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What is this list?
This is a list of medical supplies that I currently use or have used in the past. It also includes non-medical items that I’ve found helpful to have because of my diabetes. I will be periodically updating this list. The links to purchase these items may be affiliate links and therefore I could also earn a little money on anything you purchase.
General Must Haves
Alcohol Swabs (Prep Pads) – For cleaning your skin prior to injecting insulin or testing. This is to prevent infection. I always carry a handful of alcohol wipes with me, usually right in the glucose test kit case.
Glucose Tablets – I like these Dex4 Glucose Tablets because they contain dextrose, a fast acting form of glucose, so they correct hypoglycemia very fast. My favorite flavor is raspberry and my favorite packaging are the ones that come in a tube, because that makes them easy to carry around. I’ve also tried glucose gummies recently, and those also worked well. If you have diabetes, it’s a good idea to carry some form of sugar with you. If you have a favorite candy, you can carry that with you instead — but the glucose tablets are really handy. Sometimes I carry a juicebox with me instead, which also works very fast in correcting a low glucose blood level (hypoglycemia).
Diabetes Necklace – For people with LADA diabetes, a “Type 1 Diabetes” necklace or diabetes bracelet is a good idea. LADA is treated like Type 1, so for medical responders, alerting them of it being Type 1 should alert them to the need to check your blood glucose and treat a diabetes related medical emergency. The idea is for the information to be easily available if you are unconscious and by yourself. If you’d prefer to provide more specific information, you can get this engraved with a personalized message.
Insulin Related Medical Supplies & Accessories
Insulin Pen Needles – If you use insulin pens, you will need a supply of needles for them. Depending on your insurance, it may be cheaper to buy online than at the pharmacy. Be sure to get the correct gauge and length. Ask your doctor if unsure.
Sharps container for disposal – Using a sharps container is a best practice. Thick walled plastic containers can be used if a sharps container is unavailable. This is a safe container to dispose of pen needles, syringes, lancets, etc.
Insulin Syringe Needle Clipper – If you use insulin syringes (instead of an insulin pen), you can use this needle clipper to clip off the needle. This renders the syringe safe for disposal.
Care Touch Blood Glucose Meter, with 100 Blood Test Strips – I used to use this Care Touch meter. The meter worked just as well as other meters I’ve used. If you are paying a lot of money out of pocket for glucose test strips, consider looking online for a meter that has cheaper test strips. Meters are inexpensive, so it’s the cost of the test strips that matters.
Simpatch CGM Tape – If you use a Freestyle Libre or other continuous glucose meter (CGM), you may want to buy CGM Tape (adhesive patches) to help it stay on for the full sensor life. If the sensor falls off, you can’t put it back on, so I like putting a patch over it so that I don’t accidentally remove it.
Frio Insulin Cooling Case – Depending on the type of insulin, it may need to be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Insulin pens are pretty common, and generally those can be stored at room temperature (check the packaging to verify). However, “room temperature” is less than 80 degrees, so if you need to carry insulin with you and you live in a warm climate, I’d recommend using a cooling case.
Food Related Stuff
Food scale – I’ve found that sometimes I need to weigh my food in order to count the amount of carbs.
Measuring cups – A must have for carb counting! Reading nutrition labels and keeping track of number of carbs you’re eating will require the use of measuring cups 🙂 I find that having a few different sets is helpful so that I’m not blocked by the half cup being dirty. Yes I could wash it, but it’s easier to reach for another measuring cup. Read more about carb counting.
Kind bars – Their nut bars are low in sugar so they are a good choice for a low carb diet!
Paleo Pancake and Waffle Mix – Can you eat waffles if you have diabetes? YES! These Paleo ones have a low amount of carbs. They do taste a bit different, but I find them to be absolutely delicious, especially with berries or maple syrup… Both of these toppings do have sugar in them, so count the carbohydrates for them, but the Paleo pancakes have less carbs than regular pancakes. Remember that the amount of fiber is subtracted from the carb count when counting carbs! Fiber is good for glucose control, and other things 🙂