diabetes life hacks

We all lead busy lives. Add in the demands of diabetes, and you might start to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately there’s good news! By making one small change at a time, you can improve your blood glucose levels and overall life with diabetes.

Check out our tips and tricks to help you live and thrive every day with diabetes.

1. Make your smartphone work for you.

Use an app on your phone or device to help log your food, track blood glucose levels, and even connect with other people in the diabetes community. Many of these apps are free of charge. Apps can also be useful for hassle-free notifications, such as prescription pick-up times. They make it easy to quickly scan and order refills or shop for your diabetes supplies, including test strips, glucose tablets, and batteries for your meter.

2. Keep a travel-size bottle of hand cream in your purse, briefcase, or backpack.

Dry skin can be a side effect of diabetes, but moisturizing can help relieve the itch. Pack hand sanitizer or alcohol wipes for outdoor excursions or overnight trips. Having clean hands is important for accurately checking blood glucose, and you may not always have access to running water when you’re out exploring.

3. Enroll in a medication refill program.

Pharmacists are specially trained in diabetes care, so they can answer your questions about prescription medications and over-the-counter self-care purchases. Take advantage of this free resource the next time you shop.

Many pharmacies also offer free prescription refill programs to make sure that you never run out of your medications. You can receive a call or text message when your prescriptions are ready for pick up.

4. Look at storage expiration dates.

When you get a new box of diabetes supplies or medication, check the expiration date. When you store it with other supplies, make sure the closest date is at the front of your shelf, drawer, or cabinet. Keeping your oldest supplies up front gives you a better chance to use them before they expire.

5. Spritz to stick your pump or sensor.

If you sweat in the summer heat, you might notice that the adhesive tape on your pump infusion set or CGM sensor becomes loose. Believe it or not, antiperspirant sprays have a compound that may help the tape stick. Before you put on your next set or sensor, try using a spritz of antiperspirant at the site first.

6. Chill down your insulin.

Keeping your insulin cool is key. Try using a protective pouch with a small cold gel pack to protect your insulin from the hot temperatures. Cooling wallets can help insulin, pens, and pumps stay at an acceptable temperature — without refrigeration — for up to 48 hours. Best of all, they’re reusable too.

7. Stock up your makeup bags.

When you travel, whether by car, plane, train, bike, or foot, space is at a premium. Use makeup or toiletry bags to hold stocks of supplies. Put all of your injection supplies like syringes, insulin, and alcohol swabs in one bag. Testers, strips, and lancets can all go in another bag. This organizing system keeps everything in its place, so you can find everything you need when you’re away from home. Another way to cut back on packing space is to store all of your test strips in one bottle. You can easily put about 50 test strips into a 25-strip bottle.