According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a whopping 30.3 million US citizens are living with diabetes. The report also reveals that 84.1 million people are prediabetic.
Prediabetics are at risk of developing full-blown Type 2 diabetes within a period of five years or less. The disease can, however, be effectively managed through lifestyle changes in diet and physical activity.
Thanks to numerous advances in technology, diabetics can now purchase all their diabetic supplies online. In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at all you need to know about buying diabetic supplies on the web. Read on.
Types of Diabetic Supplies You Can Purchase Online
Any online diabetic supplies store worth its salt should stock items from quality brands to cater to every kind of diabetic patient there is. Some must-haves include:
1. Lancets, Diabetic Test Strips, and Meters
These three items are the most common supplies you’ll find. A lancet is a device that makes a small puncture on the skin to draw a blood specimen.
The blood is then placed on a test strip. They contain a chemical known as glucose oxidase that reacts with the glucose in the blood sample to produce a substance known as gluconic acid.
Both ends of the strip contain electric terminals. When inserted into the glucose meter, they test the levels of electric current flowing between the terminals.
When a higher amount of gluconic acid produced in the reaction, the meter measures a higher level of electric current. The device then uses an algorithm to calculate the amount of blood glucose based on the level of current flowing through the terminals.
2. CGM Systems
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems offer a less invasive alternative to using lancets. As the name suggests, these devices have sensors which are placed into the body to measure glucose concentrations in the intestinal fluid (ISF). These devices are available for sale in online medical stores.
Many of these devices are capable of measuring hundreds of readings in a single day. They don’t rely on the patient having to prick their fingers to draw blood samples.
Some devices include alarms to alert the individual of their current levels of glucose in the bloodstream. This prompts them to take the appropriate action when the levels are too high or too low. They are typically recommended for diabetics who struggle with hypoglycemia or little children who need continuous monitoring.
3. Insulin and Needles
Online stores also sell a variety of products that are designed to deliver insulin into the bloodstream via the subcutaneous tissue. These could be in the form of syringes and pen needles.
You’ll also find different types of insulin on sale depending on the treatment regimen your doctor has you on. These include rapid-acting, long-acting, short-acting, immediate-acting and pre-mixed insulin.
The kind of insulin that the doctor prescribes for you depends on how long your body takes to absorb it and how long it remains active in the bloodstream. Other factors that may influence the type of insulin you use is your comfort level as pertains to whether or not you can give yourself multiple injections every day.
Your diabetes management goals are what ultimately determine what choice you’ll go with. Consult your doctor before making any purchases.
4. Diabetes Socks
Diabetes socks are yet another common diabetic supply. Most of those you'll find are designed to keep the feet dry, encourage blood circulation and reduce the risk of a foot injury.
Ensure that the socks you purchase are of superior quality material, non-binding, well-fitted and padded. Avoid socks that have seams. This reduces the potential for constriction and swelling that would inhibit the flow of blood to the region.
5. Low-Sugar Snacks
It’s common knowledge that diabetics need food that is low in sugar. Online stores also sell diabetes-friendly snacks that are sugar-free or low in sugar. These range from roasted peanuts, oats and almonds to dried almonds, black beans, and whole-grain crackers.
Reasons for Buying Diabetic Supplies Online
One of the major reasons that people buy diabetic supplies online has to do with the huge discounts online stores offer to consumers. This is because most stores purchase their inventory from overstocked pharmacies.
This allows them to sell diabetes products at wholesale prices. What's more, if you set up a regular delivery schedule with the store, you can take advantage of long term discounts.
Online diabetes stores also have to help diabetics improve their quality of life. These include diabetes-friendly recipes, exercise plans to help you stay in shape and frequently asked questions. You’ll also find news about the latest trends in diabetes treatments and nutrition.
Additionally, buying diabetes supplies online is recommended for people who want to maintain their privacy. The items come in discreet packaging eliminating the need for consumers to disclose their medical information in a public pharmacy.
People with limited mobility or elderly patients also find these online services handy. It saves them the hassle of making the physical trip to the pharmacy every time they need to purchase diabetic supplies.
Conversely, if you can make it to a pharmacy, but your day-to-day schedule is packed, buying diabetes supplies online is a great option. Simply make an online payment and have them shipped to your house. It’ll save you the time it would take to go to your local pharmacy.
Types of Online Diabetes Supply Services
When you purchase items from online stores whose specialty is diabetic supplies there’s a guarantee that they have dedicated customer service team on hand. That way they can address any issues you may have.
On the other hand, purchasing items from an online medical store means they don’t sell diabetes-related products alone. They also stock other medical supplies that you would typically find at any reputable pharmacy.
Most diabetes supply stores work on a subscription model. Customers pay a periodic fee in order to receive scheduled deliveries. These could be monthly or quarterly.
The Bottom Line
When buying diabetic supplies online always ensure that you do a side-by-side comparison of the prices, products, and brands before making a decision. This will ensure that you get bang for your buck without compromising on quality.
Do your due diligence as well to ensure that you’re getting products from a highly reputable online supplies store. It safeguards the integrity of the items you purchase.
Buying diabetics supplies online offers a convenient and discreet way to manage your illness. Check out our online store for high-quality diabetic supplies from all the top brands.