Diabetes data tips

We learn tips for recording diabetes data and how digital support, such as smartphone apps, make managing it so much easier.


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You know how important it is to document diabetes data. You also know that keeping a diabetes diary requires patience, discipline, and neat handwriting because your diabetes healthcare team should ultimately be able to make sense of it. What you may not know is how much easier it can be with digital support, such as smartphone apps.

Diabetes diary or app: means to an end

In theory, it doesn’t matter whether you electronically extract your diabetes data from the blood glucose meter, manually write it in a diabetes diary, or initially stick colourful Post-it notes with values on the refrigerator.

However, healthcare professionals often report that handwritten diabetes diaries are incomplete or that errors creep in. This can affect the quality of the recorded data, ultimately harming the quality of diabetes therapy.

Therefore, especially if you prefer to keep your diabetes data in a classic diary, it’s essential to proceed systematically and with discipline. This way, the data can support you in organising your life with diabetes to improve your quality of life. For example, take notes for individual measurements; this will help you better understand how specific events, such as a birthday party or a hiking trip, influence your blood glucose levels. This allows you to become more familiar with your body’s reactions, regardless of the choice of tool.

If you want to keep up with the times, you can also take advantage of the numerous benefits of digital solutions for your therapy. With some technical assistance, you can:

  • Quickly and easily review data.
  • Better recognise the connections between insulin, blood glucose and meals.
  • Increase your awareness of blood glucose values and how they are influenced.
  • Share your data with your healthcare team.

Diabetes apps: more than just a diabetes diary

One of the simplest ways to keep track of your diabetes documentation is by using a tool that you probably already have with you all the time: your smartphone.

By using a diabetes app, you can easily ensure that you document all measured values. If you opt for a solution where the measured blood glucose values are automatically transferred to the app, the process becomes even easier.

The pros of mySugr app

If you use a blood glucose meter like the Accu-Chek Instant, the mySugr app automatically stores every measured value on your smartphone via Bluetooth. This combination offers additional features such as meal photos and a bolus calculator.

Do you want to customise how you view your health data? With mySugr, you can choose from charts, tables, or statistics that work best for you. It’s easy to use; just swipe through your phone to see more.

Have you been experiencing slightly elevated values lately? Quickly check your average values for the past seven days to see if you’re on track or if there’s a pattern to recognise. Also, try to identify when your blood glucose trend changes. This can often help you understand which life circumstances contributed to these values.

Please note that some features mentioned here are only available with mySugr Pro. However, if you pair your Accu-Chek Instant meter with the mySugr app and synchronise your readings, you’ll automatically upgrade to mySugr Pro for free.

Remember, you don’t have to manage diabetes on your own. There are plenty of resources available to help you stay on track.

Download the mySugr app now!

You can download the mySugr app in the Google Play store or the App Store.

 

 

 

Please contact our customer support team to check if your mobile device is compatible with the mySugr app.

For more information, contact your healthcare professional.

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Join the conversation @RocheDiabetesCareSSA



Visit the website www.rochediabetescaremea.com for more information on our products and diabetes management tips.


Email: [email protected] | Toll Free: 080-34-22-38-37 (South Africa only) | +254 20 523 0560 (Kenya only) | +234-1227-8889 (Nigeria only) | +27 (11) 504 4677 (Other countries)

ACCU-CHEK, ACCU-CHEK INSTANT and MYSUGR are trademarks of Roche. All other product names and trademarks are property of their respective owners. | © 2023 Roche Diabetes Care | Roche Diabetes Care South Africa (Pty) Ltd. | Hertford Office Park, Building E | No 90 Bekker Road | Midrand, 1686, South Africa. ZA-427


Information provided is void of any representation and warranty as to the reliability, accuracy, usefulness, adequacy, or suitability of the information provided and is not a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment for medical conditions, applications of medication. For personalised medical advice, consult an appropriate medical professional for queries regarding any medical conditions.

The use of nutritional supplements in diabetes

Dietitian, Esteé van Lingen, educates us on nutritional supplements, what ingredients to look for and highlights the benefits of using Lifegain® Advanced Nutritional Supplement.


Before we can get into why nutritional supplements could be beneficial for people living with diabetes or not, we need to first understand the difference between meal replacements and nutritional supplements.

We also need to understand the ingredients nutritional supplements may contain and why each one is important. This will assist you in making an informed choice before buying a nutritional supplement.

Nutritional supplement vs meal replacement

A nutritional supplement is an extra supplement that you can take on top of your meals to add extra nutrients your body may be lacking. This can be taken with meals or in between meals to add extra nutrition where needed. Lifegain® is an example of a nutritional supplement.

Meal replacements, on the other hand, are as the words say, a replacement option instead of having a meal. You will have this instead of a meal. An example of this is a Meal Replace Shake like Replace® Diabetic.

Ingredients in nutritional supplements

When looking at the different ingredients that nutritional supplements contain, we start with protein then carbohydrates and lastly fats.

Protein

Protein is one of the most important macronutrients needed for the body to function. The word protein comes from a Greek word meaning primary or holding the first place and that’s why they say protein is seen as the building blocks of the body. Because it is an essential nutrient, you need to consume it daily whether it’s from an animal or plant source.

Protein helps stabilise blood glucose levels when eaten together with a carbohydrate so that the impact isn’t as high on blood glucose compared to eating carbohydrates alone.

