Search This Blog

Friday, 16 May 2014

Diabetes Blog Week Day 5: Diabetes Life Hacks

Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes.  Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)

Diabetes Life Hacks? I probably don't have anything original that I haven't picked up from other blogs or D-forums/chat rooms.

I guess I struggle with remembering how diabetes devices affect my body - like lancing devices, set changes, etc. So whenever I need hacks these are the things I look for. 

For the 1st 6 months I was diagnosed I have a favoured finger that took the brunt of testing. Consequently that finger is now very calloused and require 1 1/2 whole lancing points above my other fingers to draw blood. Eventually I worked out a system where I assigned each finger to a meal or a specific testing reason. My thumbs are for my pre and post breakfast, index fingers for pre and post lunch and middle fingers for pre and post dinner/before bed. My ring finger (and the equivalent on the opposit hand) is for pre-driving checks and my pinkies, because they bleed much more readily are reserved for hypos. In doing this my fingers have a chance to heal and the callous on my favoured finger is slowly softening. 

As well as this, I change my lancet on pay day every fortnight, which is the same day I buy my strips and other diabetes supplies, so I am just able to start with everything fresh. Failing every fortnight if I buy supplies in bulk, I try for at least once a month

My next hack is to remember when I last did my set change as I always forget and will just wait for the insulin to run out. I calculated an average of how much insulin I use per day and I fill my insulin up with this exact amount for 3 days, plus approximately 6 - 7 units for prime/air bubbles. It also helps to curb overeating because I have to remember I have only given myself x amount per day, so if I pig out one day I take it easy the next to save premature set-change.

The other hacks I use most often are about remembering carb counts for things. When I package up sausages I will write on the outside in marker how many carbs are in the serve I just froze so Its not something I have to look up later. Or for cereal I find a small bowl, scoop, etc that is roughly the size of a serving and have attached to it a label with all the cereals I eat and how many carbs is in 1 scoop - so that way  I never have to weight it and can just quickly use the scoop to get out an exact amount of carb. I tend to cycle through about 3 different cereals so the scoop has all 3 written on it and I just move it from one box to the next. 

Not over exciting hacks, but they help make diabetes care just that little bit easier for me.


  1. I love your idea of alternating fingers with different meals. I only use six fingers and they are all calloused and I've tried to alternate but usually fail. I'll have to give your tip a try!

  2. I love the idea of the label attached to the cereal scoop! Definitely going to have to try that :)