Diabetes Products 101

Diabetes and the complications arising out of this illness has created a need for products specialized to those who have it. From blood glucose monitors to foot care products the range of products available to the diabetic is staggering.

Glucose meters are available in varied shapes and sizes and by many different manufacturers. They all basically involve pricking the finger with a needle (sometimes referred to as lancet) to attain a small drop of blood which applied to a test strip inserted into a meter which can then measure blood glucose levels. Some of the better brand name meters are: Glucometer Elite, Glucometer Dex, One Touch Profile, FastTake, Sure Step, Precision QID and Accuchek Advantage.

Lancets or testing needles also vary and some can be less painful then others because of adjustability of monitor or thickness of lancet itself Test strips again vary from monitor to monitor but are usually a small strip of material inserted into a slot in monitor and once the lancet pricks the skin the droplet of blood is applied to the opposite end of strip. A few meters are also available with a series of test strips in a drum which although there is no reason to believe these are any better than the single use flat strip they can be a little more convenient. Record logs are vital in keeping accurate records of blood glucose readings, gaining averages, and keeping notes of special events that may have affected the blood glucose readings. Some of the newer monitors are capable of recording most of the information now as well. When visiting your health care team it is always a good idea to take along your log and your monitor.

Medic alert bracelets-now available in many types from the traditional bracelet to fine quality neck chains. These bare the Medic Alert icon on one side and your personal medical emergency notices on the reverse. When properly registered, a toll free number and identifier allows emergency medical responders to access your medical history and treat you accordingly in the case of a distress call.

Insulin delivery methods vary from patient to patient and are usually decided on with consultation from your family doctor. The three main delivery method products used to date are:

Syringes-simple and effective although carrying a certain amount of fear or anxiety for some patients who must learn to self medicate Injection pens-about the size of a large pen these devices have disposable needles and cartridges with pre-measured doses. This delivery method has become the predominant form of insulin delivery in the world Insulin pumps-consists of the pump including the controls, processing module, and batteries, an infusion set and a cannula which is inserted under the skin. This pump attached to the body replaces the need for syringe or injector pen injections by feeding measured doses into the body throughout the day.

Feet creams and lotions- diabetics often incur nerve damage and foot pain referred to as neuropathy. Healthy foot care and monitoring is necessary for this is considered one of the most serious side effects of diabetes. The majority of foot creams, on the market today, not only does not work, but can actually do more damage. If you are going to use foot creams ensure that they use only de-iodized water, moisturizers, antiseptics, anti-oxidants and nutrients. Do not use any products containing petroleum, mineral oil, lanolin, waxes or alcohol.

Another drastic side effect of diabetes is the loss of limbs through amputation. There are though a broad range of prosthetic devices and your health care teams will consult you in this if that ever becomes an issue.

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