As you get older, you quickly start to lose muscle and since most people cut their protein intake (due to various reasons), there is nothing to help sustain muscle mass. To then try and rebuild muscle when you are older is much harder compared to when you were young.

The average person needs at least 0,8g protein per kg of bodyweight per day to sustain basic functions. For example, a person who weighs 50kg will need at least 40g of protein per day.

If you are training a lot or want to build muscle, you would need at least 1,2 – 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day. For example, a person who weighs 50kg will need 60 – 100g of protein per day.

It’s interesting to know that many people don’t even reach 1g of protein per kg of their bodyweight per day through meals alone.

Note: This doesn’t mean 120g meat is equal to 120g protein. For example, 1 chicken breast of 120g contains 28g of protein. 

Carbohydrates

Out of the three macronutrient types, carbohydrates have the most marked effect on postprandial blood glucose response (blood glucose level after a meal).

Carbohydrates provide the body with energy and can be found in various foods, including bread, pasta, cereals, rice, potatoes, sweet potato, butternut, fruits and dairy products.

You should also then distinguish between healthy (unrefined) and unhealthy (refined) carbohydrates. Unrefined carbohydrates are minimally processed and eaten as close to their natural state with the grain and germ still intact.

Refined carbohydrates are processed to get a softer, more available carbohydrate. The end results: quicker absorption and release into the bloodstream, causing a spike in blood glucose levels.

One starch portion is equal to 15 grams of carbohydrates. So, depending on how well-controlled your glucose levels are, your gender and other chronic conditions, you don’t want to consume more than two starches in one meal.

The lower the carbohydrate content of a certain meal is and the less processed it is, the lower impact it will have on blood glucose levels. Therefore, it’s encouraged to rather eat a lower amount of carbohydrates in a meal and when consumed, choose the unrefined options instead.

You should also rather spread it out evenly throughout the day instead of eating no carbohydrates the whole day and then eating three servings at night.

Fats

Fat is the final macronutrient. It is also a source of energy but more importantly it assists in keeping the cell walls healthy as well as assists the body in making healthy hormones.

When consuming fats, you want to consume more healthy fats (omega-3) versus unhealthy fats (saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol).

Omega-3 helps reduce and prevent inflammation in the body as well as keep the cell walls healthy for the body to properly absorb nutrients and medication into the cells making blood glucose control more effective.

Lifegain® Advanced Nutritional Supplement

When looking at Lifegain®, it contains 4g of carbohydrates per serving and 15,3g of protein which makes it low in carbohydrates and higher in protein.

Furthermore, Lifegain® has a protein blend that contains three sources of protein (soy protein, whey protein isolate and milk protein isolate) that helps with muscle recovery. This is very helpful in the case of an active person living with diabetes or in the elderly to assist in maintaining muscle mass.

This makes it a good substitute for a person with diabetes that needs to consume a small amount of carbohydrates and still keep blood glucose levels stable without it dropping too low or going too high. Provided it fits within your nutrient requirements and/or consulting with your healthcare provider or dietitian first before starting on anything.

Glutamine

Lifegain® also contains glutamine that assists with immune function and gut health which is important. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels reduce immune function and makes a person with diabetes more susceptible to infections. If your gut health is not great, you can’t absorb the nutrients that you do consume properly.

Glutamine improves gut health to assist with digestion and absorption of nutrients. With the improvement in absorption, it may then in the long run assist with weight loss when combined with a balanced lifestyle and consumption of the correct amounts of healthy foods.

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential to assist with muscle functions as well as boost your immune system and provide you with energy. The combination of the vitamins and minerals found in Lifegain® includes calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3, zinc, iron and vitamin C. Again, these help protect your muscles, bones and boost immunity.

Free from intolerant ingredients

Lifegain® is free of gluten, lactose, cholesterol, trans fat and preservatives which makes it ideal for someone suffering from gluten or lactose intolerance or anyone with sensitivities to preservatives. This also means that there is no added sugar and no refined carbohydrates.

How to make a nutritional supplement part of a healthy balanced diet

If you are a very busy individual (especially someone living with diabetes) that tends to miss meals as you don’t have time to eat a proper cooked meal, have certain food preferences, or you don’t have a big appetite to eat a large meal, a nutritional supplement will then be an ideal option for you.

Lifegain® only has 507kJ per serving so it will work well as a snack in between meals or used as a base of a light meal. If you want to increase the nutrients, you can do so by mixing it with low-fat milk instead of water or eating a fruit and/or raw vegetables on the side. Or you can make a smoothie out of it with unsweetened plain yoghurt or low-fat milk, one fruit serving, raw vegetables and a fat, such as almonds and chia seeds.

Since Lifegain® has 15g of protein per serving, it has about the protein content of half a chicken breast making it an ideal nutritional supplement even for someone that has kidney issues. This only counts as long as it is made with water and the protein intake for the rest of the day is restricted. Any additions or changes should of course only be made under the guidance of your healthcare professional.

A nutritional supplement is recommended for the elderly who might have a poor nutritional status due to not cooking nutritious meals as often and especially for the elderly who also have diabetes. For example, instead of eating two slices of bread, they can have one serving of Lifegain® once or twice per day and then add fresh vegetables and protein as needed. Thus, making it more balanced and sustainable in the long term.

Kidney problems and protein

A low protein diet is recommended for people with kidney problems and renal disease. The protein requirements for people with renal disease is 0,6 – 0,8g per kilogram of bodyweight but this depends on the stage of kidney disease.

