When it comes to your diabetes, do yourself a favor — make preparation your best friend. Having everything you need helps you manage your health more effectively, and it allows you to be ready for any emergency. For instance, if you're away from home and haven't eaten in more than four hours, you should be able to grab a healthy snack from your bag to maintain your blood sugar levels. Not sure what other supplies you need? Here's a quick checklist to make sure you're well-stocked with medicine, medicine supplies, food and more. For your convenience, you can also download a PDF version of this checklist below:
Testing and Monitoring:
- Blood Glucose Meter
- Test strips, lancets and/or other supplies that go with the blood glucose meter you choose
- Ketone test strips and a clean container in which to collect urine
- Record book or file for tracking glucose levels, food intake, and other important aspects of management
- Insulin and/or medications according to your medical practitioner’s instructions or prescription (Note: medications are typically associated with non-type 1 diabetes.)
- Insulin delivery device(s) as discussed with your medical practitioner (examples: insulin pen, syringes and needles, insulin pump, jet injector, etc.)
- Supplies that go with your insulin delivery device and lifestyle needs (examples: disinfecting swabs for injection sites, fresh needles for insulin pens, batteries and extra parts for insulin pumps, protective traveling case for insulin vials, etc.)
- Glucagon emergency kit
- Glucose tablets or gel
- Safe disposal method/container for used needles and other “sharps” (example: a “safe clip”)
- Medical Alert ID (like a bracelet or tag)
- Emergency contact information
- Insulin injection aids, as needed (examples: aids for the visually impaired, insertion aids, etc.)
- Keep healthy snacks on hand for in between meals – wheat crackers with peanut butter, low-fat string cheese or an apple, for example.
- Low-sugar drinks to quench your thirst. Try diet sodas, sugar-free powdered drinks like Crystal Light or good-old fashioned H2O.
Remember, living a healthy life with diabetes means you must be prepared to take care of yourself at all times.