If you or a family member have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, then you have probably been bombarded with suggestions from friends and family about things ‘you simply have to buy’.

We have compiled a short list of items that we think is a must for every diabetic and cut out all the fluff. The truth is, you don’t need a room full of fancy equipment and name brand diabetic food or snacks. A few simple adjustments are all you need. There are, however, some things that you have to buy and these are the major items:

  1. A glucose meter

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This nifty little device is used to test your blood sugar in the convenience of your own home. We recommend a battery operated meter for the portability. When you select a meter, pick one that is convenient, quick and accurate. Along with the meter you will need the following:

a. Test strips
Make sure that the test strips you buy are compatible with your glucose meter.
b. Lancets
These are small needles that you can use to prick your finger when you want to test your blood sugar.
c. Alcohol swabs
Whenever you do prick your finger for a blood glucose test, it is important to make sure that your skin is clean and that you use a sterilised needle.

2. Medical Alert Bracelets

Bracelet
If you are an insulin dependent diabetic, you need to make sure that you are wearing a bracelet or medical alert necklace in case of emergencies.

3. Sharps container

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Most people don’t consider this but it is extremely dangerous to dispose of medical waste in your regular trash. Buy a cheap, clear plastic container and fill it up to about ¾ capacity. Once it has reached this mark, tape it shut and dispose of it with your regular trash.

4. Travel Kit

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This is important because insulin is very sensitive to temperature. It should always be kept safe at the recommended temperature in a waterproof container. We recommend keeping some snacks and water in the same container in case you find yourself with a flat tyre or any situation where you have to wait for a long period of time. Keep a 3 day supply aside from your regular prescription in case your pharmacy is out of stock.

As a side note we want to mention is that you should only take medications prescribed by your healthcare practitioner. See a nutritionist and cleanse your kitchen of any food that is carb heavy or sugar laden as these are not ideal for your prescribed diet. There are some fantastic alternatives that are diabetic friendly, including diabetic friendly desserts and of course, Lekker Sweets! (Click here to get your a FREE diabetic friendly chocolate cake recipe).

Remember that your friends and family are there to support you and that you should not hesitate to ask for help when you need it! If you have any other ‘must-have’ items that you feel should be on this list, please add it to the comments section below!

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