Why do we track?

Jeanette Terry
By Jeanette Terry Latest Reply 2012-05-20 10:44:17 -0500
Started 2012-02-02 11:35:39 -0600

We hear all of the time that we need to be tracking our blood sugars and other daily activities. But why do we do it? Are we really doing it for our own good or just because the doctor told us to?

What is it that you track?

What tools do you wish you had to help you track better?

If you were only tracking for your own benefit what would you want to know about your own health and diabetes management?

22 replies

techguy87114 2012-05-20 10:43:38 -0500 Report

Before diabetes I never really cared or knew what BG was or why it mattered. Now that I have Type 2 I monitor 4 times a day so I know if what I'm doing/eating etc is working.

I think I could manage w/o testing but I wouldn't want to. Doctors tell is to monitor not only so they know what's going on but how to (if needed) change doses of meds or meds altogether. As your doctor can't see you everyday this is the only way to really know where your sugar levels have been and what's going on inside the body.

I don't mind testing. It takes very little time out of my day and puts me at ease to see the # within range. If its not within the range it should be, I can make changes right away to get the # where it needs to be.

George1947 2012-02-04 17:03:05 -0600 Report

If you were driving out in the forrest or the desert, you would use a GPS device to get you to your destination… our meters are the GPS devices for diabetes, it tells us where we are and where we need to go! Is that simple enough?? :)

PS, the simple enough is for any DOCTORS reading this… don't want to confuse them…

Somoca 2012-02-04 16:12:35 -0600 Report

I check my BS first thing in the morning and if I feel uncomfortable, I will check just in case something I have eaten has changed my numbers.

Nana_anna 2012-02-04 12:02:51 -0600 Report

I check my BS through out the day. I have sleep apnea, so I don't sleep well at night. I can't keep up a good sleeping pattern either. I check about an hour after I am up in the morning, usually by 9a.m. or 10a.m. Mine is usually high. Very high even at fasting. It usually runs in the 400s even with meds. This morning it was 389. It has stayed between 380 to 400 all last week. My Dr. says not to call him unless it gets to 450 and up. This is nothing new. When I journal, I write down in specific order of how things occurred, and when things are a matter of concerns, then I have it to show my Dr. If it concerns him then he makes a copy of my journal and puts it in my medical records. He does that with all of my notes I have questions about. I can always go back on my monitor and show him my levels to. It takes a good Dr, teams, and good medical staff to work with you and your concerns. He knows that I only call him when nessasary. My diet is still needing some changing. I am drinking more water, no soda's, no sweetners.

JSJB 2012-02-04 18:28:36 -0600 Report

I'm sorry to hear that your sugar is so high. Mine is low and when I was prediagnosed with D and given a meter, my doctor told me to check once a day and that is in the morning before I drink or eat anything.

JSJB 2012-02-04 04:29:09 -0600 Report

Since being diagnosed with type 2 I have been keeping track of my blood sugars which I take every morning at 4am. I have a journal which I enter the readings and also enter the food carbs and recently I purchased a BP moniter and enter the reading into the journal also I write down what exercise I have done for the day. I also tried to use a computer but find it much eased to write it down in the journal. This lets me know what I have to change to maintain a normal reading if there is one.

Coriantumr 2012-02-03 11:29:12 -0600 Report

My oldest daughter just turned 17 a few days ago, she was diagnosed with Type 1 when she was 5. She doesn't do any tracking outside what is stored in her pump. She does use a tester that transmits the readings to her pump. The way we use all this data is to let the doctor print it out every three months and he will point out problems and give advice on what to change.

I really wish that there was a better way for my daughter to track her levels and identify bad trends on her own without waiting for us or the doctor to do that for her.

I don't know an easy way for her to do this and I don't know how to motivate her.

Any ideas?

Nick1962 2012-02-06 18:09:31 -0600 Report

Does she qualify for a CGM? http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions/14...
I had to do the discovery through constant testing and used a spreadsheet to show my doctor. I tested up to 10 x/day and ended up knowing exactly what foods did what and when, but then I'm no teenager nor do I have an issue with whipping out my test stuff. Sounds like after what, 12 years now, she really doesn't want to. From some of the responses I've seen on CGM's here and on other sites, it may just be a scare tactic for her. Congrats on getting her this far though!