Protein increases the pressure in the kidney tubes by attracting more water as it passes through them, thus leading to increased strain on the kidneys and increased loss of renal function. People on dialysis have higher protein requirements due to the protein loss during the dialysis process.

The function of the kidneys includes: removing waste products from the blood, maintaining fluid balance in the body as well as controlling blood pressure. When the kidneys are failing, damaged or only one of them is functioning, they can’t perform these essential tasks.

Seek professional guidance

Before taking any nutritional supplement or meal replacement, please consult your dietitian first to see if it would be suitable for you and how it can be worked in as part of a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.

For people with kidney problems (a complication of diabetes), protein does need to be restricted depending on kidney function and you should contact your dietitian to calculate your specific needs and work it into a balanced and sustainable diet.

 

Estée van Lingen is a registered dietitian practicing in Randburg and Fourways, Gauteng. She has been in private practice since 2014 and is registered with the HPCSA as well as ADSA and served on the ADSA Gauteng South Committee for 2020 – 2022.

MEET THE EXPERT


Estée van Lingen is a registered dietitian and has been in private practice since 2014. She is registered with the HPCSA as well as ADSA and served on the ADSA Gauteng South Committee for 2020 – 2022.


Header image by Adobe Stock
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Connect for diabetes coaching

Did you know you can get personalised diabetes coaching with Accu-Chek Instant and the mySugr app?

Dedicated support from experienced diabetes care and education specialists.


Connect your Accu-Chek Instant meter to the mySugr app and activate the mySugr Coaching Bundle. You can count on an experienced mySugr diabetes care and education specialist for just the right balance of motivation and support-based on the information you choose to share.

In our last post, we covered the significance of tracking your blood glucose levels and how a tool like the mySugr app may help.

Personalised diabetes coaching is another element of the mySugr app (PRO version*). If you have enrolled in the mySugr Coaching Bundle, you can reach out to your diabetes coach through the mySugr app anytime, anywhere. It’s as simple as the tap of a finger.

Ask all the questions you have about your diabetes and your coach will dive into your data. Within a single business day, your coach will reply with some feedback and ideas about your questions or problem areas. Together, you’ll work on your diabetes management and any goals you want to set for yourself.

Getting started is as easy as tapping Coach in the side menu and sending messages back and forth. You can even ask what type of information would be helpful to log.

Great starter questions

Here are some great starter questions for you to ask:

  • I was just diagnosed with diabetes, where should I start?
  • What is the goal for my blood glucose levels?
  • I want to work on my diet, can you help me?
  • My blood glucose levels are always higher in the morning, why does this happen?
  • My doctor told me I have Type 2 diabetes, how is this different from Type 1?
  • I just started taking insulin and I’m a little scared. Why do I need to take it?
  • I know exercise is good for me, but I always dread it. How can I make it more enjoyable?
  • My doctor told me I need to watch my carb intake. What foods have carbs?
  • Why are my blood glucose levels always high after I eat?
  • I’m trying to lose weight, but it’s been really hard. Can we talk about diabetes and weight loss?

And just like that, you are on your way. Your diabetes coach will take a look at your question, analyse your information, and pull together a detailed reply just for you. You’ll get a notification when you have a new message. You can go back and forth with your coach as often as you like, and you can ask your coach for help as often as you want to.

Please note: The Coach service is not proactive, meaning that they do not look into your data unless you reach out to them. Your privacy is our top priority, and we want to maintain that even though your data is available to the Coaches when you enrol.

*Accu-Chek Instant users get a free upgrade to mySugr PRO.

For a limited time, the mySugr Coaching Bundle is available for free.  Sign up for a mySugr Coaching Bundle voucher today. Scan the QR code or visit rdiabetescare.com/mysugrcoach/ to get started.

T’s and C’s Apply.

You can download the mySugr app in the Google Play store or the App Store.

 

 

 

To check if your mobile device is compatible with the mySugr app, please contact our customer support team. For more information, contact your healthcare professional.

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Join the conversation @RocheDiabetesCareSSA



Visit the website www.rochediabetescaremea.com for more information on our products and diabetes management tips.


Email: [email protected] | Toll Free: 080-34-22-38-37 (South Africa only) | +254 20 523 0560 (Kenya only) | +234-1227-8889 (Nigeria only) | +27 (11) 504 4677 (Other countries)

ACCU-CHEK, ACCU-CHEK INSTANT and MYSUGR are trademarks of Roche. All other product names and trademarks are property of their respective owners. | © 2023 Roche Diabetes Care | Roche Diabetes Care South Africa (Pty) Ltd. | Hertford Office Park, Building E | No 90 Bekker Road | Midrand, 1686, South Africa

ZA-379


Information provided is void of any representation and warranty as to the reliability, accuracy, usefulness, adequacy, or suitability of the information provided and is not a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment for medical conditions, applications of medication. For personalised medical advice, consult an appropriate medical professional for queries regarding any medical conditions.

Why is Fabulite fab?

Estée van Lingen, a registered dietitian, tells us why the Fabulite range is ideal for people living with diabetes.

When planning meals or snacks, people living with diabetes have to be careful of what and how much of certain food they consume. When you have to restrict carbohydrate (especially sugar) as well as fat intake, it can make healthy choices limited and also mean that less appetising options be consumed for health purposes.

It’s also important to have protein-based snacks to assist in controlling blood glucose levels compared to only having a sugar or carbohydrate by itself as a snack.

