From necessity to accessory Making it easy to managing diabetes wherever you go

Managing diabetes is a full-time job – taking all your medications, checking your glucose levels, eating at the same time every day and working in some exercise can sometimes make it difficult to get through a busy day.

However, being organized, planning ahead and having the right “accessories” makes all the difference in helping you stay on track and manage your diabetes.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Some of those accessories or tools to help you stay organized and better manage your diabetes include specialty cases, device sleeves, bags and pouches. These accessories come in a variety of styles, colors and shapes, all with the intention of making it easier to carry supplies, track your blood sugar levels or “hide” insulin pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring devices. All can be found with a simple internet search.

One new accessory designed to make your life easier is the AACE diabetes bag that conveniently stores supplies and more. For $10, the bag includes a complimentary subscription to the American College of Endocrinology’s (ACE) popular patient publication, EmPower Magazine. Proceeds of the bag support the work of ACE’s foundation. To order, visit:

http://www.empoweryourhealth.org/product-inquiry

ON THE GO, STAYING SAFE AND NOT SORRY

Whether you get your insulin from a pump or through an injection, items on the list below will help ensure you always have what you need to be prepared if an emergency arises:

  • Blood glucose meter and strips with lancing device
  • Insulin and syringe, or insulin pen with pen needles
  • An extra infusion set and reservoir or pod
  • Glucose tablets or other type of hypoglycemia treatment
  • Extra pump batteries
  • Ketone strips
  • Copy of current pump settings
  • Glucagon emergency kit for type 1 diabetes
  • Extra sensors if using continuous glucose monitoring devices

TIPS FOR TRAVELERS

Diabetes doesn’t have to slow you down. Follow these steps for carefree and healthy travels.

  • See your diabetes team four weeks prior to your travel date to make sure your diabetes and other medical conditions are under control.
  • Carry a letter saying that you are required to carry supplies such as syringes, insulin, medications, etc.
  • Always have a copy of all your prescriptions for medicines, syringes, pens or pen needles. Include generic names of medications because brand names vary from country to country.
  • Take extra diabetes supplies.
  • If traveling overseas, find out if you will need immunizations and schedule them.
  • Ask your diabetes team for the name of a doctor who practices in the area that you are visiting. Also, you may contact the American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes. org) or the U.S. Embassy in the country you’re visiting.
  • In an emergency, always go to the nearest hospital.
  • If travelling across time zones, check on whether and how to adjust pump settings as well as when to take insulin injections and other medications.

-- Learn how to take insulin in the event of pump failure

-- Check with your pump company about “loaner” programs

  • The best way to handle airport security is to wear identification stating that you have diabetes. You can find medical ID bracelets, necklaces, tags or even a card that can fit in your wallet at pharmacies or various websites.