Medication and Testing Supplies for Diabetes
Nov 8, 2012 (updated Oct 2, 2014)
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Managing diabetes may seem overwhelming at first, but know that you're not alone. Take it one day at a time and work closely with your diabetes treatment team to manage the ins and outs of this disease.
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Insulin injections involve using a fine needle and syringe or an insulin pen injector — a device that looks like an ink pen, except the cartridge is filled with insulin. Types of insulin are many and include rapid-acting insulin, long-acting insulin and intermediate options. Examples include insulin lispro (Humalog), insulin aspart (NovoLog), insulin glargine (Lantus) and insulin detemir (Levemir).
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Glucose meter and test strips
Depending on your treatment plan, you may check and record your blood sugar level once a day or several times a week. Ask your doctor how often he or she wants you to check your blood sugar. Careful monitoring is the only way to make sure that your blood sugar level remains within your target range.
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An insulin pump also may be an option. The pump is a device about the size of a cell phone worn on the outside of your body. Whichever insulin pump you use, it can be programmed to dispense specific amounts of insulin automatically. It can also be adjusted to deliver more or less insulin depending on meals, activity level and blood sugar level.
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Often, people who are newly diagnosed will be prescribed metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, others), a diabetes medication that lowers glucose production in the liver. Your doctor will also recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and becoming more active.
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If you have exhibit signs or symptoms of low blood sugar hypoglycemia), eat or drink something that will quickly raise your blood sugar level — fruit juice, glucose tablets, hard candy, regular (not diet) soda or another source of sugar. Retest in 15 minutes to be sure your blood glucose levels are normal. If they're not, treat again and retest in another 15 minutes.