After being diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes, I turned to Apple to help me to improve my health and make better lifestyle choices. So far, things are moving in the right direction.
And So It Begins
Right before Thanksgiving, my father was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. As part of his treatment, his doctor suggested he test his glucose level on a regular basis.
For at least three months before this, I began sweating during the night. I also found myself getting increasingly tired in the afternoon. I knew something was wrong, but like many in a similar situation, I choose to ignore the warnings.
Both situations crossed paths right around Christmas when my dad convinced me to test my blood with his brand new glucose meter. My levels were high. After more testing, this time at my doctor’s office, I found out I wasn’t pre-diabetic like my dad. Instead, I had Type-2 diabetes.
Even before the weight gain, my body mass index (BMI) showed that I was overweight. I was now officially obese.
This diagnosis didn’t surprise me. For a better part of a year, I stopped exercising on a regular basis. As a result, I gained 15 pounds. My eating habits also worsened. Even before the weight gain, my body mass index (BMI) showed that I was overweight. I was now officially obese.
As part of my initial treatment for Type-2 diabetes, I’m now on Metformin to lower my glucose levels. As a precaution, my doctor also prescribed Lipitor and a daily aspirin to lower my risk of heart disease. Genetically, I’m at risk for heart problems and high blood pressure.
Despite my diagnosis, I’ve been told I can reverse the effects of Type-2 diabetes with continued exercise and by losing weight. I’m now in the process of trying to lose 50 pounds. One month in, I’ve lost 15 of those, which is a good start.
My New Routine
Since being diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes in December, my iPhone has become my biggest partner in my treatment.
Thanks to my proactive glucose monitoring and Metformin prescription, I’ve already shaved off nearly 50 points on my average blood glucose level. As I continue to lose weight, this number should fall further.
Like millions of others, I signed up for a gym membership in January. My goal is to lift weights and do cardio at least three to four times a week. So far, so good on this count. To help me with this, I’m using my Apple Watch to keep track of my time on the Elliptical machine.
Living a lazy lifestyle for the past few months has made going to the gym a struggle. However, I’m up for the challenge. Already, I’m not out of breath nearly as often as I was before and my energy levels have improved too.
To help me lose weight, I have turned to the freemium Lifesum app, which offers an easy-to-use calorie counting solution for iOS and watchOS. The app also includes a nice library of recipes to match my dieting goals.
Finally, I’ve turned to the Apple Health app, which ties everything together thanks to Apple HealthKit.
With Apple Health, I can see all of my exercise and caloric intake information. It’s also where I go to see my glucose levels over time and whether I’ve lost weight this week.
Recently, Apple introduced iOS 11.3, which should launch to the public in March or April. This update includes lots of new features, including the ability to import personal health records data into the Apple Health app.
Without giving too much away, I can tell you that (with iOS 11.3) being able to view my medical records alongside my other healthcare information has really helped me in my battle against Type-2 diabetes.
My medical provider is one of the first healthcare organizations in the United States to work with Apple on health records during the iOS 11.3 beta process. As an iOS developer, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to import my data already.
Without giving too much away, I can tell you that being able to view my medical records alongside my other healthcare information has already helped me in my battle against Type-2 diabetes. I can’t wait to see how things progress with this new feature as the beta process continues.
The Bottom Line
In a short period, Apple has become a key player in healthcare. Thanks to Apple Watch and Apple HealthKit, the company is making it easier than ever for each of us to monitor and improve our health.
Each year, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes. As one of those, I’m glad Apple is taking an active role in healthcare. It will be interesting to see where things go from here.
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