decorational arrow Blood sugar | 4 min. read

Why tracking is important and how smart insulin pens can help

Tracking in diabetes management

We assume that as someone with diabetes, you may know how important it is to monitor your insulin needs. Many considerations can impact on when you need to take your insulin, including carbohydrate intake, your level of activity and other factors such as stress or illness.

Tracking sugar levels has always been the cornerstone in effectively managing diabetes – and combining this with a record of your insulin dosing can be even more valuable.

Tracking sugar levels has always been the cornerstone in effectively managing diabetes. Over the past 20 years, this has been made easier with the advent of continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and Flash, which uses sensors to continuously measure your sugar levels. Now, smart insulin pens are stepping up to help make insulin tracking easier.

Tracking your sugar levels – either with a blood glucose monitor (BGM) or a CGM – allows you to make decisions about any adjustment to your insulin dosing straightaway. The data gathered over a period of time also allows you and your doctor or nurse to assess trends, triggers and the amount of time you spend in or outside of your glycaemic targets.

Beyond Glucose: Tracking insulin dosage

By tracking your insulin at the same time as your sugar levels, you will be able to compare the amount and timing of your insulin dosing with your sugar data. All of this data can be recorded at any time of the day or night, and during your various activities. Having this information at your disposal, holds many benefits, as you and your doctor or nurse can:

  • see what impact the insulin dose you have taken has on your sugar level
  • see the changes you may need to make to your insulin dosing
  • adjust your future dosing requirements to avoid over- or under correction 
  • ultimately optimise your insulin doses to fit in with your lifestyle

Tracking is important for your doctor or nurse

You are the most important individual in your diabetes care team, but you are not alone. When the doctor and / or nurse who make up your diabetes care team has access to your glucose measurements and insulin dosing, they can support you in making more informed decisions on how to best manage your sugar levels.

Regular tracking can provide insights into the relationship between your insulin dosing habits and your sugar levels over time.

Regular tracking of sugar levels and insulin dosing can provide insights into the relationship between your insulin dosing habits and your glucose levels over time. This in turn helps you and your diabetes care team to understand the impact insulin doses (both in timing and amount) have on your sugar levels and glycaemic control. It will also allow your doctor or nurse to develop a tailored treatment plan that ensures you spend as much time as possible within your optimal glycaemic range, which is usually 70–180 mg/dL [3.9–10 mmol/L] – your doctor would help determine your optimal range.

Tracking optimises the outcomes of your treatment

New smart insulin pens make it easier to keep track of your insulin dosing. The more time you spend in the optimal glycaemic range, the better your chances of avoiding any immediate and long-term complications from uncontrolled diabetes.

However, constantly staying on top of tracking your sugar levels and insulin needs is a well-recognised challenge for most people living with diabetes. Recently, this has been made simpler through the development of straightforward and easy-to-use smart insulin pens. These pens have been found to help overcome many barriers to appropriate insulin administration, including getting the dosing right and remembering when to administer your insulin injections.

Smart insulin pens simplify diabetes management

Using a smart insulin pen makes recording your insulin dosing easy, consistent and reliable. Smart insulin pens keep record of injection time, size and type of insulin each day, helping you remember when last you took insulin, and how much.

Using a smart insulin pen makes recording your insulin dosing easy, consistent and reliable.

You can easily transfer your insulin dosing information from your smart pen to a compatible app from where you can send it to your phone or computer, or even share this data with your doctor or nurse. There are various apps that allow you to view different types of data together, helping you to spot trends and triggers to the rise or fall in your sugar levels.

So, even if you’re not the type of person who likes to delve into the graphs and numbers yourself, your doctor or nurse will find this information extremely valuable. Also, the more information you can share with them, the more insights they’ll gain into optimising your treatment to suit your lifestyle. From your doctor or nurse’s perspective, being able to view and analyse both your sugar and insulin data together, can ensure more meaningful and productive conversations at your regular appointments. This can also help you to better manage your sugar levels and increase your time in the optimal glycaemic range over a longer period of time.

You can also read our article on Trouble lines – to give more reasons as to why it is so important to track.

References
  1. Maas AH, et al. A physiology-based model describing heterogeneity in glucose metabolism: the     core of the Eindhoven Diabetes Education Simulator (E-DES). J Diabetes Sci Technol     2015;9:282–292.
  2. Janapala RN. Continuous glucose monitoring versus self-monitoring of blood glucose in type 2     diabetes mellitus: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Cureus 2019;11:e5634.
  3. Klonoff DC. Improved outcomes from diabetes monitoring: the benefits of better adherence,     therapy adjustments, patient education, and telemedicine support. J Diabetes Sci Technol     2012;6:486–490.
  4. Zimmerman C, et al. Advances in type 1 diabetes technology over the last decade. Eur     Endocrinol 2019;15:70–76.
  5. Toschi E, et al. Examining the relationship between pre- and postprandial glucose levels and     insulin bolus timing using Bluetooth-enabled insulin pen cap technology and continuous     glucose monitoring. Diabetes Technol Ther 2019 Sep 26. doi: 10.1089/dia.2019.0186. [Epub     ahead of print].
  6. Danne T, Nimri R, Battelino T, et al. International Consensus on Use of Continuous Glucose     Monitoring. Diabet Care 2017;40:1631-1640.
  7. Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group. The effect of intensive treatment of     diabetes on the development and progression of long-term complications in insulin-dependent     diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1993:3;329:977–986.
  8. UK Prospective Diabetes Study Group. Intensive blood-glucose control with sulphonylureas or     insulin compared with conventional treatment and risk of complications in patients with type 2     diabetes (UKPDS 33). Lancet 1998;352:837–853.
  9. UK Prospective Diabetes Study Group. Effect of intensive blood glucose control with metformin     on complications in overweight patients with type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 34). Lancet     1998;352:854–865.
  10. Klonoff DC, Kerr D. Smart pens will improve insulin therapy. J Diabetes Sci Technol     2018;12:551–553.
  11. RFP_Supporting_Document_Introduction__Strategy_Campaign.

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