Whether you found your way here as a veteran in the #DLIFE, or you are newly diagnosed, one thing always remains constant, diabetes no matter the stage can be challenging. While the challenges are always there, I will say this, it does get easier. Living a life with diabetes will give you exactly what you put into it.
For those like myself who learn better when provided a visual clue think of it like this:
A car takes gas to work. When you fill the gas tank up, that car will take you wherever you want to go. What happens though when you try to drive the car with no gas at all, when you neglect filling it back up with gas after you used what was in there? It’s not going to go anywhere.
In terms of diabetes management, if you take the information and training your medical team has given you and simply neglect the care of your diabetes, what happens to your body? Your mind? You can’t run on empty, just like the car.
A Better Decision
Learning to manage your diabetes doesn’t have to be tough. Instead of neglecting your care, taking the information your medical team provided you with is the first step. Learning how to process the information you’ve received is the next. The final step in management is putting everything to use, discovering your role and living.
Diabetes Management Products
Part of diabetes management is learning which types of products work best for you. Everyone is different so the products that your doctor initially recommends might not be the best fit. As you move forward in your diabetes care and management you’ll learn which are best.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the more common types of diabetes management products, that are not typically covered by insurance. (Disclaimer: Everyone’s insurance is different, so check first before you purchase any of the items on the list, if your insurance covers it.) Use this list as a guide to determine which products you should have in your diabetic toolbox.
- Diabetes Testing Supplies
- Supply Organization Products
- Medical Jewelry and Identification Products
- Management Companions Products
- Diet and Food Control Products
- Diabetes Awareness Products
- Treatment Products
- Physical Activity and Exercise Products
- Relaxation and Sleep Products
- Miscellaneous Diabetes Products
Diabetes Testing Supplies
These are all the supplies you need to test various crucial health related aspects of Diabetes. From the A1c test to ketones test. All of these are useful to keep track of your progress in your diabetes management program.
A1CNow Self Check 2
The a1c test is something your doctor will use to determine how well your current treatment regimen is working to manage your diabetes. However, the traditional test done by your doctor is only done once every three months. The A1CNow Self Check can help you to monitor more frequently how well your current diabetes management is working.
You can order it by clicking here.
Urine Ketone Test Strips (Ketodiastix)
An illness can actually affect those with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes in many different ways, one way is that they may develop ketones rather quickly. In order to prevent additional complications from ketones, testing should occur when blood sugars are high. These ketone test strips work wonderfully within a few seconds to determine if you have ketones and how high they are.
You can order for best price on Amazon.
Blood Ketone Test Strips
Sometimes measuring your ketones in your urine is challenging, especially when you are dehydrated. This is when blood ketone strips such as the Precision Xtra come in handy. They work to measure the ketones in your blood. While the sample size is a little larger than your traditional blood glucose meter, they are more accurate than the urine test strips. This helps when you are sick and need to determine accurately what your ketone levels are. Click here to order now.
Supply Organization Products
Having diabetes might make you carry a lot of necessary products and supplies. Sometimes you can't be properly organized or just use regular backpacks and such. These are the best products in my experience for Diabetics.
While you can transport insulin without cooling it, it’s important to remember that when insulin is kept at room temperature it is only good for up to 28 days. After this time, anything left must be disposed of. Additionally, warmer temperatures can cause insulin to go bad quickly. For these reasons you may want to purchase an insulin cooler. There are many items on the market that work to keep your insulin cooled even when you are on the go. Such items like the Frio Insulin Wallet, work to not only keep your insulin cool during the warmer weather but also help to insulate your insulin during cooler weather as well.
You can order it here.
An organizer allows you to conveniently keep all diabetic related supplies such as your blood sugar meter, glucose tablets, lancets, lancing device, strips, and more nicely in one easy to access location. You can buy it online on Amazon.
Which One is Best for You?
Organizers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate everyone’s needs. They range from smaller organizers that can easily and discretly keep all important supplies tucked nicely into a purse or other type of bag. Other, much larger sizes, serve as a full diabetes supply bag.
Each accommodate different types of diabetes supplies. Most often the most common compartment available in a diabetes organizer is one for your meter and strips. Others may have separate locations to hold syringes, insulin pens, pill bottles, lancets, wipes, diabetes log books, glucose tablets and more.
There are even some that feature an insulated cooling compartment to hold supplies like your insulin.
When deciding which organizer to purchase, you have to consider what types of supplies you will want to carry with you at all times. This will allow you to narrow down your choices according to the size of organizer.
Next you’ll want to decide whether you will use just one diabetes organizer for everything, or if you are looking for separate ones to help with travel, overnight trips or just a quick errand. This will also help to determine the size and type of organizer you will want to carry.
