Help me track custom personal health data (my own)
October 14, 2018 6:15 AM   Subscribe

I currently track my blood sugar (iHealth, MySugr) and period info (Clue) and I'm trying out an intermittent fasting approach to managing my t2 diabetes. I would like an easy way to put all this data together so I can try to correlate it all in a glance. Looking for ideas - apps (iOS) or roll-your-own approaches OK if not too technical.

I've been managing my type 2 diabetes with diet and lifestyle for about a year and want to keep it that way, but it's been a learning process, to say the least. I did an extreme low carb thing for a month (whole30) and had normal fasting blood glucose readings the whole month, but it's too extreme to be sustainable as a regular thing. However, I've read a fair bit about intermittent fasting as a means of managing blood sugar, and I'd like to try it. At the same time, recently I've noticed some inexplicable spikes in my morning BG readings (high for me is in the 130s mg/dL [7.something mmol/L], good for me is about 107-117 mg/dL [high 5.x-mid 6.x mmol/L]) which I suspect may be related to hormonal changes right before my period.

So far I track the BG info and the period info in two/three separate apps. And I'd like to start tracking the time of my first and last meals of the day, in order to see how different fasting periods affect my BG levels. It would really help to do it all in one place.

So I'm looking for suggestions of either a health app that is customizable enough that I could track an analyze these things together, without a lot of extra flotsam.


I'm thinking I could also just do this as a roll-your-own system where I maybe make a google form or something where I can input all these numbers in one place, daily, and later create a graph that plots them all together. Being able to do this on my phone is important, because it's the thing most likely to ensure I'm consistent about tracking. I'm sure there's a way to do this, but I'm not good at conceptualizing how to do this so I'm trying to avoid losing lots of time to trial and error before I get it right. Any suggestions on doing this efficiently would be great.
posted by leticia to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Power BI is fun! You can make a health dashboard. I use it for work but I’m pretty sure you don’t need a paid license to just use locally on your own Pc. You could easily incorporate your diet, glucose, period, and whatever else you can think of. Typically you’d just put all Ge different data in separate tables in excel, then import into Power BI and then get your graph on. If you google Power BI dashboard examples you’ll see tons of ideas and how lovely the dashboards can be.
posted by ian1977 at 6:26 AM on October 14, 2018

One thing, power bi is for data viewing, not so much for data entry. But you could still set up a google docs spreadsheet to enter data on your phone, but then analyze the data in Power BI. The nice thing about power BI is that it is really easy to slice the data in a hundred different ways. A health tracking app will probably shoehorn you into looking at the data in one or two ways.
posted by ian1977 at 6:30 AM on October 14, 2018

Not sure I can help you with the technical parts, but I did notice the part about being surprised about higher sugars on waking and thought I'd put something out there about dawn phenomenon, which is a normal thing.

Also to cheer you on for trying dietary approaches rather than medical approaches. I eat keto because it makes a big impact on my body fat (85 lbs down) rather than specifically my blood sugar. Reddit is generally a cesspool, but /r/keto and /r/ketoscience on reddit are non-horrible and there is a lot going on in the realm of dietary control for t2d and prediabetes. Tons of personal anecdotes and, it appears, a pretty zesty conversation in the medical/professional realm. In any event, if you can't find a solution via metafilter, you may want to wade into reddit to ask around there too. Good luck!
posted by Sublimity at 6:32 AM on October 14, 2018

The Clue people seem to be responsive and interested in adding additional useful tracking features, so you might submit this to them as suggestion.
posted by Candleman at 6:49 AM on October 14, 2018

Have a look at PredictBGL if you haven't already.
posted by flabdablet at 8:29 AM on October 14, 2018

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