Seven years into my type 1 diabetes diagnosis, managing my blood sugars has never been easy. It seems as if I am always trying to figure out some nuance with my blood sugar. We are always thinking, planning, and analyzing, and it is taking up a ton of my mental headspace. Thankfully, I’ve found some products over the years that have helped to relieve some of the stress that managing diabetes causes, allowing me to be present and enjoy life more.
Here are my top ten products that have helped make my life easier:
It took me a while to warm up to the idea of getting a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). But once I started using the Dexcom G6 system, I immediately felt more in control of my blood sugars. With my Dexcom I am able to quickly see glucose trends, and discreetly check my blood sugar during social events. The alarm, which alerts me of highs and lows, gives me peace of mind, especially overnight. While it can be costly, if you can afford it, or if your insurance covers it, I would highly recommend investing in the Dexcom CGM system.
I have been on multiple daily injections for the past seven years and have no intentions of switching over to an insulin pump. However, even I have to admit that there are many benefits to a pump that we MDI’ers were missing out on. Until now, that is. InPen allows pen users to track insulin dosage and insulin on board, helps make bolus calculations based on insulin to carb ratio, and offers reminders and reports that can help take your glucose management to the next level. This, to my surprise, was 100% covered by my insurance, but the over-the-counter cost can be as little $35 per year.
It is tricky to find snacks that won’t elevate my blood sugars, especially before work meetings or a trip to the gym. NRG Bites are low-carb, high-protein snacks were developed by chef Paul Kahan, who lives with type 1 diabetes himself. He strived to find a snack that could be low-carb but also pack in a good amount of protein without sacrificing flavor. I use these bars for a quick breakfast or snack on the go that will allow me to go about my day and not worry about my blood sugars.
Whether you wear a pump, CGM or just want your phone close by for emergencies, it is nice to find athletic wear that meets your needs. Senita Athletics makes durable, affordable and functional apparel that will allow you to keep your tech on you during even your most active times. Senita Athletics is designed to make you feel safe and not let diabetes get in the way of whatever it is you are doing.
All4Family Cooling System
Whether you are walking around exploring a new city or relaxing beachside on a tropical island, the All4Family cooling system is sure to keep all your insulin at the right temperature and maximum efficiency. Traveling has become more manageable and less stressful thanks to 4AllFamily’s diabetic travel companion.
This case has two different methods of keeping medicine cool. It’s both a traditional thermos and a miniature refrigerator. It’s TSA-approved, and I can rest assured that my insulin will remain cool, allowing me to enjoy my time. This makes traveling and lying on a beach so much more enjoyable – bring on vacation!
If you are using a CGM, insulin pump or even an Inpen, Patch Peelz has you covered with fashionable adhesives to help keep your device on longer and looking fabulous! Patch Peelz was a great find for me. I’m getting more use out of my sensors, with less irritation. It puts a smile on my face to pick out a new patch each time. Diabetes is a drag, so you need the little things to make you smile and help you save money too!
Only Bean Pasta
Only Bean is my go-to when I am craving pasta. For one thing, it’s an affordable alternative, unlike some of its costlier competitors. It is both gluten-free and organic and made with only non-GMO beans, and it’s packed with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. It contains only one ingredient – soybeans – so I know I won’t have to worry about a surprise blood sugar spike. One serving comes in at 44 grams of protein, 19 grams of fiber, and contains only 16 g net carbs, making this a great staple in my pantry!
Fairlife Chocolate Milk
Low blood sugar needs to be treated, and unless you are disciplined, you could easily wind up with a rebound high. I am not a fan of glucose tabs, and find nothing wrong with treating a low with something flavorful and that we enjoy. Fairlife chocolate milk quickly became my favorite way of treating a low; it has enough sugar to bump you up but also contains a substantial amount of protein which will keep your numbers stable. This chocolate milk tastes so great, it is currently my very picky daughter’s number one source of protein!
Road ID Medical
It took me a while to warm up to the idea of wearing a medical alert bracelet. However, every person living with diabetes should wear a form of medical ID at all times. Medical IDs are there to alert emergency responders and health professionals that you have diabetes. This helps ensure that you receive immediate and precise treatment in case of emergencies. If you lead an active lifestyle, then Road Id is the medic alert brand for you. I love wearing my Road ID bracelet, a stretchy durable silicone band with a faceplate that can withstand some tough love. I feel safer wearing my Road ID, especially when I am driving. This helps give me peace of mind if, god forbid, something were to happen.
My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal is a free online calorie tracker and diet plan that can record your calories, break down ingredients, and log activities. This app also allows you access to the biggest food database out there, with over 14 million foods, including global cuisine and restaurant items, which really helps take the guesswork out of your insulin dosing. This app has not only helped with my weight loss but has also helped me to tighten up my blood glucose levels. Being able to enter everything I am eating allows me to see the exact carb count. This helps me to figure out the exact dose I need for every meal, reducing the number of rollercoaster episodes I have. This has been a huge help for both my weight loss and diabetes management efforts.
All of the products above have in some way helped relieve some of the stress that comes along with managing this chronic condition. By being able to think about diabetes less, I am able to enjoy life more. This is so important for all of us and our mental health.
Do you have products that have helped you manage your diabetes a little easier? Share and comment below!