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Since the early 1980s, people with diabetes have needed accessory cases to carry their testing and insulin supplies with them. As the goal of better blood glucose control led to more frequent glucose testing, multiple daily injections and insulin pumps, keeping supplies and life support systems handy has become ever more important.
The oversized, cumbersome equipment and technology of the past has given way to smaller, more compact devices. Now that monitors, injectors, lancets, insulin pens and pump accessories have been miniaturized, smaller, more organized cases are now available in different materials, colors and configurations.
Nylon is the most common material for carrying cases. The nylon may be coated with PVC to make it more water repellant. It usually comes in several color choices.
PVC is a water-repellant vinyl material that can resemble leather; in fact some people have a hard time differentiating it from the real thing. It is durable and costs much less than leather.
Genuine leather is a more luxurious material that offers natural insulation against extreme hot and cold temperatures.
Many cases incorporate a protective foam lining that helps protect the contents from shock and temperature fluctuations. Foam acts as an efficient insulator when inserted between the inner and outer material.
Some manufacturers offer freezable packs and inserts that will keep the contents cold for many hours.
Straps, handles and belt loops
Depending on your individual needs, you might choose a small case that can be carried in a pocket, purse, briefcase or backpack. Or you might prefer a case you can wear around the waist or over your shoulder. A small case with a belt loop keeps your supplies handy at all times on your belt. There are waist packs that offer more room, and larger cases with removable shoulder straps like a camera case, useful for travel or longer daytrips.
Specialized diabetes cases offer separate pockets that close with Velcro, zippers, or snaps. They may offer elastic straps that hold your meter in place along with a vial of strips, lancet devices, insulin and syringes.
An OEM (original equipment manufacturer’s) case is the carrying case that comes with your blood glucose monitor when you receive it. Generally OEM cases are inexpensive designs. Usually they have room only for the product it came with, such as the monitor and its accessories. An OEM case designed to hold one manufacturer’s product does not offer a choice of materials, design or colors.
After-market cases hold generic items such as a monitor, test strips, lancets, lancet device, insulin, insulin pens, glucose tablets, pump supplies, spare batteries, log book and whatever else you like to carry with you. There are many choices in designs, materials, color and insulation, depending on your needs. These cases are usually well constructed, utilizing modern manufacturing methods to give you a high-quality product. You should expect your case to withstand several years of use, considering it will be opened and closed four to eight times per day.
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.