Laborom Gets Pumped: Exciting New Features!

Since the release of the 2.0 version of laborom in September we spent a lot of time listening to your feedback and implementing changes that were important to you. There were many incremental changes that we made, but we also prepared some new features to the system on the way to becoming the go-to app for people living with chronic diseases like diabetes.

Here are some functions we have added to laborom v2.1:

Infobox

The Infobox appears as a new card on the dashboard where we provide you with various up-to-date information about health related topics, features and updates.

Automatic reminders

This was probably the most requested feature through the Help Center in laborom. From now on, once you enter a before-meal blood glucose reading you will get a reminder in 75 minutes to measure and record your BG again.

One more thing…

Share the love <3

We thought you might want to tell other people how much you love laborom, so we made it easier for you. :) Just open the menu in the app and hit share on the bottom to show us your support. Thank you!

Thanks for staying with us and we’ll keep you posted on important releases; which actually you can now see in your app in the Infobox as well.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below.

You can download laborom for Android and iOS here:

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!

Why are we doing this? The story of laborom

Why are we doing this? How did I decide to personally tackle the problem with healthcare? How did I decide to do something for healthcare, for patients and last but not least for myself?

I am not 16 anymore, but I do remember what my priorities were back then. Playing basketball after school and impressing the girls. Now imagine “John” doing just this. Except all of a sudden he wakes up in a hospital; standing in front of him is a guy in a white coat and a clip-board. “John, you’ve just had a ketoacidotic coma so we performed an oral glucose tolerance test. The result was that you have 14 mmol/l of glucose in your blood. We determined that you have Type-1 Diabetes. A nurse will talk to you and prescribe a glucose meter and an insulin pen. She will explain in more detail, but basically you will need to prick your fingers preferably 9 times a day to measure your blood glucose level and record the readings in a notebook, and if your readings are too high you need to stick the pointy end of the insulin pen into your stomach. You also need to do this before every meal.” A natural reaction from every 16 year old to this is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jonny_wut

Unfortunately the “WUT?” facial expression does not only appear on the faces of kids newly diagnosed with T1D, but to almost anyone ever going to a doctor. So we thought about how we could make this better for everyone. Our first premise was that even the doctors don’t see the right information and we started brainstorming an app where people could enter any or all of their medical data. We realised that this was way too difficult to organise into an app. So we decided to build an app where users can enter only their basic (but vital) health information and then we will see which way to go based on user feedback. Our friends were developing the app at night after they got home from their full time jobs. Not long after we uploaded the app to the stores feedback started pouring in! Even after this, it wasn’t a dead simple decision to go from a steady and well paying Corporate Risk Management job with a new born child and a wife to a no-salary existence. Still, I decided to jump ship and dive into the rough waters.

Based on the feedback we started working on a new application built from the ground up. Our app is now serving well over 50,000 patients from 189 countries localised into 11 languages. Today, it helps people upload and organise the results they received from lab tests or from home measurements, such as blood glucose, blood pressure, weight, medications taken or even calorie intake, and organise them into understandable smart visualisations. However, we did not forget about our initial premise of helping patient-doctor communication. Any measurement entered into the application can be formed into a report and sent to the doctor. These reports were designed together with doctors so that it is useful and accepted by them. The smart data visualisations that can be found in the application were migrated onto the sleek looking PDF reports for easy information consumption.

We want to change healthcare because nobody is going to do this for us.

Two Types Of Diabetes & How They Differ

There are two main types of diabetes, which consists of Type I diabetes and Type II diabetes. It is important to understand the distinction between the two and how both are treated.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is commonly found in children and/or adolescents, but may sometimes occur in adults. With Type 1 diabetes, there is almost always a complete deficiency of insulin. As a result, the most common treatment is insulin injections, a lifestyle that consists of both diet and exercise and regular monitoring of blood glucose levels with the use of blood testing monitors. Patients who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes can continue to enjoy a normal life provided they continue with their treatment and take special care to follow their doctor’s instructions and/or recommendation.

Type 2 Diabetes

With Type 2 diabetes, an individual’s insulin level can be either normal, elevated or low. Even Type 2 diabetes can have two causes. One, where the pancreas stops producing enough insulin to balance glucose intake or two, where the cells stop absorbing insulin therefore cannot counter the effects of glucose. Type 2 diabetes is believed to be more complicated than Type 1, but ironically is thought to be easier to treat. Because insulin is still being produced inside the body, Type 2 diabetes often goes undetected for years. Symptoms are milder and may even be sporadic, which often reduces the level of concern. The main problem with Type 2 diabetes going unnoticed is the potential for serious complications, including renal failure and coronary artery disease. The initial treatment phase of Type 2 diabetes will likely include a lifestyle adjustment to feature increased physical activity and a diet that is geared toward weight loss. The next step, if necessary, will be medication and possibly insulin therapy if needed.

