8 Diabetes Hacks You Can Try Today
The diabetes community is great at sharing—especially when they come up with an idea for making life a little easier. Consider these tricks for managing your health and your gear.
- Show emergency information on a locked phone. You may have your ICE (in case of emergency) contact noted in your phone, but that doesn't help if emergency workers can't unlock it. For Apple devices, important information that has been entered into the health app, such as health conditions, allergies and emergency contacts, can be accessed without unlocking. Android phones running on Android 7.0 or higher can display emergency information and contact details on the emergency call screen setting. Another great option is to type up emergency contacts and basic health information (for example, that you live with diabetes) and save it as an image you can use as the background on your lock screen.
- Set reminders for anything. While your phone is out, think about all the ways you can use the reminder function to keep you on track. If you tend to get distracted, you can set a reminder to eat after you give yourself bolus insulin. If you pump, use it to remind you when to change your infusion set or simply remind yourself to check your blood sugar.
- Take your SKIs (snacks, kit and insulin). A dedicated diabetes pack can make it easy to get out the door fast. Include your monitoring kit, insulin, infusion sets, low treatments and whatever else you regularly need. Extra batteries and a coin for opening battery compartments can be helpful too.
- Head off hunger. Pack your own snacks so you don't just grab what's nearby when you're hungry. Prepackaged protein or snack bars work well, or you can measure your favorites into zip-top bags or small food containers. Packing your own snacks can help you manage carbs, as well as save calories and money.
- Keep juice boxes near your bed. Some fruit juices taste okay at room temperature and can make it easier to treat a low when you're sleepy. Snip off the ends of the straw covers to make them easier to handle if you're shaky.
- Wrap a prescription around your second-to-last vial. Whether it's strips, oral medication or insulin, a rubber band can hold your next prescription (or a reminder to call and refill) around your current supplies. When you open the last (or second-to-last) package, it's time to call.
- Make a portable sharps container. An old prescription or vitamin bottle, boldly labeled "sharps" in permanent marker, can hold onto used lancets or needles until you have a chance to dispose of them properly.
- Container for used strips. An old strip vial or a pill bottle is the perfect size for holding used strips, and it can probably fit easily in your checking kit. Label it with brightly colored tape or a sticker so you can differentiate between new and old strips.
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