If you have diabetes, having the right supplies will help you manage the condition and stay in good health. Here is a breakdown of diabetes essentials that can keep you prepared and safe:
- Glucose monitoring kit. Checking your blood glucose levels regularly will help you keep within a target range. An at-home glucose monitoring kit contains a monitor, test strips and lancets for you to take your own blood glucose readings. A blood glucose monitor provides you with immediate results. •
- Insulin. When you have diabetes, either your body doesn't make enough insulin to control blood glucose levels or doesn’t use insulin properly. Insulin can be given using an insulin pen, with an insulin syringe or by an insulin pump. Follow your diabetes care provider's recommendations for what type of insulin to use and how often you will need it.
- Medications. There are a number of oral and noninsulin injectable medications available that can help lower blood glucose. Your physician will help you determine which type of medicine is best for you.
- Emergency alert bracelet. Wearing a medical alert bracelet could save your life. In the event you cannot speak for yourself, a bracelet will show emergency staff that you have diabetes so you can receive proper care.
- Emergency source of food. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose gets too low, in which case you'll need something to quickly bring it back to normal. If you are at risk for hypoglycemia, always keep a source of carbohydrates with you. This could be glucose tablets, gel, hard candy or juice.
- Foot care products. Less than optimal glucose levels can cause nerve damage in the feet, which makes you vulnerable to cuts and sores. It also reduces the amount of blood flow to the feet, which prolongs healing for cuts and sores. Having the necessary supplies to care for your feet is important. Keep a pumice stone, nail file and clippers to keep your feet maintained. You may also need special diabetes shoes or diabetes inserts for your shoes. Diabetes socks usually have extra padding, and they’re designed to help keep your feet dry and foster good blood circulation.
For more information about programs and services available at UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, call 859-323-BBDC (2232). Select option 1 for the adult clinic; option 2 for the pediatric clinic; or option 3 for diabetes education services.