So, the question, Should I rather have low-fat, sweetened yoghurt or plain full cream? must have crossed your mind.

The Fabulite range

Thankfully, now you don’t have to wonder anymore. Parmalat has designed a tasty yoghurt range called Fabulite. This range of delicious yoghurts has no added sugar and no fat. Each yoghurt contains protein and calcium which are nice benefits to consuming yoghurt. This making it a perfect option for someone living with diabetes or anyone wanting to limit their sugar intake. You can have all of these benefits without compromising on taste and still enjoy a delicious meal or snack.

The Fabulite range is Halaal approved and consists of different flavours to suit every individuals taste preference, such as plain, vanilla, strawberry, blueberry and pomegranate, and black cherry. Each flavour can be found in 1kg or 6 x 100g tubs.

Fabulite can be added to a healthy diet as part of breakfast, snacks or even main meals. For breakfast and snacks, it can be enjoyed by itself or topped with berries, nuts and seeds, or even added into a smoothie.

Fabulite’s fruit range can be enjoyed as a guilt-free dessert; while everyone else is consuming something sweet, you can have a healthier alternative that is on par in the taste department.

The yoghurt can also be frozen as lollies to make an appetising healthy yoghurt lolly.

The plain fat free Fabulite yoghurt is perfect as a salad dressing or an alternative to mayonnaise or cream in recipes.


Nutritional value

Nutritional information: (per 100g)

Yoghurt Plain Fat Free Fat free fruited Fat Free Vanilla
Energy (kJ) 200 210 210
Protein (g) 3,8 3,2 3,4
Glycaemic Carbohydrates (g) 6 8 6
Of which total sugar (g) 3,1 3,1 3,1
Total fat (g) 0,2 0,1 0,2
Calcium (mg) 110,9 102,9 100,2

Sugar

For a 100g serving, it only has 200 – 210kj which is less than a fruit serving, and has 6 – 8g of carbohydrates which is equal to 1 tsp of sugar. This is basically the sugar from the milk called lactose as there is no added sugar. Only 3g of that is the sugar.

Fat and calcium

The fat content is also less than 1g which is the perfect low kilojoule, fat-free snack. Calcium is definitely a bonus as you need calcium for strong bones and teeth, and most people don’t meet their calcium needs, increasing the risk for osteoporosis (low bone density). Calcium recommendations are 1000mg per day or more depending on individual needs.

So, go on and try one (or all) of these delicious flavours and expect to be surprised by how satisfying eating a healthy snack can be and soon even the whole family will enjoy these yoghurts as well.

Estée van Lingen is a registered dietitian practicing in Randburg and Fourways, Gauteng. She has been in private practice since 2014 and is registered with the HPCSA as well as ADSA and served on the ADSA Gauteng South Committee for 2020 – 2022.

MEET THE EXPERT


Estée van Lingen is a registered dietitian and has been in private practice since 2014. She is registered with the HPCSA as well as ADSA and served on the ADSA Gauteng South Committee for 2020 – 2022.


Header image by Adobe Stock

aQuellé has a heart for diabetes


We learn more about aQuellé and how they have a heart for diabetes.


Whether you’re living with diabetes or not, water is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Why is water important for someone with diabetes?

Water helps regulate blood glucose levels. People with diabetes are prone to excessive levels of glucose in the body. When there is too much glucose, water is drawn out of the body more excessively. Without water, your body becomes dehydrated with serious consequences.

How much water should you drink a day?

Water is the best drink for people who have diabetes. We encourage sticking to the recommended amount of 2 litres of water a day for men and 1, 6 litres of water a day for women.

Water is the safest fluid to consume without risking raised glucose, calories, or carbohydrates. Most fizzy and energy drinks have little nutritional benefit to the body and are loaded with sugar. Even fruit juices are high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation.

What are the different ways to increase your daily intake of water?

It’s not always easy to drink enough water. Here are some tips:

  • Keep a bottle of water with you wherever you go.
  • Try to drink at least one glass of water before breakfast to get you started on the right foot.
  • Drink water with all your meals.

Why aQuellé?

aQuellé is a pure natural spring water drawn from an underground source. The water is not treated or altered, which means that every bottle of aQuellé water is as pristine when you drink it as when the water flowed beneath the earth’s surface. aQuellé has been refreshing South Africans for over 20 years and was recently voted the country’s favourite water brand.

What has aQuellé done in support of diabetes awareness?

aQuellé has a heart for diabetes. The campaign has been running since August 2022, creating awareness and educating South Africans about diabetes.

aQuellé bottles with special labels featuring the heart for diabetes logo are in stores nationwide, with a QR code that links to the aQuellé website where more information about diabetes is found.

aQuellé has partnered with Diabetes South Africa to sponsor 2000 membership kits for people suffering from diabetes. The brand also ran an awareness drive with Orlando Pirates Football Club to spread the message about drinking water and staying active. A dedicated campaign ran on extensive digital platforms, using fun and interactive ways to educate South Africans about diabetes.

What did aQuellé do on World Diabetes Day?

In support of the cause for diabetes, aQuellé encouraged everyone to wear blue on 14 November 2023. Social feeds turned blue as many joined the initiative. Thank you to everyone who has a heart for diabetes and is making a difference.

Sanofi promotes access to healthcare

As the world marks the end of World Diabetes Month, leading pharmaceutical company Sanofi sponsored a free Diabetes Screening and Wellness Day at Impala Crescent Primary School in Lenasia recently. This is the second time that the company has focused on the Lenasia community.


