People with diabetes have an increased risk of venous insufficiency, otherwise known as blood pooling. This is a dangerous side effect, as it can cause serious swelling, edema (fluid retention) and restricted blood flow to the feet. Similarly, high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and reduce sensation in the feet and soles. If left untreated, it could lead to serious foot injury.
Circulation socks help maintain proper circulation in the feet and ankles by putting pressure on the ligaments. Most compression socks are composed of “graduated compression,” which means that the socks fit the tightest at the bottom of the foot and gradually loosen toward the ankle and calf.
There are two main goals of most circulation socks:
- Promote the flow of oxygen-rich blood in the arteries out to the muscles.
- Promote the flow of blood in the veins back to the heart to improve circulation.
What are some other benefits of circulation socks for folks with diabetes? Aside from helping with blood flow, form-fitting socks help reduce swelling, pains, aches and muscle fatigue in the lower extremities.
They also provide more protection from cuts, scrapes and injuries, which some diabetics may not feel due to decreased sensitivity.
A medical alert bracelet is another must-have accessory for anyone with diabetes. It is a custom-engraved wearable device that notifies first responders about your condition and helps improve the quality of your care during an emergency.
If you don’t have a medical alert bracelet and cannot communicate your condition to a paramedic, EMT or other first responder, your life could be in danger.
Most medical alert bracelets include the following information:
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- Your diabetes diagnosis (Type 1 or Type 2)
- An emergency contact phone number
- Your address
If you have a pump, make sure to have extras of accessories. Many pumps have patches or adhesives to secure the pump to your body. Likewise, keep a spare battery for your pump or blood test meter. You can also store a rechargeable mobile power pack (external battery) for rechargeable devices.
Keep alcohol or testing wipes in your test kit. Alcohol and testing wipes kill germs and bacteria at the injection site. You can also use alcohol wipes to clean any adhesive residue from pump tape.
If you are packing a diabetes testing kit for your child, consider including emergency numbers, contact information, notes, directions, and other pertinent information. For example, brief instructions on how to administer insulin to your child in an emergency could be lifesaving.