9 Products People With Diabetes Swear By
Diabetes is a 24/7, 365-days-a-year, all day every day condition. It doesn’t go away when you’re on vacation or busy with your social life or work — it’s just there, lurking in the background and demanding your attention. So every person with diabetes naturally comes to figure out some tips, tricks and strategies that help make their diabetes just a little bit easier to manage.
Of course, your doctor will talk to you about which medical supplies you need, like test strips, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), glucose tablets, etc. But we wanted to know what other products people with diabetes have discovered that help them in their day-to-day. So we asked our diabetes community for their recommendations. Who better to clue you in on how to make life easier than other people going through the same challenges?
Check out our community’s recommendations below, and be sure to share your suggestions in the comments below.
1. Covers for Your Medical Devices
It’s to be expected that occasionally your devices like insulin pumps or CGMs might get dirty, or bumped, or come in contact with the elements. Or, you just might want to dress it up a little bit. You can add a cover designed specifically for diabetes supplies, or even slip a sock over it.
“[One] thing I depend on is a sock! I know this sounds crazy but a baby sock is the best way to protect your insulin pump when braving the elements,” Sarah Zopfi said. “I simply put a baby sock over the surface of my pump when at the beach, in the snow or if I am sunbathing by the pool. The thin cover can keep my pump from getting sand in it. It can also keep snow and sun exposure at a minimum.”
“I’d recommend Pump Peelz to add some flare to your supplies and spread awareness or simply tell people to watch out for your devices in a crowded city,” Nichole Acosta said.
2. Smart Watch
Diabetes requires constant monitoring, so some may find it helpful to set up alarms and reminders. A smart watch is portable and wearable, so you’ll more easily hear (or feel!) your alarms.
“I love my Fossil Q hybrid smart watch because it allows me to set silent ‘vibrating’ alarms to remind me to check my blood sugars two hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner,” Acosta said. “This was a great help before I got a continuous glucose monitor.”
3. Gratitude Journal
Life with diabetes can be stressful, to say the least, and sometimes it’s easier to focus on the challenges than anything else going on in your life. A gratitude journal can help you identify the positives, no matter how small, and encourage you to find the good in every day.
“One thing I absolutely need is a gratitude journal. Diabetes is so hard. And at the end of the day, I need to find things to be thankful for,” Zopfi explained. “Diabetes has taught me to live in the light of everyday grace. I often find myself thankful for a hot shower, warm bed or cool lotion to rub on my diabetic feet.”
4. Juice Boxes
Juice is a pretty reliable go-to for low blood sugar, so it only makes sense to keep a few portable juice boxes around at all times. Juice boxes make it easy to get a quick fix without having to rifle through your kitchen or bag to find something to eat.
“The orange juice cartons are the perfect size for hypos and helps me to not eat my entire kitchen,” Kimberley Farrant recommended.
Buy the juice pouches featured above for $21.51 (pack of 8) from Amazon.
5. Food Journal
When you have an illness that is so affected by food, you might find it helpful to track what you’re eating every day, so you can identify patterns and learn how your body reacts to different foods. You can go old-school with a notebook, or download a food-tracking app if you’d rather go digital.
“I’ve had T1D for over 13 years now but just recently started on the CGM so my endocrinologist advised I start food logging in a journal again. It pushes me to do the math, rather than guessing carb counts and helps me overcome what I call arrow anxiety — overcorrecting when the arrows are trending up or down, and allows me to be more patient as they sometimes stabilize (different amount of time for everyone). Food logging also helps you track patterns with certain food,” Acosta said. “Patterns are different for everyone so food logging is essential.”
6. Workout Pants With Deep Pockets
No one wants to carry around all their stuff while they’re running or working out, but a person with diabetes doesn’t have a choice. Pockets make it easier to bring your supplies and remain hands-free.
“My favorites are from Athleta, but any workout pant with deep pockets are fantastic for everyone living with diabetes who works out,” Christel Oerum from Diabetes Strong said. “The pockets are great for those of us who have to haul our diabetes gear around all the time (your pump, receiver, glucose tabs or phone).”
7. RapidCalc App
For a little extra help calculating your insulin doses, you might consider using an app specifically designed for people with diabetes. Oerum recommended RapidCalc, which lets you track your blood glucose and carbohydrates and then calculates suggested meal and correction bolus doses, while also recording basal insulin doses.
“This app is designed for people on multiple daily injections (MDI). It’s basically a pump bolus wizard in app format, so it helps people on MDI calculate insulin doses. It also keeps track of insulin onboard (IOB) and has suggestions for bolus reductions for exercise. It basically takes a lot of the daily math and thinking out of managing your diabetes,” Oerum explained.
Download the app for $7.99 on iTunes.
8. Running Belt
An alternative to pants with pockets, running belts (or fanny packs) can help you carry your supplies if you don’t want to carry a bag.
“SPIbelt (Small Personal Item Belt) is a brilliant little pouch belt that you can store your diabetes essentials in when running or just jumping around. Their medical line belts also have holes for pump tubing,” Oerum said.
9. The Mighty App
Well, we have to take this opportunity to recommend the Mighty app! You can follow Diabetes on The Mighty to see all the latest stories published, and connect with the community by posting Thoughts and Questions.
Download the Mighty app for free on iTunes.