For those with type 1 diabetes some common supplies to carry on hand include:
- Blood sugar meter
- Insulin pump infusion sets
- Insulin pump reservoirs/ cartridges
- Insulin pens
- Pen needles
- Extra Lancets
- Extra testing strips
- Alcohol or antiseptic wipes
- IV 300 stickers
- Glucose tablets, glucose drinks or glucose gel
- Juice boxes
- Extra snacks
- Hand wipes
For those with Type 2 diabetes some common supplies to carry with you include:
- Blood Sugar Meter
- Glucose tablets, glucose gel, or glucose drinks
- Juice boxes
- Extra snacks
- Insulin pens
- Pen needles
- Alcohol wipes
- Extra lancets
- Extra testing strips
- Hand wipes
As you can tell there are many different types of supplies that one must carry when you have diabetes. While these lists may seem quite long, not all supplies need to be on you everywhere you go. If you are running a quick errand to the store, you will want to make sure you have with you, your blood sugar meter and a method of treatment for a low blood sugar.
This can include glucose tablets or a small juice box. If this is the only time you find yourself in need of a diabetes organizer, then a much smaller option may be best suited for your needs.
Diabetes Carrying Bag
Great for kids and those on the go who require a larger bag to keep all their supplies conveniently in one place. There are many different sizes and designs of bags available on the market to choose from. Depending on your supply storage needs and preference, you may choose a bag similar to the one pictured, one designed like a back pack or even a purse like bag. Get it on Amazon now.
Diabetes creates a lot of medical waste, that needs to be disposed of properly. A sharps container can help to keep all syringes, pen needs and used lancets safely out of the path of anyone that could potentially come in contact with them. They come in a variety of sizes from large, at home containers, too much smaller, travel containers that you can take with you on the go. Purchase this on Amazon by clicking here.
I suggest reading the following articles for more information:
Medical Jewelry and Identification Products
This is a really important product and a must for any diabetic. In a critical alone situation having one of these tags or identifications can save you and help the medical experts identify your issue quickly.
Medical ID Bracelet
Wearing a medical ID bracelet is advisable so that if you find yourself in an emergency situation and unable to respond, those around you who may be unfamiliar with your diabetes, will know how to handle the situation.
They come in many different designs, including those that feature your full name, address and other emergency information such as an emergency contact number of someone to call. If you suffer from multiple conditions you may be able to personalize them to include the additional conditions also.
There are many different styles of bracelets depending on your preferences. Some are made of silicone and easily slide on and off your wrist, others are made as a Velcro bracelet that securely stays in place when on, there are even those that look similar to a gold bracelet with the exception of including a medical symbol and any pertinent information. Buy it by clicking here.
Why Should You Wear a Medial ID Bracelet?
It’s important for anyone with diabetes (type 1 or type 2) to make sure they always wear their medical ID bracelet 24/7. A medical ID bracelet is your voice when you may not be able to speak for yourself. It’s a situation that most people with diabetes fear.
While it’s rare, becoming disoriented from a blood sugar can happen, and when it does, if you are not surrounded by people who understand that you have diabetes, they may not understand what is happening.
I’ve read scenarios where a PWD (Person with Diabetes) become disoriented from a low blood sugar, and those around them assumed they were drunk. This can be dangerous, considering a low blood sugar must be addressed and handled promptly.
If this unfortunate situation would happen, say when you were driving, the officer that pulls you over could easily locate your medical ID bracelet and know that you are not driving under the influence, that instead, you have a medical situation taking place.
Medical ID Dog Tags
If wearing a bracelet isn’t really your think, you can still make sure you are safe when an emergency strikes by purchasing a medical dog tag necklace. They are easily seen when worn so that any emergency personnel will know you need immediate medical attention. You can purchase it on Amazon by clicking here.
Medical I.C.E (In- Case-of-Emergency) Key tag Cards
Sometimes you’d rather not wear any jewelry at all, and that’s okay, it’s your preference. However, you still need to make sure you protect yourself if an emergency arises. That is where an ICE card comes in handy. This little card can be attached to your keys and includes all vital emergency information just like the info you’d put on a medical ID bracelet. If you are interested you can purchase it here.
Management Companions Products
Keeping track of your progress is recommended by almost every medical expert. This can help you pinpoint what aggravates your symptoms or relieves them.
Blood Sugar Log Book
One of the most important ways you can keep track of how well your current treatment regimen and management system is working is by making sure you track all your blood sugar tests. While most meters feature a small log book that comes with them, they aren’t quite large enough to keep all pertinent information in them. Buy it right now here.
Which One Should You Choose?
