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3 reasons why you should keep a diabetes logbook

9/17/2015 by Scott Johnson

3 reasons why you should keep a diabetes logbook

Diabetes data at your fingertips doesn’t just provide ease of access, but can also lead to therapy optimization and better diabetes management! Find out more about what logging can do for you right here...

You’ve probably thought about keeping a diabetes logbook before, right? While it may feel like a chore you don’t have time for, keeping a logbook is one of the many simple solutions that can improve your diabetes management.

1. You need data to optimize therapy

Diabetes and data: best friends forever. Diabetes and data go hand in hand. Without data, it's hard to know what to change or where to focus.

So don’t get mad if your doctor sends you home if you arrive without your blood sugar records. That’s like trying to mail something without an address, some pretty important information is missing! 

Doctors, unfortunately, are not clairvoyant. They can't understand your blood sugars just by looking at you. And while your HbA1c gives good general information, it can be deceptive, and it's not enough information to optimize your therapy.

But, logging data isn’t just about making your doctor’s life easier. Logging data is also good for you!

While your wonderful diabetes devices do record data into their memory, this information lacks context. Your logbook allows you to note down additional therapy-related information, such as:¹

Correlations between blood sugar, food intake, physical activity, insulin dosage, etc., become much clearer and easier to understand, and will allow you to identify patterns quickly.

Outliers in the data can also be found and fixed (or ignored, if there’s good reason to do so). 

At mySugr, we’re of the humble opinion that paper is for origami, not for logbooks. That’s because the mySugr App makes it so simple to find specific foods using the search function. No need to bother with flicking through pages, everything’s available in a few taps in the app.

If you notice a pattern in high blood sugars but can’t figure out why, use the app to scan through meal photos and descriptions and easily identify the causes behind blood sugar spikes.


 

mySugr Tagebuch App

2. Regular logging may improve blood sugar and HbA1c

Becoming more engaged with your diabetes should improve overall diabetes management. Makes sense, right? If you're paying more attention, you're keeping track of things, and you're getting subtle feedback just from seeing the information you track. Sound like a plan? 

Regular logging will help you gain a better understanding of your diabetes, meaning that improved blood sugars and HbA1c may be on the horizon. We understand that diabetes can affect the mind as well as the body. Think of logging as a self-care method. It’s a little thing you can do every day, that will make a big difference, not only to your diabetes, but to your mental health. Logging puts you in the driver's seat, and you can feel great about yourself, putting in that extra bit of effort for better diabetes management.²

A Google Play Store review from Haydn Young

3. Have you ever been asked for blood sugar records?

Whether you need to show your records to your doctor, insurance provider or nosey cat, your logbook has got you covered. In some countries, you’re asked to send 3-6 months of blood sugar records with an insulin pump or CGM application for financial coverage or reimbursement. In others, you need records just to get a monthly supply of test strips! If you’re not asked for these records, you’ve lucked out with an exceptionally friendly clerk (or, a sleeping one).

A well-documented logbook can make the difference between approval or denial; stories of rejections based on falsified logs or insufficient data are not hard to find. Keeping a logbook provides you with a sense of security, knowing that you have everything you need for your next diabetes-data audit right at your fingertips.

 

Conclusion

Of course, keeping a diabetes logbook requires a little bit of time, but the end result is worth it. Delicious cakes don’t just appear without someone baking them. You can’t arrive at your holiday spot without making the journey first. And that’s just what logbooking is: a journey to improved diabetes management. 

Once you’ve started, logging quickly becomes a habit. Especially if the logbook fits your lifestyle, provides real-time benefits, and leads to an improved understanding of your diabetes. Momentum will keep you going. And give yourself a pat on the back when you’ve got a logbook full of data on your hands. You got this!³

 

All information in this article is based on the following sources:

1. Robert E. Reinke, John F. Price, Paul J. Galley, Diabetes Health Management Systems and Methods. United States Patent Application Publication. 2011:1-12.

2. Diabetes Logbooks. Diabetes Education Online.

https://dtc.ucsf.edu/types-of-diabetes/type2/treatment-of-type-2-diabetes/monitoring-diabetes/diabetes-log-books/. (Accesses December 20, 2020)

3. Marion Waite, Clare Martin, Rachel Franklin, David Duce, Rachel Harrison, Human Factors and Data Logging Processes With the Use of Advanced Technology for Adults With Type 1 Diabetes: Systematic Integrative Review. JMIR Human Factors 2018:15-5.

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 being a Diet Coke fanatic, Scott is the Patient Success Manager, US for mySugr and has lived well with diabetes for over 40 years. He's an active pioneer in the diabetes social media space and along with his work at mySugr, he manages his award-winning blog, scottsdiabetes.com when time allows.