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The best diabetes supplies fit YOUR lifestyle

With all the diabetes supplies on the market today, choosing the one that is right for you can feel like guesswork. To begin, narrow down the supplies to a 'must-have' list and then look deeper into choosing the best diabetic supplies to fit your lifestyle.

Diabetic supplies on the "must-have" list

Whether you are newly diagnosed or have lived with diabetes for years, there are a few products you absolutely must have in order to manage your diabetes. These include the following:
  1. Glucose meter
  2. Lancing device and lancets
  3. Plenty of test strips
  4. Insulin and a way to take it (syringes, pump, etc.)
  5. Other medications prescribed by your doctor
  6. Your doctor might also put these on the list: alcohol swabs, glucose tablets and gels, ketone strips and glucagon
It is important to make good use of these must-have supplies, even when financial times are tough. "Missing a test can drive your blood sugar and A1C numbers up or down, but missing a dosage can be fatal," said William Sisca, president and founder of the F.A.C.T. Foundation for Diabetes. Sisca points out that many people conserve what they have or forgo supplies altogether to save on their bottom line. "Some people have even been using eBay and other online sources for discount supplies. This is risky because you have no real way to verify that what you are receiving is in fact what it says it is," he cautions.

Three ways to check if you have the right diabetic supplies

Whether you are choosing a new brand of lancets or moving up to the latest and greatest insulin pump, look for supplies that fit in well with your day-to-day life. Consider these questions:

  1. What does your insurance cover? In some cases, insurance covers a great deal of your costs as long as you stick to certain brands. Figure out what your insurance covers, then look at the co-pays. If your co-pays are high, it might pay to go with cheaper supplies.
  2. Can you get a trial run? Ask your doctor if you can take advantage of free supplies or trial runs for high-dollar items, such as insulin pumps. It should take only a few weeks before you know whether the item will fit seamlessly into your diabetes management plan.
  3. Will you actually use it? Though that fancy new meter might be tempting, will you really use all those bells and whistles? If not, that new gadget might gather dust on a forgotten shelf.

Finally, always take your time in learning about your new supplies and figuring out what works best for you. That new meter might be all the rage, but your old meter might be more comfortable for you. In the end, what fits into your life matters more than what is fresh and new on the market.

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About Shannon Lee

Shannon Dauphin began writing about diabetes long before she was diagnosed in 1998. A professional writer with nearly two decades of experience, Shannon has covered topics from medical and health to relationships and is the author of several published novels.

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