World Diabetes Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness of diabetes as a global public health issue and what needs to be done, collectively and individually, for better prevention, diagnosis, and management of the condition.

Research shows that in 2014, 8.5% of adults aged 18 years and older had diabetes and that in 2019, diabetes was the direct cause of 1.5 million deaths. Of all these deaths, 48% occurred before the age of 70 years.2

African statistics shows that 1 in 22 adults (24 million) adults are living with diabetes and that the total number of people with diabetes is predicted to increase by 129% to 55 million by 2045.3

Diabetes in a nutshell

Diabetes is a chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when the body can’t effectively use the insulin it produces. This leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood (hyperglycaemia).

Type 1 diabetes, once known as insulin-dependent diabetes, is characterised by a lack of insulin production (occurs mainly in children). Type 2 diabetes, which was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent, is caused by the body’s ineffective use of insulin which often results from a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Gestational diabetes is hyperglycaemia that is first recognised during pregnancy. 1

Access to Diabetes Care

As part of the World Diabetes Day theme, Access to Diabetes Care, Sanofi aims to provide free diabetes screening, build awareness on diabetes treatment, and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle measures are effective in preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 diabetes, such as achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, eating healthy and staying physically active.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction and currently can’t be prevented, however, research looking at delaying and preventing Type 1 diabetes is actively being pursued.

“At Sanofi, we believe in engaging directly with local communities to ensure that we enhance knowledge about what diabetes is, how to detect it and how to live a long and healthy life while managing this condition. Similar to what we did previously, Sanofi is going out to communities to screen for the condition and we have partnered with influencers who are living with diabetes as well as those who are knowledgeable about how to maintain good health and nutrition to help ordinary people manage their condition, regardless of whether it’s Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes,” says Sanofi Diabetes Medical Advisor, Kiolan Naidoo.

Statistics show that over 1 in 2 (54%) people living with diabetes are undiagnosed.5 “Testing for diabetes is crucial for people as early detection can save lives as well as prevent or delay diabetes complications, which is why we have embarked on this campaign and plan to widen its reach in the years to come,” says Naidoo.

Use your influence

Influencers such as well-renowned hip-hop artist, Tshepo ‘Howza’ Mosese; fitness influencer, Mpoomy Ledwaba; model and diabetes activist, Thapi Semenya, and nutrition influencer, ‘Zanele the Cook’ hosted webinars and other forms of engagement to educate young people about diabetes under the hashtag #DiabetesDoesntDefineMe.

“We want to remind people that you can still enjoy a healthy, full life while living with diabetes, no matter your age, social status, or background,” concludes Naidoo. 

To learn more about diabetes click here.


About Sanofi

We are an innovative global healthcare company, driven by one purpose: we chase the miracles of science to improve people’s lives. Our team, across some 100 countries, is dedicated to transforming the practice of medicine by working to turn the impossible into the possible. We provide potentially life-changing treatment options and life-saving vaccine protection to millions of people globally, while putting sustainability and social responsibility at the centre of our ambitions.

Sanofi Communications Contact

Name Tshepiso Ntlhoro

Tel: 076 5838771

Email: [email protected]


References

  1. World Health Organization. Diabetes key facts, 2022 [Online]. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes [ Accessed on 28/10/2022]
  2. World Health Organization. Diabetes key facts, 2022 [Online]. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes [ Accessed on 28/10/2022]
  3. International Diabetes Federation IDF. Diabetes around the world 2021, [Online ]. Available at: https://diabetesatlas.org/ [Accessed on 28/10/2022]
  4. World Health Organization. Diabetes key facts, 2022 [Online]. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes [ Accessed on 28/10/2022]
  5. International Diabetes Federation IDF. Diabetes around the world 2021, [Online ]. Available at: https://diabetesatlas.org/ [Accessed on 28/10/2022]

It’s time to get logging

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


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 track of your blood glucose numbers is one of the many simple solutions that can improve your diabetes management.

Diabetes and data

Diabetes and data go hand in hand. Without proper data, it’s hard to know what to change or where to focus. To optimise your therapy, your doctor needs as much information as possible. While your HbA1c gives a good general indication, it could be deceptive and often doesn’t provide enough information.

You can also benefit from logging your data. Regular logging will help you gain a better understanding of your diabetes. If you note down additional therapy-related information (food intake, physical activity, insulin dosage), correlations with your blood glucose become much clearer and easier to understand. This will allow you to identify patterns quickly and make the necessary changes.

Finding the right diabetes logbook tool

Finding the right tool(s) is critical. Paper logbooks can be frustrating for a few reasons:

  • There isn’t enough space to include everything you want to.
  • You forget to take it with you (especially when you go to the doctor).
  • You might lose it.
  • Your writing may not be readable.
  • Looking at a page of numbers makes it very difficult to identify any trends or patterns.

Automatic logging

With mySugr all of that is changed. Connect your Accu-Chek Instant Bluetooth-enabled Blood Glucose Meter to the mySugr app, and all of your blood glucose data is transferred automatically. Patterns are super easy to spot, and the information is immediately useful. You can even share your information with your doctor via a PDF report. Plus, you can add additional information that is relevant, such as exercise type and time, medication use, and your food intake.

Get started, get logging

The benefits of logging are compelling, and thanks to connected devices and apps such as mySugr, it’s becoming simpler and easier.  It’s time to get connected and get started.

