with Diabetes: 11 Tips to Make it Easy for You

Traveling with diabetes requires preparation both before and during your trip. Here are 11 tips to help you make sure your diabetes doesn’t interfere with the pleasures of travel.

1. Visit your doctor at least a month before you leave to make sure your diabetes is under control. If you need to do any stabilizing, a month will give you enough time. The same month should let your body settle down after any necessary immunization shots, so get those at the same time.

2. Get a letter from your doctor certifying that you are diabetic, and listing the various medications and supplies you must carry with you. Without this, you might have difficulties passing through Security at airports and international border crossings.

3. Also get a prescription for your insulin or other diabetes medication. Even though you should have enough syringes, strips and medication to last for the duration of your trip, it’s always good to have a prescription in case you lose them, they become spoiled because of extreme weather conditions, or your trip lasts longer than you original planned.

4. Wear an ID bracelet announcing you have diabetes, and also carry a small card saying so in the local language of the places you will be visiting.

5. Learn to express specific diabetic requirements in the local languages. Since you probably won’t know how to pronounce the words, the easiest way is to carry them on a printed card and simply point to what you want to say.

6. Pack at least twice as much medication and supplies as you think you’ll need. Put half in your suitcase, and half in a special bag that never leaves your possession. The container for these supplies should be sturdy, preferably hard sided, for protection.

7. Carry a sealed pack containing hard candies or glucose tablets in case irregular eating makes your blood sugar drop too low. Your pack should also contain emergency snacks, such as crackers, cheese, fruit, juice – in case you must wait too long between meals, which can happen when we are traveling.

8. Insulin can lose its strength in extreme temperatures, so carry your supply, as well as pills and other medication, in a thermally insulated bag.

9. Carry bandages and first-aid cream, comfortable walking shoes and protective beach shoes. Your feet need extra special care while you’re traveling.

10. While on your trip, check your blood sugar more often than usual. Many factors, such as fluctuating temperatures and changing time zones, can cause wild swings in your blood sugar levels. If you check often, you’ll be better able to take corrective action as needed.

11. Finally, contact the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers. They can provide you with a list of English speaking doctors in the countries you’ll be visiting.

As long as you take sensible precautions to care for your diabetes, there’s no reason why it needs to stand in the way of a happy travel experience. Bon voyage!

What You Must Know About Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus is a disease in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone that helps the body’s tissues absorb glucose (sugar) so it can be used as a source of energy. The condition may also develop if muscle, fat, and liver cells respond poorly to insulin. In people with diabetes, glucose levels build up in the blood and urine, causing excessive urination, thirst, hunger, and problems with fat and protein metabolism. Diabetes mellitus differs from the less common diabetes insipidus, which is caused by lack of the hormone vasopressin that controls the amount of urine secreted.

Diabetes is most common in adults over 45 years of age; in people who are overweight or physically inactive; in individuals who have an immediate family member with diabetes; and in people of African, Hispanic, and Native American descent. The highest rate of diabetes in the world occurs in Native Americans. More women than men have been diagnosed with the disease.

There are two types of diabetes.In type 1 diabetes, which usually starts in childhood, the pancreas stops making insulin altogether. It is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, which starts in adulthood (and in some teenagers) the body still makes some insulin. But it doesn’t make enough insulin, or the body can’t use it properly. It is also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

Diabetes is detected by measuring the amount of glucose in the blood after an individual has fasted (abstained from food) for about eight hours. In some cases, physicians diagnose diabetes by administering an oral glucose tolerance test, which measures glucose levels before and after a specific amount of sugar has been ingested. Another test being developed for Type 1 diabetes looks for specific antibodies (proteins of the immune system that attack foreign substances) present only in persons with diabetes. This test may detect Type 1 diabetes at an early stage, reducing the risk of complications from the disease.

Once diabetes is diagnosed, treatment consists of controlling the amount of glucose in the blood and preventing complications. Depending on the type of diabetes, this can be accomplished through regular physical exercise, a carefully controlled diet, and medication.

Individuals with Type 1 diabetes require insulin injections, often two to four times a day, to provide the body with the insulin it does not produce. The amount of insulin needed varies from person to person and may be influenced by factors such as a person’s level of physical activity, diet, and the presence of other health disorders. Typically, individuals with Type 1 diabetes use a meter several times a day to measure the level of glucose in a drop of their blood obtained by pricking a fingertip. They can then adjust the amount of insulin injected, physical exercise, or food intake to maintain the blood sugar at a normal level. People with Type 1 diabetes must carefully control their diets by distributing meals and snacks throughout the day so as not to overwhelm the ability of the insulin supply to help cells absorb glucose. They also need to eat foods that contain complex sugars, which break down slowly and cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels.

For persons with Type 2 diabetes, treatment begins with diet control, exercise, and weight reduction, although over time this treatment may not be adequate. People with Type 2 diabetes typically work with nutritionists to formulate a diet plan that regulates blood sugar levels so that they do not rise too swiftly after a meal. A recommended meal is usually low in fat (30 percent or less of total calories), provides moderate protein (10 to 20 percent of total calories), and contains a variety of carbohydrates, such as beans, vegetables, and grains. Regular exercise helps body cells absorb glucose even ten minutes of exercise a day can be effective. Diet control and exercise may also play a role in weight reduction, which appears to partially reverse the body’s inability to use insulin.

