Keeping our waistlines normal and extra weight off is hard. Most of us know that all too well. But what we likely don’t know is how critical our metabolic health is to stay healthy and fit!
Your metabolic health is responsible for things like how well you sleep, your energy levels, your appetite, and how your body processes food.
The good (and bad) news is that everyone’s metabolism is different! That’s why two people eating the exact same diet can have such different body shapes and health status.
So to understand your own metabolic health, any change in diet, exercise, or other interventions must be personalized to you.
And that’s where health apps and wearables shine–they offer us a window into how our lifestyles impact our metabolic health, without a trip to the doctor’s office.
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- 1 Wearables help monitor your metabolic health
- 2 Metabolic Health Management
- 3 Challenges around metabolic health monitoring
- 4 Levels Metabolic Health platform
- 5 Veri CGMS and Apple Health
- 6 Glucose monitoring without a finger prick?
- 7 Aerolyze breath Glucometer
- 8 Sugarmate, a must-have for current Dexcom users
- 9 Summary
Wearables help monitor your metabolic health
Metabolic health looks at a person’s current blood sugar levels, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference when not on any controlling medicine (like medicine for controlling diabetes.)
These key health indicators predict a person’s risk for metabolic syndrome including chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. So knowing your metabolic health matters!
Most users formally diagnosed by a doctor with metabolic syndrome get regular lab tests that analyze their blood and measure sugar (glucose) level, electrolyte and fluid balance, kidney function, and liver function.
But the reality is, most people are not formally diagnosed!
That’s where wearables like the Apple Watch or Fitbit and their corresponding apps fit in.
They can help us understand how our diet, mobility levels, sleep, and heart rate impact our metabolic health.
What about wearables monitoring blood sugar or A1C levels?
Managing your metabolic health is much more than analyzing your blood sugar trends on their own.
Rumors about Apple working on blood glucose monitoring have been in the news for many years now without any real developments.
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Similarly, Fitbit invested $6 million into glucose monitoring startup Sano in 2018 but we haven’t seen any new developments come out of this partnership to date.
Apple Watch and Fitbit users are therefore limited to a few choices that are available today in terms of metabolic platforms that integrate well with Apple Health.
In this article, we examine some of the offerings of two new platforms that allow you to monitor and manage your comprehensive metabolic health.
Metabolic Health Management
American Heart Association defines metabolic syndrome as occurring when a person has three or more of the following measurements that co-relate with risk clusters:
- Abdominal obesity ( waist circumference greater than 40 inches in men and greater than 35 inches in women)
- Triglyceride level of 150 mg per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or greater
- HDL Cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women
- Systolic blood pressure of 130 millimeters or greater or diastolic blood pressure of 85mm Hg or greater without medication
- Fasting Glucose of 100 mg/dL or greater
Folks who have any of the above conditions work with their physicians to regularly test their blood panel and blood pressure and follow a recommended diet with appropriate medications.
Challenges around metabolic health monitoring
One of the main challenges around managing metabolic health for some users is the difficulty of getting regular blood panel tests.
Combine that with a busy lifestyle and the risk factor increases dramatically if the user is unable to manage his/her diet and pursue a fitness program.
What if you could take advantage of something that not only lets you track your blood glucose in real time but allows you to monitor the effect on your metabolic score based on what you eat and how you work out.
Although platforms like Dexcom G6 have been around for some time and provide you with real-time glucose monitoring, new CGMS (Continuous glucose monitoring system) platforms such as those from Levels and Veristable are positioning themselves as game changers with integrated offerings to manage more than your blood sugar scores.
Levels Metabolic Health platform
A comprehensive metabolic management system such as the one being offered by Levels gives you a direct view of how your food and lifestyle affect your blood sugar so you can personalize your diet and optimize your metabolic health.
With Levels, you get a 28-day sensor in the mail. The small, discreet, continuous glucose monitor sensor can be self-installed painlessly on your arm and allow for measuring your glucose in real-time.
Once the CGM has been installed, you are able to take advantage of the intelligent metabolic coach using the Levels app.
This shows you how your fitness and dietary choices affect your metabolism and provide insights on how you can improve your health.
The Levels platform has stellar analytics and provides you with actionable information.
You get a comprehensive weekly and 28-day report that shows you your progress, your best and worst foods, how you compare with the general population, and offers you a roadmap of what you can do next.
Combine the platform with your favorite wearables such as Whoop or Apple Watch or Fitbit and you have a winning combination of sensors and analytics that will provide you real-time insights around your health.
Veri CGMS and Apple Health
Managing a diet using a meal planning app and then strictly following an exercise regimen can get challenging during the busy and ambitious years of your life.
Your health is much more than an A1C score.
Most Continous Glucose Monitoring systems today show the user their current blood sugar value together with past values in the form of a blood sugar curve.
Some monitors also show the user their current blood sugar trend i.e. whether it seems to be going up or going down.
Veri provides you more actionable insight than a regular CGM.
You can use Veri’s platform to get detailed insights into how the meals you eat impact your blood sugar response.
Having your glucose out of range for a longer period of time increases oxidative stress and taxes your body, increasing the risk of developing multiple chronic illnesses. Veri helps you stay in that optimal range.
Working out with the Apple Watch or Fitness+ program? Veri will automatically import your workout stats from Apple Health and analyze your blood sugar response to see if you are using glucose or fat as the main exercise fuel source.
Veri’s system also imports your sleep scores from Apple health and co-relates it with your blood sugar to show you how your blood sugar affects your sleep.
Check out Veri for yourself by requesting access.
Glucose monitoring without a finger prick?
Systems from Dexcom, Levels, and Veri require you to wear the CGMS sensor as a small patch on your arm in order to monitor your blood glucose on a real-time basis.
Pre-diabetic users or borderline users who may not be on medications are more interested in gadgets or sensors that can provide them with glucose insights without the need for a finger prick.
This is where Breathe Acetone analysis comes in
Studies have suggested that breath gases, including acetone, may be related to simultaneous blood glucose (BG) and blood ketone levels in adults with types 2 and 1 diabetes.
Detecting altered concentrations of ketones in the breath, blood and urine may be crucial for the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes mellitus.
Aerolyze breath Glucometer
Aerolyze breath glucometer, winner of the 2020 US James Dyson award is a gadget that comes in handy for those who are looking for alternatives.
While post glucose testing devices require taking a small sample of blood through a pinprick, the AeroLyze only needs a single breath to measure blood glucose using acetone analysis.
The device incorporates machine learning to aid in the interpretation of the data, notifying users to become both more aware and proactive in avoiding dangerous glucose levels.
The Aerolyze app is also available on Apple Watch and integrates the analytics to show you your glucose readings.
Sugarmate, a must-have for current Dexcom users
If you are a Dexcom CGMS user with Apple devices and are trying to get better analytics out of your Dexcom CGMS, Sugarmate is a must-have platform to consider if you are not yet ready to switch into Levels or Veri.
Sugarmate allows you to see your last blood sugar reading on your Apple Watch within seconds of an update from your CGMS.
Users who use Apple Watch to monitor their fitness levels and exercise regimens will be happy to know that Sugarmate provides two-way Apple Health syncing.
You can use the meal planning and food tracking app of your choice with your iPhone and Apple Watch and Sugarmate will be able to get this information into its analytics engine.
The app also automatically detects and logs your walk events, runs, and other exercise-related metrics using Apple Health.
How do you monitor your metabolic health today?
What are some of the metrics that you actively monitor on your Apple Watch or Fitbit to stay healthy?
Please let us know in the comments below.