How to connect

Connecting your Accu-Chek Instant with mySugr is a snap. First things first, have your smartphone and your Accu-Chek meter handy. (Some users find it easier to have the PIN from the back of their Accu-Chek Instant written down ahead of time for easier visibility before starting the pairing process).

  1. Download mySugr from the App Store or Google Play Store and create your mySugr account.
  2. Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth and select Connections from the menu.
  3. Select your Accu-Chek Instant from the list shown and tap Connect Now.
  4. Follow the instructions on your smartphone screen.
  5. Find the matching PIN on the back of your meter just below the battery and enter it into your phone.

Voilà! Your device is now connected. From here on out, the mySugr app will act as chief communication officer between you and your Accu-Chek Instant. That means any settings adjusted within the mySugr app will be transferred to your Accu-Chek Instant meter once synchronisation is complete. Accu-Chek Instant users get a free upgrade to mySugr PRO.

 

 

To check if your mobile device is compatible with the mySugr app, please contact our customer support team. For more information, contact your healthcare professional.


References:

  1. Diabetes log books [Internet]. Diabetes Education Online, Diabetes Teaching Center at the University of California, San Francisco. 2022 [Cited 2022 Nov 8]. Available from: https://dtc.ucsf.edu/types-of-diabetes/type2/treatment-of-type-2-diabetes/monitoring-diabetes/diabetes-log-books/
  2. American Diabetes Association (ADA) Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2021. Diabetes Care. 2021;44(Suppl 1).
  3. Weinstock RS, Aleppo G, Bailey TS, Bergenstal RM, Fisher WA, Greenwood DA, Young LA. The role of Blood glucose monitoring in diabetes management. Arlington, Va., American Diabetes Association, 2020.
  4. 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(3):486–490.
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Visit the website www.rochediabetescaremea.com for more information on our products and diabetes management tips.


Email: [email protected] | Toll Free: 080-34-22-38-37 (South Africa only) | +254 20 523 0560 (Kenya only) | +234-1227-8889 (Nigeria only) | +27 (11) 504 4677 (Other countries)

ACCU-CHEK, ACCU-CHEK INSTANT and MYSUGR are trademarks of Roche. All other product names and trademarks are property of their respective owners. | © 2022 Roche Diabetes Care | Roche Diabetes Care South Africa (Pty) Ltd. | Hertford Office Park, Building E | No 90 Bekker Road | Midrand, 1686, South Africa

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Information provided is void of any representation and warranty as to the reliability, accuracy, usefulness, adequacy, or suitability of the information provided and is not a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment for medical conditions, applications of medication. For personalised medical advice, consult an appropriate medical professional for queries regarding any medical conditions.

Make Froggie your choice of shoes this Spring

So many of us experience foot health issues; could it be, that we are not meant to wear shoes, such as high heels or shoes with pointed toes, that do not accommodate the natural structure of our feet? 

Sarah Gedye, Froggie Brand Manager

Sarah Gedye, Froggie Brand Manager, founder and absolute shoe fundi tells us more.


At Froggie, we have always considered how to make great-looking footwear comfortable. Recently, we focused on what we could do to make shoes for customers with exceptional needs. Specifically, a customer needing a shoe that can accommodate an insert; a common requirement for people living with diabetes and associated footwear implications.

To offer that extra bit of comfort, the team developed a footwear solution that provides extra cushioning underfoot with a fully removable padded footbed. The result: a shoe range with custom comfort that still looks fabulous.

For your choice of wear this season

Sandals

Three styles: a closed back, two-strap sandal slingback sandal and three-strap slip-on.

  • The closed back sandal holds onto the foot securely at the back for increased stability while still providing airy, cool all-day wear.
  • The two-strap sandal, with velcro straps, is totally adjustable to the width of your feet and comes with extender straps should you require a little more length.
  • The three-strap is a comfy slip-on style with adjustable velcro straps, perfect for the South African heat and associated foot swelling.
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Sneakers, loafers and boots

Comfort and ease are key, especially for women on the go. Froggie sneakers, loafers and boots sport a classic leather look while the added padded footbed (removable) offers unparalleled comfort and convenience.

  • Classic leather Froggie sneakers with a refresh. These are elasticated and super easy to slip-on. Wear them with skinny jeans, summer shorts or even sweats.
  • Slip-on sneakers are chic and incredibly comfy. Wear them with skinny jeans, flares or pair them with shorts and skirts.
  • Mid-calf boots are a Froggie fav! This slightly boxy style, sits out from your leg, giving your calves a bit of breathing room. The gentle gathering on the leg gives this must-have genuine leather mild-weather staple, a stylishly slouchy yet feminine look.

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Our latest – Neo Sole Wedges

Aptly named “Neo” because this new style of wedge gives you that extra lift, yet also the stable comfort you look for in a wedge. This unique design was developed to include the Froggie comfort features, as well as echo the latest fashion trends from work to weekend-wear.

  • The Pump: New look with classic shape offering a lift with comfy stability. (Back Wedge Height: 6cm)
  • Are sporty trends your thing? This sneaker wedge with a cute lace-up is a winner: game-set-match!
  • This Slipper Cut Wedge offers a little more coverage and holds beautifully onto your foot while walking, or even running – if you’re in a rush.

We won’t deny, there was a lot of back and forth at the development stage plus the odd roadblock but, what we’ve found with anything challenging, when you’re backed by a passionate, cohesive team – nothing is impossible.

