Diabetes management medical supplies online for caregivers
Medical supplies online for the diabetes management are available for caregivers, but also for healthcare providers and for the patient him/herself. As Joan Plummer writes in The Columbus Telegram, people with diabetes are not alone. In addition to the “approximately 29 million people live (who) with the disease” with whom diabetics can identify and connect with – in the form of support groups – “working with a team of diabetes care professionals has been shown to improve successful management of diabetes.” A care team may include any specialists, ranging from primary care providers and endocrinologists to mental health professionals and social workers.
But the glue that holds it all together is often a caregiver. One might wonder, “does a person with diabetes really need a caregiver?” Granted, diabetes is not necessarily thought of as a crippling, debilitating, progressive disease like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, or MS. Moreover, “to be successful at managing your diabetes, self-management is the key,” Plummer writes. “Diabetes self-management is a process to help you obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to live with the condition and prevent, or at least delay the complications of diabetes.” True that, but even self-management takes a little outside help.
By way of example, diabetes management invariably involves medical supplies online such as lancets, syringes, and needles – to draw blood samples to monitor glucose levels, and to inject insulin. People with diabetes may not know or be sure about how to use these items, or they might simply be afraid of pricks and needles – a so many people are. This doesn’t mean that the caregiver has to be a registered nurse, but as they say, two heads are better than one. Furthermore, the caregiver can help the diabetic person by reminding them to take their prescribed medications, check their feet for cuts and wounds, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly – the latter two of which the caregiver can actually lead by example.
Needless to say that the parents of children with type 1 diabetes have to add diabetes management to their duties as caregivers of their offspring. In any case, learning about the condition – causes, symptoms, complications, treatment, etc – is essential. “Counseling on new medications, new technology and/or positive lifestyle changes, including meal planning and physical activity, will be addressed by your diabetes educators,” writes Plummer. “Diabetes educators have knowledge and skills to assist you with achieving and maintaining desired behavioral changes necessary for optimal diabetes care and blood glucose control.” Might I add that diabetes educators can provide advice not only to patients but to caregivers as well.
For instance, caregivers of people with diabetes should know what to do in case of hypoglycemia – a complication of diabetes in which blood sugar reaches dangerously low levels, often caused by taking too much insulin or other medications, skipping a meal, or exercising too much (another reason for diabetics to have caregivers; they can help supervise insulin administration, diet, and exercise, a mentioned above). The caregiver thus should be able to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia, including:
· Irritability or moodiness.
· Anxiety or nervousness.
· Damp sheets or bedclothes due to perspiration.
· Tiredness, irritability or confusion upon waking.
· Clumsiness or jerky movements.
· Muscle weakness.
· Difficulty speaking or slurred speech.
· Blurry or double vision.
· Convulsions or seizures.
Caregivers should also know what to do in case of low blood sugar. First response measures include giving the person foods that will raise blood sugar quickly, such as:
· Five to six pieces of hard candy.
· Four ounces of fruit juice or regular soda (not diet soda).
· One tablespoon of sugar, jelly or honey.
· Three glucose tablets (available without a prescription at most medical supply stores like Discount Medical Supplies).
· A serving of glucose gel (read label for amount).
Conversely, a person who is unconscious or can’t swallow as a result of hypoglycemia should not be given fluids or food. They need either an injection of glucagon or emergency treatment in a hospital if a glucagon injection isn't on hand.