GabbyPA 2012-02-02 20:30:43 -0600 Report

I track to see what is going on in the long run. To find patterns in my behaviour and to compare notes later on to see what was working and what really didn't.

I don't know about tools. I wish I had someone to record everything I do for me. That way I wouldn't have to stop and write, take time to look things up and so on. A personal secretary...LOL!

anniebell01 2012-04-15 19:58:24 -0500 Report

Gabby, if you have an iPhone, there are some good apps that does it all for you. Or if you have a computer, set up a spreadsheet. There are programs on .com that have all the nutrients in them ( well - calories, fat, saturated fat , chlorestral, sodium, carbs, fiber sugar and protein) the program does all that- you just type in milk 1% and it calculates it all. It is well worth it! I transfer the data to my own spreadsheet. On my spreadsheet besides all that, I have a column for Daily blood sugar reading, weight ( it is so FUN to see it coming down), steps. I recently got a bug to try to reach 10,000 steps a day!!' I have a column for that too. I just wasn't motivated before, but being competitive with myself helps! I actually averaged 10,000 steps a day last week!!' yeah!! I Have lost 57 lbs since Dec, because it is now my priority to control this diabetes. good luck. Think about priorities. Your health is very important!!

GabbyPA 2012-04-17 10:51:12 -0500 Report

I am in the dark ages. I don't even own a cell phone, much less something like an iPone...at least my phone has buttons and not a rotary dial. LOL!!

Yes, seeing it in writing is a huge motivation. I have drifted away from that and need to get back into doing it. My trouble is it gets messy. I suppose if I did in on a spread sheet that would be better than my notebooks.

anniebell01 2012-04-17 11:47:50 -0500 Report

That's why I use excell, easy to calculate weekly averages, etc. my handwriting isn't consistent either. It really helps me watch what I eat. And I made a pledge with myself to be totally honest in recording everything I eat. Even when I'm bad!!! I can compare blood sugars to what I ate the day before. It really motivates me.

GabbyPA 2012-04-18 10:55:31 -0500 Report

That is the key. Because if you are not honest there is no point in doing it. It is only there to help us figure out what to do.

JSJB 2012-02-04 18:31:34 -0600 Report

I use to use a small recorder when I wanted to keep track of anything especially if Iintended to write it down later when I had the time.

jayabee52 2012-02-02 13:24:07 -0600 Report

My answer to your questions is "YES" I believe the Dr is looking out for my good, and that is why Dr tells me to track. I also like to see what my BG levels are doing every day.

But as of late, I find myself slacking off on my keeping a log of my BG levels.
I have too many gaps.

Young1s 2012-02-02 12:42:58 -0600 Report

I keep track of my BG's in a notebook. I know some people use the computer programs that are available, but I need to be able to open the book and see my numbers all laid out in front of me. I've learned that if I just store my numbers in my meter only, I tend to not pay close attention to what they are doing. Out of sight really is out of mind for me in this case.

I also keep food journals. One of which is just a giant shopping list. Whenever I find a new food that I feel is a better choice over something else, I add it to the list. Within each category I have the name of the food, serving size, some of the nutritional facts, and if I've tested that food separately, I'll log what effect it had on my glucose level.

I have copies of my prescriptions in two locations, along with the names and numbers of my D team.

I track my daily exercise in one of my food journals but lately I've been thinking I need to separate those.

I'm sure I'll eventually add to these and go high tech with it, thanks to a couple of suggestions from previous discussions, but this seems to work for now.

anniebell01 2012-04-15 19:43:38 -0500 Report

I tracks blood sugars and diet ( with calories, fat, saturated fat, chlorestral, carbs, fiber, dugar and protein); and also blood pressure. I keep them all on apps on My iPhone. I Have lowered my a1c from 9.2 to 5.8 since December. I have lost 58 lbs and my chlorestral is down now within acceptable range, too. Because I can see what I am eating, exactly, and see how it affects my BS. I appreciate all of you at Diabetic Connect for so much: for information, education, and encouragement. ( hey, that would be a good sermon outline)… I try and keep my carbs about 35 for breakfast, and 45for lunch and dinner. And it's working! I have STOPPED overeating!!!! I am so Happy about all this!

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