Diabetes is a chronic illness that needs to be carefully managed. People with diabetes face a lot of stress when confronted with the daunting list of things they need to remember to avoid a diabetic emergency.
Whether you have just been diagnosed with diabetes type II or you are a caregiver to someone with diabetes, knowing that you have all the proper supplies reduces the stress of managing diabetes and ensures you’re prepared for an emergency. Here is a list of essential supplies needed to manage diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes, formally known as diabetes mellitus, is a disease that affects the body’s ability to process glucose. In the case of diabetes, insulin, the hormone used to metabolize sugar, is negatively affected.
As glucose is essential for your cells to function, this disease wreaks havoc if not kept under control. There are two main types of diabetes: type I and type II.
Type I Diabetes
Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body attacks pancreatic cells, resulting in an inability to produce insulin. In this case of diabetes, the person is dependent on insulin injections.
Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes typically manifests later in life. With this type of diabetes, the body develops a resistance to insulin and high levels of sugar accumulate in the bloodstream. Some people with Type II diabetes are still able to process sugar at a reduced capacity while others require insulin injections.
It is important to know which type of diabetes you have and whether or not you are insulin-dependent. However, although there are differences in the types of diabetes, the steps taken and supplies needed to manage both types of diabetes remain very similar.
Monitoring Glucose Levels and the Supplies Needed
For diabetics, it is essential to monitor blood glucose levels throughout the day. That is why it is vital to have the proper glucose monitoring supplies. Your kit should include:
- A monitor, for nearly instant glucose readings
- Blood lancets
- Medications you may need, such as insulin
- Glucose testing strips
- A liquid kit to ensure your monitor is reading correctly
- A carrying case to store all of your supplies in
Most monitors will record and keep a log of your glucose levels throughout the day. However, if your meter does not include this function, it is also useful to keep a notebook with you to log the readings manually.
Supplies for Insulin Dependent Diabetics
If you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, you will require additional supplies to properly store the insulin as well as administer it.
Insulin is sensitive to extreme temperature changes. As a result, it is rendered ineffective at high heat. To avoid this, it is wise to carry insulin in a temperature-regulated container such as a lunch box. Also, make sure to check expiration dates on the insulin to avoid using medication that might not work.
In addition to properly storing your insulin you will also need:
- Syringes and needles
- Sharps containers to dispose of any needles or a plastic container if a sharps container is not available
- Glucose tablets or gels
- Glucagon kits for cases of extremely low blood sugar
Some people have an insulin pump that automatically administers the medication for them. If you have an insulin pump you will need some different supplies to help manage your diabetes. These include:
- Extra batteries
- Fast-acting insulin
- Containers to store the insulin
- An extra infusion kit
- Extra syringes, needles, and bottles of insulin in case the pump malfunctions
Food for Diabetics
Maintaining a safe glucose level is another important task for diabetics. Keeping a stash of diabetic-friendly snacks will make it easier to maintain that level throughout the day. Some snacks you’ll want to keep nearby are:
- Low sugar or sugar-free beverages
- Healthy things to snack on between meals
- Emergency sources of sugar like glucose tablets
When packing snacks, you’ll need to avoid foods that might spike your blood sugar too high, which means avoid chocolate, cookies, or candies. Instead, opt for some healthier options to stabilize your blood sugar and keep you full. Some diabetic-friendly snacks are nuts, low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt, and veggies.
Other Important Supplies Needed to Manage and Treat Diabetes
Diabetes affects every part of your body, including your skin, feet, and teeth. Diabetics are more prone to skin, dental, and foot issues compared to non-diabetics. For example, they are at a higher risk of gum disease.
Wound healing is also an issue for diabetics, so the smallest scrape on the arm or blister on the foot can become a problem if left untreated. Having the right supplies to keep your skin healthy will avoid uncomfortable skin complications.
You’ll want to stock the following supplies:
- Mild, unscented soaps
- Fragrance-free skin creams
- Antibiotic ointment, gauze, tape, and bandages for minor cuts and scrapes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Dental floss
- Toenail clippers and an Emory board
- Footpads and other diabetic foot care to protect your feet if you have nerve damage
Diabetic Supplies at Kelmedix
As the #1 medical supply company, Kelmedix is prepared to meet all of your diabetic supply needs. We make sure you have all the supplies you need to not only maintain your diabetes on a day-to-day basis but also get you ready in case of emergencies.
We have a wide array of glucose monitoring supplies, so you’ll be able to find something to suit your needs. Head on over to our online store to start shopping today.