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Managing life with diabetes

Adapting to the day-to-day challenges of living with diabetes requires commitment, flexibility, sound planning and a little spontaneity, too. If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or have had it for a while and need some helpful tips and tricks to make life easier, then read on!

Learning how to prioritise your time to accommodate regular blood sugar checks and results tracking can help you stay in control of your diabetes. But often, events like travelling, dining out, blood sugar highs and lows or even a sick day can add stress to an already busy life.

That is why it is so important to create your own plan to help you handle these situations without stress. For example, putting together an emergency travel kit of testing supplies and medications, writing a detailed plan if you feel ill, scheduling doctor appointments in advance, creating a nutritious meal plan and setting limits on your time can help you meet the challenges you may face in managing your self-care.

The first area we're looking at in this series is:

Preparing for your day

For those days when you’re rushing around or you’re out of the house, preparing a bag full of items that can help you feel more organised with your diabetes might come in handy.

Being prepared before you leave home can help ease your stress and make your trip even more enjoyable. By taking a few minutes to plan ahead, you will feel secure knowing that you are ready for whatever situation greets you along the way.

Life is often unpredictable, so prepare to handle any situation that may arise by putting together a short checklist of items that can be kept in your bag at home, work or school.


For those times where you really need a quick bite, carry bananas, individually wrapped granola bars, dried fruit and nuts, or rice cakes with peanut butter to provide much-needed carbohydrates at a moment’s notice. Choose something that suits your taste and is easy to carry with you.

Emergency fast-acting carbs

If you are at risk of low blood sugar (hypos), make sure to carry something to treat it quickly if needed. Ideally you want something to eat or drink that contains 15-20g fast acting carbohydrates, which could include sweets, glucose, dextrose tablets or a sugary drink1. Jelly babies can often be the secret weapon for people on insulin!

Extra testing supplies and medications

If you are going to be away from home, it’s always good to carry spares! Bring along extra diabetes supplies, including test strips and lancets or spare cannulas and cartridges if you are on an insulin pump. You never know when you might need them.

Mobile phone and medical ID

Symptoms of diabetes aren’t always obvious, so wearing something that identifies you is a good idea, just in case of emergency. This could be a nice looking bracelet or necklace- these come in all styles so the key is finding something you want to wear regularly and suits your style. Carrying a mobile phone is also useful in case you need to contact anyone- for help or just a chat!