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Must-Haves if You Use Insulin continued...

Another important item to stock if you have type 1 diabetes is:

  • A home ketone test, to test for ketones in your urine or blood

This can help you know how well insulin is working to fuel cells. You can get home ketone test strips for urine at your local drugstore. Some of the newer home blood-sugar meters can also measure ketone levels in the blood. But the ketone test strip for meters is different than the one used for checking your blood sugar.

Diabetes Food Stash

To keep your blood glucose at good levels, it's a good idea to have:

  • Glucose tablets or other emergency sugar sources
  • Healthy snacks for between meals
  • Low-sugar drinks (including water) to stay hydrated

Keep a good supply of fast-acting sugars in several places -- such as a backpack, purse, gym locker, and car -- in case of sugar lows. Glucose tablets are easy to carry. Other possible sources include apple or orange juice or regular soda, or hard candies. Chocolate is not good because it takes longer to digest. If you live with other people, let them know these supplies are not for them to eat.

Diabetes Emergency Supplies

For emergencies, have on hand:

  • Medical alert ID (such as a bracelet, necklace, or card) that says you have diabetes
  • Emergency contact information
  • Emergency preparedness supplies

The American Diabetes Association recommends storing 3 days’ worth of diabetes supplies in case of emergencies such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, or blizzards. Depending on how you manage your diabetes, this could include diabetes pills, insulin and insulin supplies, extra batteries, and quick-acting sources of glucose, as well as standard supplies such as food that doesn't spoil, and water.

Store these supplies in a waterproof container in a place where you can get to them easily. You may want to keep a set of emergency supplies at home, work, and in your car.

Skin Care Supplies

Diabetes can affect every part of your body. Prevent dry skin and tend to cuts or other wounds right away -- it can help prevent infections and skin conditions. These items can help you care for your skin:

  • Mild or moisturizing soap
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Antibiotic cream or ointment (if your doctor advises using it), sterile gauze, and paper tape or cloth bandages for cuts
  • Mild shampoo