The best types of log books will allow space for not only your blood sugar numbers, but your meal/ carb total, insulin/ medication dose and more. This will give you a much larger picture about what took place during that particular day and time. Allowing your doctor to better review any information you gave him to see what changes, if any need to take place.
You can also download our diabetes log book for free here.
Diabetes Supply Holders (Belts)
Belts such as the Spibelt shown above are great for holding supplies and devices such as an insulin pump or receiver for a CGM. They also come in handy if you are out running or working out and need to have glucose tablets and a meter handy. They are slim, lightweight and can be discreetly hidden away under clothing if needed. Order it right now on Amazon.
Diet and Food Control Products
Food and diet control is not easy nor hard if you have the right products. These are the best products for many diabetics who have issues with controlling their food and eating habits.
Portion Control Plates
Portion control plates were designed to ensure you get the right amount of nutrition with each meal. They are great for carbohydrate counting. Some plates even come with an included dome lid that helps to keep food safely together until it’s time to eat.
If you want to place your order click here.
More efficiently monitor your food and caloric intake with a food weight scale. Weighing your food portions can help accurately determine the total number of carbohydrates in your meal, as well as the total protein being consumed. Place your order by clicking here.
Books and Cookbooks
Educating yourself more about your type of diabetes is another step in learning to manage your condition effectively. There are a host of educational materials including resource books and cookbooks that offer a variety of meals you can create that are geared towards the type of nutritional and caloric needs you now require depending on the recommendation of your medical care team or nutritionist. Purchase it here.
Diabetes Awareness Products
Raising diabetic awareness is a great cause. The more people know that this disease affects a lot of people they will be more open to supporting it in marathons, donating to foundations who research it and in general understand what diabetes is.
Diabetes Awareness Shirts
Whether you are a PWD or a loved one of someone who has diabetes, there are many different shirt designs available in a variety of colors and sizes. Diabetes awareness shirts help to raise awareness of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes when you are out in a public venue or other location. Buy your diabetes awareness shirt here.
Diabetes Awareness Ribbons
Diabetes awareness ribbons are another method of raising awareness about diabetes. They can be purchased in lapel-pin form, attached to bracelets, or even magnets and decals for your vehicle. With so many different options to choose from, you’ll definitely find one that suits your lifestyle. Buy this diabetes awareness ribbon on Amazon and show your support for a good cause.
Magazines such as Diabetic Living (pictured above) offer additional awareness resources by connecting you to those with diabetes such as yourself. They often feature stories about others who are living day in and day out with diabetes and how they are dealing with the challenges that this chronic illness brings with it. Additionally, many of the publications also feature recipes for you to create some tasty, low carb, or other diabetes friendly meals. Place your order now on Amazon.
If you are still interested in additional info about diabetes read these articles:
Medicine is widely acknowledged as an effective treatment to many diabetes symptoms. Here are the best non prescription products for that.
Dex 4 Glucose Tablets
Low blood sugar can happen at any time. That is why it’s always best to be prepared when this happens. Dex 4 Fast Acting Glucose Tablets work quick by raising your blood sugar. They contain only 4 grams of carbohydrates in each tablet. Buy one for yourself here!
Products like the Transcend Glucose gel offer a convenient solution for treating a low blood sugar, no matter where you are. These small, discreet packages are filled with 15 grams of fast acting carbohydrates to quickly and effectively raise your blood sugar. Get your glucose gel here.
Physical Activity and Exercise Products
If you are just taking your medication and not doing your exercises you are doing it wrong. Exercises along with medicine are the perfect way to alleviate your symptoms.
An elliptical machine is a piece of exercise equipment that works well in multiple positions either standing or a seated exercise bike position. It is a great at home machine that provides a full body workout. Using backward and forward resistance can provide a lower impact cardio workout. Different machines feature LCD displays which show the speed at which you are working out, total calories burned, distance and heart rate. If you are interested in buying this click here.
Exercise bands help to provide a convenient at home workout that fits into any schedule no matter, how little time you may have available. They help to stretch and tone as well as condition many of the major muscle groups. The exercise bands help to provide increased flexibility and muscle strength. Each band features different levels of resistance which allow you to work at your own pace to increasing your muscle tone and strength. Get your exercise bands on Amazon.
When you want to increase your physical activity but don’t have much time to do so, these resistance bands are light weight enough to take with you even if you have to travel frequently.
Yoga is a great way to increase physical activity and also help to reduce overall stress levels. Yoga Mats helps to provide support and stability during exercises. The non-slip materials ensure you have a secure footing for even the most advanced yoga stretches. Get yours on Amazon.