Both types of diabetes require that the patient maintain normal blood glucose levels in an effort to reduce the possibility of organ damage, including eyesight, kidney, blood circulation, etc. In order for this to occur, patients must carefully monitor their food intake and make sure to participate in regular exercise, all the while continuing to monitor their blood glucose level.

As of 2015, there is no known cure for diabetes. A chronic disease that effects many, diabetes is best treated through patient education, nutrition, self awareness and long-term care. In addition, patients are often urged to be aware of other symptoms that may indicate complications arising from diabetes.

Do you have a comment on this? Let us know below!

The contents of this article are to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used in conjunction with, or in place of, professional medical advice relating to diabetes. This article must not be used as a basis for diagnosing or treating diabetes, but rather an informational source designed to explain the difference between the two types. For further information, a diagnosis or recommended treatment method for diabetes, individuals should consult a licensed physician.

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!

Great Conversations At The First Beating Diabetes With Technology Meetup

Talk about ways to change the future of diabetes with technological advancements filled the room even before the meetup kicked off. In fact it was already the subject of the elevator ride to the 6th floor of the prestigious Paris Department Store building in downtown Budapest, where the event took place.

Even though this was only the first in a series of meetups about beating diabetes with technology (#BDTech) already 80 people showed interest in this topic. A great mix of people from all different angles showed up to discuss the ever-evolving theme of needs and solutions in monitoring, management and therapy in diabetes. Attendees included hardware manufacturing company and local market leader in glucose monitoring devices, innovative pharmaceutical companies, patients, advocates, bloggers, developers and last but not least doctors.

The conversation was kicked off by Levente Szasz, CEO of the company creating digital diabetes diary application laborom, who is also one of the organisers of the first meetup. Levente talked about why it is important to talk about possible technological advancements in diabetes management and their plans about expanding the meetup into an international series. He also introduced their recently rebuilt application. “This was a great opportunity for us to talk with stakeholders from various sides and get their input on the direction we are heading with laborom”, Levente noted. “We received some invaluable input that we will hurry to implement as soon as possible” he added with a smile.

Dr. Daniel Vegh, also an organiser of the #BDTech meetup and founder of DYA Europe and IDB (Youth Diabetes Blog and Movement / Ifjúsági Diabétesz Blog és Mozgalom) – a blog and a movement to support youngsters going through the same problems Daniel had being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 19 – followed by giving tips on how to get involved with diabetes communities and how to activate patients to become their own innovators. Daniel is also the founder of the first Hungarian football team for people dealing with diabetes, aptly called FC DiaBeaters. “When laborom approached me to co-organise this meetup series I was really enthusiastic about it and now I’m really happy that so many people were interested in our first occasion.” Daniel said. “It is great to see so many people and companies alike wanting to be part of the change and the community that can help make this change come alive. After all, this was one of my goals when I started IDB. And I guess this is the part where I add that we are looking for people who would like to organise chapters of this event in their local community. “ Daniel added.

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!

Alzheimer’s and Diabetes Could Be Linked Diseases

According to a new study, Alzheimer’s and diabetes diseases are more related than everybody thought. Some researchers believe that Alzheimer’s could be a form of diabetes, because findings show that insulin production in the brain declines as Alzheimer’s disease advances.

Through a series of experiments, a group of researchers discovered that the brain produces insulin and that this substance produced by brains of patients with Alzheimer’s illness tends to fall below normal levels.

For the neuropathologist at Rhode Island Hospital and professor of pathology at Brown University Medical School, Suzanne M. de la Monte, insulin disappears early and dramatically in Alzheimer’s disease and many of the unexplained features of Alzheimer’s, such as cell death and tangles in the brain, appear to be linked to abnormalities in insulin signaling. This demonstrates that the disease is most likely a neuroendocrine disorder, or another type of diabetes.

During the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, brain levels of insulin and its related cellular receptors fall precipitously, as her group of researchers explained. They believe that Alzheimer’s might be a new form of diabetes since the evidence shows insulin levels continue to drop progressively as the Alzheimer’s disease becomes more severe.

The team led by de la Monte also found that low levels of acetylcholine are directly linked to this loss of insulin and insulin-like growth factor function in the brain. Acetylcholine is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers team autopsied the brain tissue of 45 patients diagnosed with different degrees of Alzheimer’s called Braak Stages and compared those tissues to samples taken from individuals with no history of the disease.