Living with diabetes? Find out the five essential items you need to manage your health
If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, trying to manage your disease can seem like an overwhelming task. The good news is that once you get accustomed to some changes in your lifestyle and eating habits, managing diabetes is much easier than it may first appear. Making sure that you have easy access to the health items you need will relieve a lot of the stress and uncertainty that often accompanies a diabetes diagnosis. To help you get off to a good start, here is a list of the five diabetes essentials that you should have on hand.
1. Glucose monitoring kit
Diabetes affects insulin production, so you will need to check your blood glucose levels throughout the day. Keep your blood glucose monitoring kit fully supplied and close at hand at all times. Make sure your kit is fully stocked with testing supplies including a lancing device and lancets, alcohol wipes or hand cleaner, testing solution to make sure your machine is working correctly, and tissues or bandages.
2. Insulin and diabetes medication supplies
If you have type 1 diabetes or are one of the individuals with type 2 diabetes who need to take insulin, an insulin medication kit is one of the diabetes essentials you cannot live without. Stock your kit with every type and strength of insulin you take, needles, a sharps container, and ketone test strips. Because low blood sugar is a danger when you take insulin, you should include glucose tablets or gel as well as two Glucagon kits (these expire so you should replace them yearly). If you use an insulin pump, make sure you have extra infusion sets and a spare battery for your pump with you.
3. Diabetes emergency food kit
Maintaining steady blood glucose levels is essential when you have diabetes, so you should keep a diabetes emergency food kit stored in several places (in your house, office, and car) in case low blood sugar strikes. Each diabetes emergency food kit should include a supply of healthy snacks such as whole grain crackers, granola with nuts and raisins, etc.; juice boxes or glucose tablets for fast rescue; and water.
4. Diabetes emergency kit
The American Diabetes Association advises that everyone with diabetes should keep 3 days’ worth of medication and necessary supplies packed in case of emergency. Pack a waterproof container with insulin, rescue glucose supplies, extra batteries, packaged food, and water. Make sure you have your medical ID on you at all times, and include emergency contact information and a brief medical history that details your medications and any allergies you may have.
5. Diabetes health supplies
Taking care of your insulin and medication needs is just one part of managing diabetes. Because diabetes affects every part of your body, you will need change your routine and use certain diabetes health supplies to ensure your long-term well-being. These supplies include:
- Skin care– Diabetes can cause you to heal more slowly, so you will need to have antibiotic cream, sterile gauze, and bandages on hand to prevent infection. Creams or lotion to moisturize dry skin
- Foot care – People with diabetes are prone to develop foot problems and/or nerve damage in their feet, so you may need to have toenail scissors, seamless padded socks, and a mirror to inspect for cuts or blisters
- Dental care– Diabetes can make you vulnerable to gum disease and other dental health problems so it is important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, dental floss, and antiseptic mouthwash daily.
Keep browsing our site for more helpful tips on managing diabetes including healthy exercise tips, easy diabetes-friendly snacks, and other advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle with diabetes.