Once you have purchased your very own yoga mat, you can browse through the various selection of home yoga dad’s to find a suitable workout. Yoga DVD’s feature a variety of stretches and activities some even customized to those with diabetes.
They make it easy to fit in a daily physical activity right from the comforts of your own home. Buy your Yoga DVD by clicking here.
Rowing machines are easy to use and designed for many different ages and health needs. They can be easily stored away when you are not currently using them, allowing for greater portability and versatility. What’s even nicer is that you can choose the intensity of your workout level with a variety of functions and workout levels. Get your Rowing Machine on Amazon.
Squeeze in a workout, no matter how much time you have. A treadmill allows you to start slow and increase in intensity as you become more capable. Walking makes a great physical activity and a treadmill allows you to start off as slow as 1 mile an hour and increase in speed and distance as you add to your workout routine. If you are interested in getting one click here.
Heart Rate Monitor
A heart rate monitor is a valuable tool to have when you’re working out. The heart sensor is worn on your chest and wrist monitor fits snugly on your wrist where you can see continuous heart rate details. Some even feature customized options to include the type of fitness level you are currently at and what your overall workout goal is. (i.e. fat burning, weight loss, etc.) Get your heart rate monitor here.
It’s important to keep a close eye on your heart rate when you are working out so that you ensure you are not going into a danger zone. Those with type 2 diabetes, unfortunately, have an increased risk of heart disease, so monitoring your heart prior to working out, during and after can help keep you safe and provide your medical team with important details.
Use a pedometer as your go to fitness companion to keep track of your fitness activity. It works by keeping accurate count of the total number of steps you have taken. Some models fit snugly on your wrist, while others secure with a clip to your pocket or shirt. If your doctor has recommended a particular fitness level/ activity schedule, a pedometer can help keep you accountable for following. Get yours here.
Relaxation and Sleep Products
After exercise and physical workout you will need to rest properly. Many people believe rest is just sleeping or sitting down and watching TV. These are the best products in the field of relaxation that help with diabetes.
A roll or wedge pillow is a memory foam pillow that conforms to your body to help provide additional support when you sleep. You can use them to help reduce snoring, acid reflux and pain associated with arthritis. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be used almost everywhere including your neck, back, knees and more. If you have sleep difficulty, your doctor may recommend that you try a roll or wedge pillow. Buy yours here now.
Wheel Chair Cushion
Sitting in a wheel chair for prolonged periods can lead to muscle pain and joint pain. A supportive cushion can help to provide additional comfort and support. They come in a variety of sizes, designs, and materials, so there is something to suit the needs of everyone. Get your wheel chair cushion on Amazon.
Miscellaneous Diabetes Products
These are some products that fit no category but they deserved to be mentioned because they are all useful depending on your symptoms and conditions.
Diabetic Foot Cream
When you have diabetes, it’s important to keep a close eye on your feet. Dry skin can lead to additional problems and complications. Using a specially formulated lotion can help to provide you with the proper moisture to leave your skin feeling smooth and soft. Buy yours now on Amazon.
Foot Inspection Mirror
A foot inspection mirror can provide an additional extended arm to help you get a close, detailed look at your feet. This can help to ensure there are no wounds or other related issues that can cause problems. Using this in collaboration with a diabetic foot cream can help to keep your feet happy and healthy. Buy your foot inspection mirror by clicking here.
Diabetic Skin Moisturizers
Similar to the diabetic foot cream, you want to choose a moisturizer that offers additional skin soothing and healing properties. Dry skin is a common concern for those with diabetes, often times those with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, suffer from skin conditions known as eczema and psoriasis. To keep your skin smooth and healthy, it’s important to moisturize each time after you shower or bathe. Want your own Diabetic Skin Moisturizers? Get it on Amazon.
Unfortunately, those with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing neuropathy and circulatory problems. If you do suffer from either of these conditions, a good pair of diabetic socks can help to provide much needed relief and support. They are lightweight, compression style socks that help to enhance and promote good blood circulation throughout the body. Buy it by clicking here.
If your diet is lacking in vitamins and nutrients that you need simply because it’s too difficult to get all the proper sources through your food, then nutritional supplements may be the answer for you. Those with type 2 diabetes may benefit from a blood sugar control supplement to help promote better blood sugar levels throughout the body. Buy it now on Amazon.
It’s important to note however, that those with type 1 diabetes should ALWAYS speak with their doctor before starting any nutritional supplement and err on the side of caution in trying a blood sugar control supplement.
Because type 1 diabetes is autoimmune, there are certain supplements to avoid. This is why it’s important to discuss this with your doctor before starting anything. Remember to post your comments down below.
TheDiabetesCouncil Article | Reviewed by Dr. Christine Traxler MD on May 20, 2020