Managing type 1 diabetes can be tricky. Everyone’s body is different and responds differently to certain types of activity and treatment. That is why it is so important to be vigilant about monitoring blood sugar and knowing how to respond quickly and appropriately. If you have a child with diabetes, you want to ensure that they know how to check their blood sugar, what the results mean, and how to respond if it is too low or too high. In addition, those who spend the most time with them – whether family, friends, educators, or coaches – should also know how to assist and provide help when necessary.
Diabetes Forecast asked its readers to share some of their best diabetes hacks, which you may find helpful as well.
Be Prepared. One reader fills plastic pencil boxes with supplies her child may need at school and leaves one in each classroom. The box contains not only snacks and juice, but also glucose tablets and information on managing diabetes. Your child could also carry one in their backpack, or have one in the locker room. This is something that could be done at any age, and that adults can do as well. Consider leaving prepared boxes in your desk at work, the break room, or other places you frequent.
Plastic cases also come in handy for organizing supplies. One reader uses different colored boxes for different times of the day when preparing insulin syringes for the week. Just make sure that everything is clearly labeled as well. This can also be a good way of helping your child learn to manage their diabetes through color-coding.
Find what works for you. Not a fan of orange juice? Keep apple juice or grape juice on hand instead. Looking for a quick way to get your 14 grams of carbohydrates without taking a glucose tablet? Stock up on fun-size packs of Skittles which are perfectly proportioned and easy to grab and go. You could also prepare small baggies with four Starburst, 12 gummy bears, two tablespoons of raisins, or six large jelly beans. A small apple or orange work well too to quickly boost blood sugar.
Other hacks include adapting clothing to accommodate your insulin pump or finding accessories where you can easily store your supplies for quick access while working out or traveling. This way, you can continue carrying about your normal business while also effectively managing your diabetes and being prepared.
While there is not a cure yet for type 1 diabetes, scientists continue to learn more about this condition and develop cutting-edge treatment possibilities. The Diabetes Research Connection provides valuable funding that allows early career scientists to pursue research and trials that may one day change how type 1 diabetes is treated. Learn more by visiting us online and checking out current projects.