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This issue, we lay out the many devices with which diabetic people must poke themselves: syringes, pen needles, and lancing devices. And we top them off with a sprinkling of sugar: a chart outlining all the sources of fast-acting glucose.
Every insulin-user faces the possibility of low blood glucose. Given the unpredictability of blood sugar in people with diabetes, it's just about unavoidable. When a low happens, being prepared makes all the difference between a simple fix and a big disaster.
The rest of the world doesn't always "get" the symptoms of low blood glucose, so the possibility exists that you might be mistaken for drunk. That's why it's imperative that you always carry fast-acting glucose with you to stop lows in their tracks.
Fast-acting glucose tabs or gels (the latest incarnation of what started as cake frosting tubes) are just about the handiest form of sugar to treat a low because they're small, portable, and raise your blood sugar fast. It's wise to keep a supply on your person at all times, just in case. You never know when you might need them, and they'll usually do the trick so that you don't have to go glucose-hunting in an emergency. There are flavors to please every palate, so consult our chart to decide which kind is best for you.
The glucose chart is followed by three charts that really get to the point: syringes, lancing devices, and pen needles. They're all humble but very important components of your diabetes care, and they've come a long way as well. People who remember the old days of sharpening enormous 25 gauge burr-covered steel needles on a whetstone and boiling them for twenty minutes believe that today's slick disposable syringes are among the best of all improvements in diabetes care.
We've laid out almost a hundred different ones for you to choose from, with needles all the way down to 31 gauge, as well as 25 pen needles of various lengths and eighteen kinds of lancing devices. These days all lancing devices come with multiple depth settings so they'll work for everyone from the thinnest-skinned child to the toughest-skinned carpenter, and you can cock and fire many of them with just one hand.
All the details of all the poking devices are covered in our comprehensive charts, so be sure to visit our Charts page the next time you want to explore what's available in the world of sharps. And by the way, don't forget to dispose of them properly. A sharps container should always be the last resting place of all your pointed accessories.
Jul 26, 2007
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.