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Come walk with Froggie Shoes – your step, our shoes.

Visit froggie.co.za


How to use an app to help manage your diabetes

We learn how an app can make the road of managing your diabetes smoother and hump-free.


If you’re reading this, you already know how much goes on behind the scenes to manage your diabetes. You have to think about what happened recently, what’s happening right now and what you expect to happen in the coming hours. You’ve probably gotten so good that you don’t even consciously think about most of it, you just do it.

Then there’s the big-picture stuff: how you’re doing over a longer period of time. If you’re like many people, you don’t think about this until there’s a doctor’s appointment right around the corner.

Where does an app come in?

Keeping so much information in your brain doesn’t make sense. You can feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next move, second guess your decisions or get frustrated. That’s completely normal, and a good reason to outsource.

For certain parts of diabetes management, computers do better than humans: recording information and remembering it when requested, monitoring something over and over again, performing a task around the clock or spotting patterns and trends. Computers, especially smartphones, are perfect for a lot of diabetes-related work. They’re powerful and portable, they’re almost always with you, they’re connected to the world and they’re packed with sensors.

Being able to outsource diabetes work to an app on your smartphone means you have that much more brainpower for more important things in life.

How to use an app for your diabetes management

The future of diabetes data management is automated. With the mySugr app, the Accu-Chek Instant® will log your blood glucose measurements automatically. With a tap of your finger, you can quickly add details about your meals, your meds and any other information you think is important. You can even customise the logging screen, so you don’t waste time dealing with things that aren’t important for you.

The mySugr app can automatically pull in activity data from your phone so you can see exercise information alongside your blood glucose levels. Location services make it possible to search for past experiences, like eating at a restaurant. With two taps, you can see everything you’ve tried at that restaurant and how your blood glucose responded. Having this type of information at your fingertips helps you make more informed decisions. That’s powerful!

You add the context

To give your story even more detail, you can add context:

  • Meal photos – Quick manual entry to help you manage your post-meal questions.
  • Notes – Add a quick note when something is out of the ordinary or if it helps explain a decision you made. You’ll even be able to search them later.
  • Tags – By far, it’s the easiest way to add useful information to your entry. You can select a tag for many common situations.

How many times has your doctor asked, “What happened here?” while looking over your reports? Now, you can just pull up the mySugr app on your smartphone and explain everything. It’s a great way to get the most out of an appointment.

So much is automated now, thanks to apps like mySugr and connected meters. Don’t feel like you have to do everything for your diabetes management. You have lots of help around!

How to connect?

Connecting your Accu-Chek Instant with mySugr is a snap. First things first, have your smartphone and your Accu-Chek meter handy. *

Once you have downloaded the mySugr app to your smartphone, follow the four easy steps below:

  1. Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth and select Connections from the menu.
  2. Select your Accu-Chek Instant from the list shown and tap Connect Now.
  3. Follow the instructions on your smartphone screen.
  4. Find the matching PIN on the back of your meter just below the battery and enter it into your phone.

Voilà! Your device is now connected. From here on out, the mySugr app will act as chief communication officer between you and your Accu-Chek Instant. That means any settings adjusted within the mySugr app will be transferred to your Accu-Chek Instant meter once synchronisation is complete.

*Some users find it easier to have the PIN from the back of their Accu-Chek Instant written down ahead of time for easier visibility before starting the pairing process.

To check if your mobile device is compatible with the mySugr app, please contact our customer support team. For more information, contact your healthcare professional.

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Join the conversation @RocheDiabetesCareSSA



Visit the website www.rochediabetescaremea.com for more information on our products and diabetes management tips.


Email: [email protected] | Toll Free: 080-34-22-38-37 (South Africa only) | +254 20 523 0560 (Kenya only) | +234-1227-8889 (Nigeria only) | +27 (11) 504 4677 (Other countries)

ACCU-CHEK, ACCU-CHEK INSTANT and MYSUGR are trademarks of Roche. All other product names and trademarks are property of their respective owners. | © 2022 Roche Diabetes Care | Roche Diabetes Care South Africa (Pty) Ltd. | Hertford Office Park, Building E | No 90 Bekker Road | Midrand, 1686, South Africa

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Prevent the silent onset of chronic kidney disease

This National Kidney Awareness Week (5 to 9 September 2022), let’s really appreciate these vital organs and make sure we’re living in a way that promotes our kidney health.


“By the time most people become aware that their kidneys are failing, they will already have lost 50% of their kidney function.”

Kidney disease is an irreversible illness that affects 10% of people across the world, and up to one in eight people in South Africa.

Function of the kidneys

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs found at the back of the body at about the level of the waist. Each kidney holds thousands of filtering units. As our blood moves through them, they filter waste products and extra water out and these are released in our urine.

Paediatric nephrologist, Professor Errol Gottlich, says, “Kidney disease is silent, meaning it often develops without any noticeable symptoms. By the time most people become aware that their kidneys are failing, they will already have lost 50% of their kidney function.”

“Kidneys also balance our fluid levels ensuring we don’t become over-hydrated or dehydrated. They normalise electrolytes and blood pressure, assist in calcium metabolism and prevent anaemia.”

“Our kidneys are essential for a normal, healthy lifestyle. The kidneys fulfil many roles, the most important of which is excreting toxins out of the body in the urine.”

Prof Gottlich also heads up Discovery Health Medical Scheme’s Kidney Care Programme, which is designed to ensure the best quality of care and life for medical scheme members on chronic dialysis.

