If you have diabetes, you need to do some special trip planning. This blog offers you some tips to help you stay safe while you’re traveling.

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So you’ve booked your flight and you’re ready to go on your big trip. If you have diabetes, though, you need to do some special trip planning. This blog offers you some tips to help you stay safe while you’re traveling.

Keep a Small Bag with You at All Times

Your small bag should have all of your basic diabetes supplies that you may need while traveling. The American Diabetes Association recommends including every item on this list in your handbag:

  • Insulin and enough syringes you’ll need for the trip
  • Oral medications with prescription labels attached
  • A diabetes identity card with your doctor’s emergency phone number
  • Additional medications including antibiotic ointment, anti-nausea, and other medications as recommended by your doctor
  • Well wrapped snacks with crackers, cheese, peanut butter, fruit, raisins, juice box, and a few pieces of hard candy to treat low blood sugar levels
  • A portable meal you can eat in case of unexpected delays while traveling

Keeping this emergency bag with you while you travel will make it easier to handle any unexpected circumstances that would make it difficult to manage your blood sugar.

If you have an insulin pump, you may want to click on this advice from Medtronic. They discuss:

  • Preparing to Travel
  • Preparing for Flying
  • Updating the Time on Your Insulin Pump
  • Travel Checklist
  • Airport Security Guidelines

Keep Anything Vital in Your Carry On

Did you know that more than 2 million bags were reported lost or mishandled by the airlines last year? If your checked luggage ends up lost, you don’t want to be without important medications, syringes or blood-testing supplies.

Instead of putting these in your checked luggage, keep your bag with your diabetes supplies with you at all times.  You don’t want to arrive at your destination and then immediately need to scramble to get the supplies you need because they were lost by your airline!

Tell the TSA Screener Your Have Diabetes and Are Carrying Supplies

The TSA will allow you to carry these diabetes medications, equipment and supplies on the plane.

  • Insulin and insulin-loaded dispensing products
  • Unused syringes when accompanied by insulin
  • Used syringes when accompanied by a hard-surface container to place them in
  • Lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, alcohol swabs
  • Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies as long as it is accompanied by insulin
  • Glucagon emergency kit
  • Urine ketone test strips
  • Liquids or gels
  • Continuous blood glucose monitors

If you have any questions about traveling with diabetes, we would be glad to help.  Focus Express Mail Pharmacy can answer any of your questions about insulin pumps, diabetes supplies, and more.  Call toll-free 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.FocusPharmacy.com.

 

Learn why physical activity is especially important for older adults with diabetes and how to get started caring for your body today.

 older adults walking

We all know maintaining a high level of physical activity is important for everyone, regardless of their age or whether they have diabetes. But sometimes, those with the disease underestimate the positive effects of exercise on managing their overall health.  Since more than 25 percent of Americans age 60 and older have diabetes, it’s likely you or a loved one is affected. In fact, almost 400,000 Americans, 65 and over, are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Those in this age group can improve their overall health by incorporating exercise into their diabetes care plan.

What are the Benefits of Physical Activity?

 Why exactly is it so important to stay physically active? First, along with weight loss, it often helps prevent type 2 diabetes in those with a pre-diabetes diagnosis. Second, it provides many other health benefits including raising your HDL cholesterol and lowering your blood glucose levels, not to mention reducing your risk for having a heart attack, a stroke, or developing cancer. Finally, it helps improve your outlook and quality of life, reduce stress, and clears your mind; especially helpful for both those who are recently diagnosed or who have had diabetes for a long time.

What Counts as Physical Activity?

 This is the good news – you likely already have a number of options available to you when it comes to choosing an exercise you enjoy. It’s important to choose something you like doing so you’ll be more likely to stay committed. Walking is an excellent activity to incorporate into your daily routine.  Add stretching and free weights if you’re able. Slowly build up your fitness level as you increase speed and distance each week. Feel free to invite a friend along if you prefer social exercise.

What about Safety in Exercise for Older Adults?

One common fear of adding exercise to the care program for older adults with diabetes is that of falling or damaging joints. Research actually shows, however, that muscle-strengthening activities and aerobic exercise such as walking, actually reduces the risk of falling. Be sure to wear shoes that fit properly or consider an activity such as swimming or cycling on a stationary bike. Both provide relief for your joints while also offering cardiovascular benefits from raising your heart rate, which is important in controlling diabetes.

 How Do You Begin Exercising?

Always talk to your physician before starting an exercise program. He or she will help you determine which type of activity might be best, as well as how often and how long to do it. The most important thing is taking that first step; committing to yourself that you, and your health, are worth the effort. And don’t forget to take advantage of the expertise that Focus Express Mail Pharmacy has to offer. We will answer all your questions about diabetes and diabetes supplies so your care plan is the best it can be for managing your condition. Call  toll-free 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.FocusPharmacy.com

Using expired diabetes testing supplies can be dangerous to your health. Make sure you know these expiration date rules!

insulin pump supplies and diabetes suppliesdiabetes supplies and insulin pump supplies

It’s easy to know if the milk in your refrigerator is good to drink. Store it properly and just look for the expiration date. It’s clearly printed on the bottle. Once the date is past, you’re probably not going to want to pour a glass.

