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Most Essential Diabetes Products

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
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  • man using insulin pen with glucose meter on table

    There may be no condition that has a larger impact on a person’s life than diabetes. Diabetes impacts how you eat every day. It requires a significant level of monitoring to stay on top of your blood sugar levels, and it has a large list of potential medical complications as the disease progresses.

    Nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes, so it’s no surprise there’s big business in products and services to help manage diabetes. Here are some of the best products and gadgets to make living with diabetes easier. Vote up the products you find most essential to managing your diabetes.

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    iPhone Glucose Meter
    High angle view of man holding glaucometer checking mobile phone while lying on bed at home

    Turn your phone into a glucose meter with USB-sized devices that attach to your smartphone or similar device. Like a meter, they give you a glucose reading, and an app charts your data so you can examine your blood glucose trends over time. The best part? It’s one less thing to carry or keep organized.

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    Medical Alert Phone Case
    Hand of young female customer holding phone cover box hanging from rack at illuminated store

    If jewelry such as a medical ID bracelet isn’t your thing, consider a phone case which identifies you as a person with diabetes. Most people have their mobile phones with them at all times, and emergency personnel are accustomed to searching phones for your emergency contacts. Sites such as zazzle.com and redbubble.com sell a variety of these cases at affordable prices.

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    Older Caucasian woman with diabetes checking blood sugar with fingertip at kitchen table

    All glucose monitors do the same thing: measure the sugar levels detected in a drop of blood. These simple devices are one of the mainstays of diabetes management. Be sure to keep your machine clean and to have backup batteries handy, so you can replace them if needed. Try these five tips for monitoring your blood sugar.

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    Insulin Syringes
    man injecting insulin into side

    If you take insulin for your diabetes, then insulin syringes are a must-have. Depending on the dose of insulin you take, you’ll need to choose a syringe that holds the entire dose. Insulin syringes come in a variety of sizes and lengths. These essential items are available without a prescription at most drugstores and several sites online.

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    Blood Sugar Test Strips

    Diabetes test strips work with glucose meters to “read” your blood sugar level. Simply place a test strip in your glucose meter, prick your finger, and get your blood sugar reading within seconds. This simple process is an instant way of knowing if your sugar is too high or too low. Here are seven things to know about blood sugar test strips.

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    Continuous Glucose Meter
    Unseen woman with patch on arm holding continuous glucose monitor

    Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems have three parts: a sensor, transmitter and monitor. The sensor can test your glucose every 1 to 5 minutes. Because regular glucometers only show you one point in time, you may see trends with CGM that a glucometer can’t show. It's like comparing a snapshot to a video. Read up on the pros and cons of these meters.

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    Diabetic Socks
    Woman on couch in socks with Dachshund dog

    Many people with diabetes suffer from diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy damages the nerves in the legs and feet, which can make it difficult to sense when temperatures are too hot or too cold, or to sense if there is a cut or other injury to the foot. Diabetic socks are specially designed for the sensitive feet of diabetics to keep them clean, dry and free from injury.

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    Insulin Coolers
    Medicine in Cooler Bag isolated on white background

    Keeping your insulin stored at an appropriate temperature is important. Insulin coolers come in handy when you need to take your insulin to work, when you’re traveling, or at public or outdoor events when the weather may be a factor. Plus, they make it easy to keep your insulin organized with other diabetes medications or products.

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    Medical ID Bracelet
    Unseen woman wearing medical alert bracelet

    Whether you’re traveling from your bedroom to the bathroom or taking a trip overseas, always wear a piece of medical ID jewelry if you have diabetes. That way, paramedics and other health care personnel will know how to help you if you’re sick or disoriented and unable to speak. As a bonus, these bracelets have gone glamorous. Check out the latest options.

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    Glucose Tablets
    Diabetes treatment supplies with bottle of white capsules

    Glucose tablets are a rapidly acting oral treatment for hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Most foods and even candy can take too long to get glucose into your blood. Glucose tablets come in a precise dose. The standard recommended amount of glucose to treat low blood sugar episodes is 15 grams. Here’s what you should know about glucose tablets.

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    Sharps Container
    Young male reviewing sharps bin for disposal of needles

    A sharps container provides a safe method of disposing of your syringes, lancets, needles and any other sharps used to inject insulin or test your blood sugar. Many diabetics dispose of these objects in their regular trash, which isn’t safe. Instead, place your sharps in an old laundry detergent or fabric softener bottle. Alternatively, you can purchase a sharps container. Many of them have mail-back programs to ensure safe and proper disposal.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Jul 8
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.