Paediatrician, Dr Nokukhanya Ngubane-Mwandla, adds, “The kidneys have multiple important functions in the body, including controlling acid-base homeostasis, water and electrolyte balance and blood pressure. They also produce certain hormones important for production of red blood cells and bone mineralisation.”

Dr Ngubane-Mwandla is the recipient of a 2020 Discovery Foundation Sub-Specialist Award and is using this support to work towards improving the lives of children with congenital and acquired renal pathology.

How to look after your kidneys

Taking care of your kidneys is as simple as leading a healthy lifestyle. Professor Gottlich recommends that people do the following:

  • Ensure regular exercise. Exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week. Even a brisk walk is an excellent form of exercise.
  • Adopt a balanced, healthy diet of unprocessed, fresh foods with no more than a teaspoon of added salt per day.
  • Regularly check and control your blood glucose.
  • Regularly check and control your blood pressure.
  • Drink an appropriate amount of fluids. Your doctor will explain how to adjust your fluid intake if you have kidney, heart or liver disease.
  • Don’t smoke as smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys.
  • Don’t take over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory pills regularly.Long term, frequent use of medicine, like Ibuprofen, can harm your kidneys.
  • Get your kidney function checked regularly if you have any of the high-risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney disease, and being overweight or obese.

A silent disease: What damages kidneys and how?

Discovery Health’s data show that around 75% of renal (kidney) failure is a result of diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure). Data from the National Kidney Foundation mirrors this with up to 65% of kidney failure in South African adults being attributed to hypertension and up to 25% due to Type 2 diabetes.”

“Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys and can gradually decrease the functionality of this vital organ. And untreated high blood pressure experience damage to their kidney tissue as a result of blood vessels being exposed to a higher than normal blood pressure,” adds Professor Gottlich.

Other causes of kidney disease include living with HIV and other infectious diseases, auto-immune diseases, and structural abnormalities.

Dr Ngubane-Mwandla adds, “There is also a relatively high incidence of kidney problems among South African children. Some of these problems are congenital, which means that children are born with them, but several conditions are caused by malnourishment and gastric issues.”

This passionate doctor adds, “It would be great to implement screening programmes at schools or at primary healthcare facilities, in particular to ensure blood pressure and urine screening, to detect the early onset of kidney disease, especially those born prematurely, at a low birth weight or who have a family history of kidney disease.”

The National Kidney Foundation notes that up to 80% of chronic kidney failure may be preventable, making it vital to keep up regular screening checks that will identify signs of chronic diseases like kidney disease and others, as early as possible, in adults and children alike.

Catch the onset of kidney disease early on – simply screen

The good news is that, for most people, screening for kidney disease can be done as part of regular health check-ups.

“It’s really as simple as going to your primary healthcare provider and doing a screening test for high blood pressure, blood glucose levels and kidney functionality,” says Professor Gottlich.

“Essentially, your urine is an easily accessed window to your kidney health. A dipstick into the urine sample will show markers of possible kidney health issues.”

Treating chronic kidney disease

Once a person has chronic kidney disease, they will need to undergo chronic dialysis (an average of three sessions per week), explains Professor Gottlich. Patients may either undergo:

  • Peritoneal dialysis, which uses the lining of their abdomen to filter the blood inside their body.
  • Haemodialysis, which uses a dialysis machine and a special filter, called an artificial kidney or dialyser, to clean the patient’s blood.

“In addition to dialysis treatment, it is critical that patients live a healthier lifestyle and take prescribed medicine to control blood pressure, improve anaemia and bone health,” adds Professor Gottlich.

Complex illness and expensive to treat

Chronic kidney disease is a complex illness that is expensive to treat.

  • In 2021, Discovery Health paid out R1.5 billion in kidney treatment related claims for about 3,000 members – of which 0.6% was for members under the age of 18, reflecting the way in which kidney disease affects children too.
  • Interestingly in 2020 Discovery Health paid out a slightly higher R1.6 billion in claims from about 3,500 medical scheme members for kidney treatment. The 14% drop in members claiming between 2020 and 2021, shows the decrease in screening and treatment for kidney disease and other chronic treatment over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due to the fact that people have stayed away from healthcare facilities out of fear of exposure to COVID-19, due to stay-at-home measures imposed to curb the spread of infection, and also due to the redirection of resources in healthcare towards COVID-19 care, especially during peaks of infection.

Organ donation a lifesaver for people who live with kidney disease

“The most ideal therapy for chronic kidney disease is a kidney transplant,” says Professor Gottlich.

“However, there’s been a significant decrease in organ donors over the past two years because of COVID-19 and very few kidney transplants have been done during this time.”

Dr Ngubane-Mwandla adds, “There is a great need for organ donation and transplantation for kids too, particularly for those children treated in the state sector. Until transplanted, these children must stay on a chronic dialysis programme. Some, we transition to haemodialysis which is both costly and needs regular visits to the hospital so really affects and defines a child’s life. The sooner a child in need receives a kidney transplant, the better for the child and their family.”

One organ donor can save seven other lives. Your heart, liver and pancreas can save three lives and your kidneys and lungs can help up to four people. And, one tissue donor can help up to 50 people by donating their corneas, skin, bones, tendons and heart valves.

Sign up to be an organ donor – Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa.


All medical information in this article including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to empower diabetes patients and their families by promoting a better understanding of kidney disease.

Header image by Adobe Stock