Why Keep a Diabetes Log?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that must be managed properly for optimum health. The goal of diabetes management is to keep the blood sugar at a proper level. Many patients, in particular those with type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes, can best manage their diabetes with daily blood glucose testing. Lifestyle choices and diabetes medications affect blood sugar. To see the patterns in the changing blood sugar level, and how they relate to diet, exercise, and medication, patients can keep a daily diabetes log.
The diabetes log is an important part of diabetes self-care. And it is useful not only to the person with diabetes, but to his or her medical treatment team as well.
How to Keep a Diabetes Log
A good diabetes log holds several kinds of data. Most important is the blood glucose level, determined by self-testing with a glucometer. Each time the patient does a test, the result should be recorded, along with the time of day and the time since the last meal. Many patients test their blood sugar repeatedly throughout the day, so a great deal of useful data may be obtained.
Other data that can be recorded in the log are meals and snacks (what was eaten, when, and how much) and physical activity (type of activity, time, duration, and intensity). Comparing this information to blood sugar levels recorded in the log can reveal patterns that may not be apparent otherwise. For example, a patient may find that certain foods cause blood sugar spikes, or that certain combinations of food and/or exercise help keep blood sugar steady.
The diabetes log should also contain a record of all medications, both those prescribed for diabetes (oral medications and insulin injections) and those taken for other conditions. A patient may want to record any side effects experienced with the medication as well. This information will help the treatment team determine what medication regimen is best for each patient.
Diabetes Log Types
Different types of logs are available to help diabetes patients with different needs. People with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes will all have different treatment plans and management goals. The treatment team may provide a log to the patient, or one may be included with the purchase of a glucometer. Many are available online, as well, and can be found with a simple web search.
Examples of diabetes log types include the following:
- Logs designed for patients using insulin pumps
- Highly detailed logs for recording information hour by hour throughout the day
- Logs that include insulin dosing calculators to help the patient decide how much insulin is needed in each injection
A diabetes log is an invaluable tool in managing all types of diabetes. Daily record keeping is indispensable in any diabetes treatment plan.