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Diabetic supplies are devices that can benefit people with diabetes. These help them monitor and regulate their blood glucose levels, and they can also share the results with their doctor or clinic.
This article explores the types of diabetic supplies available on the market and reviews some products to consider purchasing. It also lists some factors to help people choose a suitable device.
The types of diabetic supplies that people can find for type 1 and type 2 diabetes include the below.
There are two main types of glucose monitors that allow a person to monitor their blood sugar levels: Continuous glucose monitors and blood glucose meters. Insurance and Medicare typically cover both device types with a valid prescription.
Continuous glucose monitors
Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) provide regular updates of a person’s blood sugar levels.
They come with the following components:
- sensors that sit underneath the skin
- transmitters that rest on the skin and send data to a connected device or app
- a receiver device that collects and provides information about glucose levels
These monitors require calibration using a blood glucose meter (BGM). However, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that CGMs can help improve a person’s compliance with monitoring their blood glucose levels regularly.
Blood glucose meters
BGMs involve a finger prick test to collect a blood sample to measure a person’s blood glucose levels.
They come with the following:
- test strips
- a device to run the test
BGMs are generally less expensive than CGMs. They are also more accurate, but according to an
Insulin injectors allow a person to self-administer insulin.
An individual with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin on their own, so they need to inject insulin regularly. Those with type 2 diabetes may require insulin if other medications and self-care strategies are not sufficient.
The ADA explains that there are various types of insulin injectors, including:
- syringes, the most common forms of injectors that people use
- pens, which are similar to syringes but allow an individual to inject a certain amount of insulin
- pumps, which provide insulin 24 hours a day through a catheter
A person can purchase monitoring and management supplies at their local pharmacy, but some may find ordering them from an online company more convenient.
The following are some of the best monitors and insulin injecting devices available for purchase online.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
Here is a selection of some CGMs and BGMs for monitoring blood glucose levels:
Dexcom sells the G6 CGM System, which involves a person inserting a sensor into the skin to collect data samples. Transmitters then send the data to a connected device or app. This allows the individual to access their data any time they want or present the information at a doctor’s clinic.
Both the sensors and transmitters require regular replacement. This is because the sensors last for 10 days while the transmitters last for up to 3 months. The app can send notifications based on fluctuations in glucose levels.
The Dexcom system is available for sale at DiabetesWarehouse and other online retailers and local pharmacies.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system automatically measures glucose levels throughout the day.
Some of its features include:
- a 14-day free trial with training
- a 14-day supply of sensors
- optional glucose alarms that can alert the person about any changes in blood glucose levels
The Libre 2 works with the FreeStyle Libre 2 app, which is under review for approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to the website, insurance can cover up to $60 in monthly expenses.
A person can sign up for a free trial with the device online.
The Contour Next One is a BGM. It requires a person to prick their finger to collect a blood sample and apply it to a test strip.
Some features that customers can benefit from include:
- test strips that allow a person to retest if they did not get enough blood the first time
- a simple-to-use design
- results within 5 seconds
- app availability for data tracking
In addition, an individual may need to purchase new test strips regularly to use the device.
The below are some insulin injectors that people can consider purchasing.
The Lantus Insulin Pen provides insulin through a small needle. It allows a person to select the amount they need using the large print dosing window.
Some other features include:
- push-button injection
- long-acting insulin
- it may help lower hemoglobin levels
- a one-day dose
- insurance coverage
Additionally, people can store the pen for up to 4 weeks without refrigeration once they open the pack. They also have to buy the needles separately to use the pen.
A person should be able to purchase the pen at their local pharmacy with a valid prescription.
BD Ultra Fine U-100 Insulin Syringes allow a person to inject insulin with a smaller needle.
This product features the following:
- up to 30 units of insulin
- a single-use design
- a supply of 90 sterile needles
A person can purchase a single order or enroll onto an auto-renew subscription to save money.
There are some features that a person may wish to consider before purchasing diabetic supplies. These include:
- Cost: This depends on the type of device that people are buying and its accompanying features.
- Convenience: Some retailers offer automatic renewals or profiles that make ordering more disposable supplies faster and easier.
- Insurance coverage: Individuals should check whether companies offer insurance plans and the type of services and products that the insurance company covers.
- Brand reputation: People can read company reviews on Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot. This allows them to learn about other customer experiences and what they can expect when purchasing from certain brands.
The diabetic supplies that Medicare covers are generally the essential supplies an individual needs to manage their diabetes. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that a person should check their blood sugar levels frequently based on their needs. It also says that the most common times for checking blood sugar levels are:
- before a meal
- when first waking up or after a long fast
- at bedtime
- 2 hours after a meal
However, according to the ADA, the number of times that a person needs to inject insulin can vary between 2 and 4 times.
In addition to blood glucose monitors and insulin injections, other supplies may also be beneficial, such as:
- a cooler to transport insulin
- a waterproof container
- alcohol swabs or wipes
- adhesive bandages
- numbing cream
- medication list
- products to test ketones in the blood
- foods with a rapid glucose response, such as hard candies, soda, and other simple carbohydrates
- a medical identification bracelet
Diabetic supplies can benefit people who need to monitor and manage their blood glucose levels. Most insurance companies cover monitors and insulin injectors as part of their plans.
A person with diabetes can ensure they have these devices available at all times to help them manage their condition. Other supplies may also be useful, such as wipes, foods, and other care products.
Please note: Medical News Today does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse any of these applications. Nobody at MNT has evaluated these apps for medical accuracy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.