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Living with Diabetes

Barbecues and blood sugars: can your monster help you survive?

12/4/2014 by Scott Johnson

Barbecues and blood sugars: can your monster help you survive?

Ahhh - summertime barbecues. Just chilling with friends and family, enjoying some great food, and taking in the wonderful weather. It’s one of my favorite summertime activities.

But it can be a real challenge to keep my blood sugars from going crazy. So many of the carbs are hidden and I can never remember what I did the last time.

No food labels in the backyard barbecue pits

There are many situations where I have to estimate carbs. But even that is often pretty hard. Most of the time I just guess and have to fix my blood sugar later. But that’s a real pain. Dealing with a low in the middle of an intense game of yard darts (are those even legal anymore?) is dangerous, and feeling sluggish from a sticky high is no fun either. Why should I let diabetes mess up my afternoon? There has to be a better way.

Logging and tracking?

What if I took pictures of everything I ate and logged my carb guesses and insulin doses along the way? What if I also recorded my blood sugars and activity notes? If I did this often enough I would have a pretty nice database full of useful information. And if I have quick and easy access to that information it might help me make better decisions about what to eat or how much insulin to take. But there are (at least) two challenges here, right? The system has to be easy and quick to enter information, and just as easy, if not easier, to search and retrieve information.

The mySugr App - perfect fit!

Quick and easy entry? Check. Beautiful and fun interface? Check. Pictures? Check (what paper logbook can do that?). Super easy search function? Check. Location-aware? Check! Imagine being able to look at a few things really quickly. I can see that for all of the logbook entries I made that have the word barbecue, I did a pretty good job. Looking at the pictures helps me judge the food and servings I’m dishing up, and I can see that every time I eat barbecue at uncle George’s house my blood sugar goes through the roof! He must be adding something sweet to the barbecue sauce... now I know to take a bit more insulin before enjoying his ribs.

It has to be accessible, and FAST.

I know that my diabetes management is better when I’m logging. The act of recording influences my decisions, maybe even making me a little more responsible. What mySugr brings to the table is that the information I record is no longer a dead pile of paper (that is difficult to search through). In the palm of my hand, I have super quick and easy access to everything I’ve recorded, and it’s searchable. It allows me to make better decisions - right there in the moment. That is powerful.

The mySugr website does not provide medical or legal advice. mySugr blog articles are not scientific articles, but intended for informational purposes only.

Medical or nutritional information on the mySugr website is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult a physician or health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Scott Johnson

Almost famous for his addiction to Diet Coke, Scott has lived well with diabetes for almost forty years and is currently the Patient Engagement Manager, USA for mySugr. He's been an active pioneer in the diabetes social media space for more than fifteen years and manages his award-winning blog, when time allows.