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A new year supplies stock take for your bag and home

December 19, 2021

This post is an excerpt taken from Straight to the Point: A guide for living with type 1 diabetes, written and edited by healthcare professionals as part of our 2022: Kick T1D goals campaign. Download the full version for free here.

Whether you’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for a little while or a long time, you already know that your type 1 diabetes (T1D) supplies are your lifeline. But when is the last time you’ve replenished these supplies? Have you recently taken stock of what’s in your bag and at home to ensure you’re not left in the lurch at a critical time? 

The New Year is the perfect opportunity for you to conduct a stock take on your T1D supplies and create a system, so you’re organised for whatever the year ahead throws at you. 

It might sound a little daunting, but we’re here to support you! Here’s a list of must-have supplies for your bag and in your home.

Your type 1 diabetes pack: in your bag 

Your essential T1D supplies should be with you as you go about day-to-day life. It’s good to use a bag that has multiple pockets – enough that you can easily find what you’re searching for and will protect the contents from any damage.  

You could browse suppliers like Diabetes HQRockaDexGlucology by IBD Medical or Diabete-Ezy for your diabetes bag or search for your own favourite. 

1. Your insulin (plus your pen/syringe/pump) 

You should always carry insulin with you plus the means to deliver it, even when you don’t expect to eat. You never know when you might be out longer than you expect! 

2. Blood glucose meter, strips and lancing device or fully charged mobile device 

Knowing what your blood glucose levels (BGLs) are doing will help you avoid hypos and reduce your risk of high blood glucose levels which can leave you feeling tired and emotional.  

If you use a CGM or FGM, it’s still a good idea to carry a meter with you as a back-up. 

3. Finger wipes (optional but handy)

The accuracy of your BGLs can be impacted by the presence of food on your fingers, so these are incredibly useful to ensure you have clean fingers when checking them. 

4. Hypo treatment 

Always carry at least one ‘hypo fix’ with you. Six to eight large jelly babies or jellybeans should do the trick! 

5. A logbook or BGL tracking app 

Recording your BGL readings (if you don’t have access to a CGM) can make it easier for both you and your healthcare professional to identify patterns and make long-term improvements in the way you manage your T1D.  

Some great recommendations from our community include mylifemySugr and Glucose Buddy

6. Your T1D identifier 

It’s a clever idea to have a T1D identifier on your person or in your wallet. This identifier should: 

  • make it clear you live with T1D 
  • provide your doctor’s contact details; and, 
  • includes a brief description of the medication you’re taking and dosage. 

Your type 1 diabetes supplies: at home

There are a few supplies you might not need as often as those you take with you in your everyday kit. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to have them handy for situations when you do need them! How many do you have at home from this list? 

1. Sharps container 

A medical sharps container is essential for the safe storage and disposal of used pen needles, syringes and lancets. You can find them in pharmacies or using online diabetes suppliers – plus, in some states a sturdy plastic bottle with a screw-on lid will be accepted for disposal. 

2. Ketone strips 

Having some way to check for ketones, either using urine strips or blood strips, will enable you to identify if you need urgent help.  

3. GlucaGen HypoKit™ 

The GlucaGen HypoKit™ is available on prescription and contains an injection which is used to rapidly raise blood glucose levels when someone has lost consciousness due to a severe hypo or is unable to take glucose orally. 

For more information on T1D supplies and consumables, plus directions on how the NDSS can help with the cost, download Straight to the Point: A guide for adults living with type 1 diabetes.  

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