But what about your diabetes testing supplies and insulin? How much do you know about the expiration dates of these life-saving devices and supplies? Here’s what you need to know.

Bottle and Pen Expiration Dates

Look closely enough on your insulin bottle and you will find a date printed on it. If you keep your insulin refrigerated properly, you can expect consistent performance from your insulin up to that date. After that date, the insulin will begin to degrade and will no longer be as effective. Since “consistency” is the name of the game when managing blood glucose levels, you need to know what effect insulin will have on your body.

Insulin pens will also have their expiration date marked. Typically, expiration dates for insulin is at least a year out from when you purchase it from the pharmacy.

28 Days After Opened

Once you begin using a new bottle of insulin, a 28-day clock starts – regardless of the expiration date listed on the bottle. For example, if you open up a bottle on January 1, 2015 that expires on December 1, 2015, you need to throw the bottle out after January 28. What is left will not predictably help you control your blood glucose levels. Trying to simply use more insulin to make up for its lost potency beyond the expiration date is not a reliable way to control your blood glucose levels and is dangerous.

Test Strips

Test strips also have expiration dates. Also, once opened, they are good for three months. After that, or after the expiration date, throw the test strips away because they can give you inaccurate readings.

Donating Unexpired Supplies

If you have unexpired supplies that you need to get rid of, you can donate them to make sure they can be put to good use.  This blog post can tell you more, but here are some organizations that accept donated supplies:

Whether you have questions about diabetes supplies expiration dates or insulin pumps, call Focus Express Mail Pharmacy toll-free at 1-866-403-6287 and we will be more than happy to answer your questions.  www.FocusPharmacy.com

 

Learn how you can manage your diabetes successfully to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.

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Before you rock that pregnancy glow, register for every baby item you could possibly need, and prep the nursery, be sure to consider the implications of pregnancy and your diabetes. Rest assured you can still enjoy a healthy pregnancy; it will simply go much smoother if you properly manage your diabetes during its duration. Read on to learn what that little miracle of life means for your diabetes and your insulin pump.

Plan Ahead for Peace of Mind

Although it might seem like an obvious first step, you should meet with all your health care providers – not just your obstetrician – before you even get pregnant. Having a plan in place will help ensure a healthy pregnancy and offer peace of mind as you prepare for managing your diabetes while growing a baby! Don’t underestimate the value of diabetes educators. They can teach you how pregnancy affects diabetes and give tips on how you can control your blood glucose during the next nine months. Keep in mind they’ll likely recommend you have close-to-normal glucose levels for about three months prior to becoming pregnant.

Consider Insulin Pump Therapy

In recent decades, insulin pump therapy has become a popular option for managing your diabetes during pregnancy. In the past 25 years, the number of insulin pump users increased dramatically – from 6,600 to 500,000. That includes the many women who chose insulin pump therapy as a means of managing diabetes during pregnancy. This type of therapy is most often part of a pregnancy health plan for those with Type 1 diabetes, but can be used successfully for those with Type 2 diabetes as well.

 Understand the Benefits and Risks of Insulin Pump Therapy

One of the most important benefits of using an insulin pump while you’re pregnant is having the ability to adjust your insulin dose in very small increments. Some pumps, in fact, allow these adjustments in 1/40-unit increments. You can also change the basal rate of insulin infusion every half hour or hour, which allows you to be right on target when it comes to matching your insulin delivery with your body’s insulin needs. These two features are especially advantageous since your hormone levels change throughout pregnancy, requiring more frequent alternations in your insulin delivery.

Be aware that an insulin pump carries a risk though: If an insulin infusion is disrupted for some reason, you could quickly have high blood glucose since only rapid-acting insulin is used in pumps. Although this is a concern for everyone with diabetes, it’s especially so if you’re pregnant since it also affects the health your baby.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Nutrition

Even when you’re not pregnant, diet plays an important role in managing your diabetes. Add baby to the picture and diet becomes even more critical. Collaborate with your physician and be open to changing your meal plan and food choices if necessary. Such a change could make a vital difference in helping you avoid glucose levels that are either too high or too low. Focus on the quality of food you eat while pregnant; choose foods that provide you, and your baby with the necessary nutrients while keeping your levels in check. This means eating whole foods, vegetables, whole grains, fruit, lean meats, beans, poultry, and some types of fish.

Whether you’re in the initial stages of family planning or you just found out you’re expecting, take a moment to enjoy this exciting time in your life. Know that with a little preparation and commitment, you can achieve a successful pregnancy while managing your diabetes at the same time. And don’t forget to take advantage of the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy. They can save you time by answering all your questions about insulin pumps and diabetes supplies, leaving you to do what’s more important – plan for your new addition. Contact them at 1-866-403-6287 or visit www.focuspharmacy.com.