A diabetes diary is a type of journal that is used for recording foods eaten and blood sugar levels at different times throughout each day. Diabetics often find these diaries useful because they can help a person keep better track of what foods are eaten every day and what effect the foods have on their blood sugar levels. It might make it easier for a person to notice any harmful trends, such as certain foods that always cause blood sugar levels to spike dangerously. A diabetes diary might also be used to help a person remember to eat certain healthy foods and to eat them at specific times.
In general, a diabetes diary is very simple to use, although a person could make it as detailed as he or she wants. A diabetic needs to list absolutely everything he eats and drinks in a given day along with what time it was eaten. It is generally considered important to remember to add minor things like condiments to the list as well, because even very small amounts can have an impact on the blood sugar. The diary should additionally be updated with the levels of a person's blood sugar and exactly what time the reading was taken. It is also normally recommended that a person make note of when she took her diabetes medication, since this can also impact the effect food has on blood sugar levels.
Some people take their diabetes diaries an extra step further and include not only foods eaten, meal times, and blood sugar levels, but also the nutritional value of all foods eaten in a given day. Doing this could be helpful for someone who is on a very strict diet and needs to be sure he gets in a specific amount of calories and carbs daily. It might also help a person keep track of how many meals and snacks she has on a daily basis if she needs to eat a certain number of times. The only possible disadvantage of creating this type of diabetes diary is that listing so much additional information might become tedious after a while since there are occasionally circumstances where it is not possible to know the exact nutritional value of a specific food.
People who keep up with diabetes diaries may find them useful to take along on their regular doctor's visits. Doctor's should probably be allowed to take a peek at their patients' food diaries in order to get a better understanding of what foods their patients are eating and how the blood sugar is reacting to them. It might also be beneficial for someone who is thinking of starting a diabetes diary to consult with his doctor first to get some advice on what information he should include and to get an idea of what foods he should try to eat every day.