Tips and Tricks

Today’s the 5th and final day of Diabetes Blog Week, some may continue posting over the weekend for the wildcard topics, but I think I’ll wrap it up today. To be honest, with how infrequently I’ve been blogging lately, I’m surprised I’ve made it this whole week. Kudos to Karen for selecting topics that I could write about! Today’s topic is tips and tricks.

Let’s round out the week by sharing our best diabetes tips and diabetes tricks. From how you organize supplies to how you manage gear on the go/vacation (beach, or skiing, or whatever). From how you keep track of prescription numbers to how you remember to get your orders refilled. How about any “unconventional” diabetes practices, or ways to make diabetes work for YOU (not necessarily how the doctors say to do it!). There’s always something we can learn from each other. (Remember though, please no medical advice or dangerous suggestions.)

I love it when people share really helpful, actionable tips for dealing with diabetes in real life. Two years ago, we “hacked” diabetes and I shared a list of things that I do to make living with diabetes easier.

Medical  Management Tips

  1. If you have access to your electronic medical records, use it. My clinic uses the MyChart system and I read all of my after visit summaries and compare my own test results to see where things are. Sometimes they have information and comments that weren’t shared with me in the appointment.
  2. Automate what you can. I have automatic refills set up on all of my maintenance medications so that I don’t run out or find myself in a pinch. If you can’t automate, set up a calendar reminder to refill.
  3. Use alarms. I set an alarm that goes off at the same time every day to take my medication. If I didn’t do this, I’d forget to take it.


  1. Use carb-counting apps or even Google to try to be as accurate as possible. I found myself guessing carb counts more than I should, so I’m trying to get better as carb counting.
  2. When eating out, it’s nearly impossible to predict the serving size of a meal, but I have to prebolus, so I usually prebolus for at least 20 grams of carbs after placing my order, unless I’m low or on my way there.
  3. I have little dishes at home that hold 1-cup of food, so these are the dishes I use for snacks. If all else fails, have a snack straight out of the measuring cup. Kelly has fancy little glasses that hold the right amount of juice for treating lows, it’s a good practice.
  4. Chew gum after a meal. Not only does it help with garlic breath, it helps me feel full. Some people with diabetes have trouble with their hunger control, we’re all pretty screwed up about food anyway. Gum, specifically mint, helps me signal my brain that I’m done eating.


  1. I keep all of my supplies together and I keep my travel bag with them with my doctor’s letter and the applicable TSA policies printed out to make packing easier.
  2. Use a snack size zip top bag in your meter kit to corral test strips.
  3. Always carry alcohol swabs. These things have come in handy for more than just bg checks and injection site prep, did you know that you can use them to remove pen ink from almost anything? I also use them to clean off my phone, Dexcom receiver and PDM.


  1. If you fly a lot, joining the TSA PreCheck program is worth it. For $85, you get five years of fewer hassles and pat downs. Joining the program has lowered the airport stress levels for me, and in turn had a positive impact on my blood sugar when traveling.
  2. You can take ice packs on planes. They do have to be frozen solid when you go through screening. Keeping insulin cool while traveling is a concern for many so hopefully that helps.
  3. Wear your medical id when you travel. It’s a good idea to wear it all the time, but traveling is a must. Having the id on gives you credibility when you make a medical request. You also never know what might happen.


Check out my Hacking Diabetes blog post for some other tips including how a DIY garter for diabetes gear. I also have a list of tips for making blood draws easier if that’s something you struggle with.


4 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks

  1. great lists! i especially like using an alarm if i’ve switched my timing on something and trying to form a new habit. like recently, i started taking my long acting insulin in the morning, rather than at night. it was really hard to remember, but then i started using my iphone as a reminder.

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