The Truth about Diabetes

What if you are diagnosed with diabetes? Are you going to stay indoors and just inject yourself with insulin everyday? Maybe you need to understand the facts about diabetes and accept it wholeheartedly so that it can’t be a heavy burden in your part.

Let us start from defining what diabetes really is and the probable causes that brings this disease. Diabetes is a disorder which is the misuse of the digested food for growth and energy by our body. The food that we take in is broken down into glucose, the simplest form of sugar in our blood.

Glucose is the main source of energy of our body. And diabetes actually causes the glucose to back up in our bloodstream, and as more of it is present in our bloodstream, our blood sugar can rise too high.

There are two types of diabetes: the type 1 and type 2. The first is also called juvenile-onset diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes where the body stops any further production of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that allows the body to use the glucose to produce energy. Persons diagnosed with this type are required to take insulin injections daily in order to survive. Children or young adults are likely to develop this type of diabetes.

The second type is also called the adult-onset diabetes of non insulin-dependent diabetes where the body does not produce insulin or unable to use insulin properly. It also consumes injected insulin for survival.

Diabetes is a life-long condition. So understanding the facts about this disease is important, so that the person affected can sustain his life throughout, despite the presence of diabetes. This allows you to live a full and enjoyable life.

Toddlers with Diabetes

Toddlers with diabetes are suffering from Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes or diabetes juvenile. The number of children under the age of five being diagnosed with diabetes juvenile has almost doubled in the past five years. Caring for toddlers is a challenge under the best of circumstances, and toddlers with diabetes need even more special care and attention.

Symptoms

First, if you are wondering whether your toddler has diabetes in the first place, here are some signs to look for:

  • often complains of feeling thirsty
  • hungry more often
  • suddenly loses weight
  • urinates more than usual, diapers more wet than usual
  • occasional fruity smelling breath

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, discuss with your doctor the possibility you have a toddler with diabetes.

Special challenges

You or your caregiver will have to closely monitor your child’s blood sugar throughout the day to be sure it stays within a safe range. Ideally this means 6-12 mmol just before meals.

Toddlers with diabetes also require daily insulin shots, which can be traumatic for you as well as your child! When administering both finger pricks for the blood sugar tests and the insulin shots, you should be as quick and calm as possible about the procedure. If your child is playing, go where he or she is rather than having them come to you. That helps establish the procedure as just a normal part of their day.

Of course, your child will resist these procedures, and it can be hard for parents and caregivers to remember they are doing this for the child’s health. It must be done, however, and you may have to learn to restrain the child gently. It also helps to give them a big hug and a kiss after it’s finished to make sure they understand you still love them even though this hurt a bit.

Another problem is that toddlers with diabetes can’t tell you when they are feeling the effects of low blood sugar, which is another reason for careful monitoring.
Toddlers in general can be picky eaters, and toddlers with diabetes are no different. The challenge here is in making sure that all your alternatives fit within a healthy and appropriate diabetic diet. Have as wide a selection of those foods available as possible so that when they do refuse certain foods, you can tempt them with an appropriate alternative.

Toddlers with diabetes should otherwise develop the same way, and at the same rate, as other children of their age. So as long as you take the necessary precautions to treat the diabetes, and your child seems normal in all other ways, there’s no reason why he or she shouldn’t be a perfectly healthy and happy child.

Is There Self Test For Diabetes?

Sixteen million Americans have diabetes, yet many are not aware of it. African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans have a higher rate of developing diabetes during their lifetime. Diabetes has potential long term complications that can affect the kidneys, eyes, heart, blood vessels and nerves. You can see how it is important to see how to test for diabetes

In diagnosing diabetes, physicians primarily depend upon the results of specific glucose tests. However, test results are just part of the information that goes into the diagnosis of diabetes. Doctors also take into account your physical exam, presence or absence of symptoms, and medical history. Some people who are significantly ill will have transient problems with elevated blood sugars which will then return to normal after the illness has resolved. Also, some medications may alter your blood glucose levels (most commonly steroids and certain diuretics (water pills)).

The TWO main tests used to measure the presence of blood sugar problems are:

1. Direct measurement of glucose levels in the blood during an overnight fast
2. Measurement of the body’s ability to appropriately handle the excess sugar presented after drinking a high glucose drink.

Self Testing Methods
Regular self-testing of your blood sugar tells you how well your combination of diet, exercise, and medication are working. Tests are usually done before meals and at bedtime. More frequent testing may be needed when you are sick or under stress.

A device called a Glucometer can provide an exact blood sugar reading. There are different types of devices. Usually, you prick your finger with a small needle called a lancet, which gives you a tiny drop of blood. You place the blood on a test strip, and put the strip into the device. Results are available within 30 to 45 seconds.

A health care provider or diabetes educator will help set up an appropriate testing schedule for you. You will also be taught how to respond to different ranges of glucose values obtained when you self-test.

The results of the test can be used to adjust meals, activity, or medications to keep blood sugar levels in an appropriate range. Testing provides valuable information for the health care provider and identifies high and low blood sugar levels before serious problems develop. Accurate record keeping of test results will help you and your health care provider plan how to best control your diabetes. There are 20.8 million children and adults in the US with diabetes, and nearly one-third of them (or 6.2 million people) do not know it!