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Today's Tip: How often should I have an HbA1c test?

People meeting their diabetes treatment goals should have an HbA1c test at least twice a year, and those whose therapy has changed or who are not meeting their goals should be tested four times a year.

Learn more about HbA1c here.

Yesterday's Tip: What should you do if you think you’ve developed low blood glucose?

If you think your blood glucose level is low, address the problem promptly. Stop what you’re doing, check your blood glucose level with your meter, and have a snack if necessary, even if you have to stop your car or interrupt a conversation to do it. If you don’t have your meter with you or can’t use it for any reason, go ahead and treat your symptoms of hypoglycemia without checking your blood glucose level first.

Learn more about hypoglycemia here.

January 16, 2020: How should I handle an episode of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose)?

To treat hypoglycemia, chew and swallow four glucose tablets (containing about 4 grams of carbohydrate each) or drink about 5 ounces of orange juice or a regular (not diet) soft drink.

Learn more about hypoglycemia here.

January 15, 2020: Should I purchase exercise videos to help me stick to my exercise routine?

Videos can be helpful for teaching you new routines and keeping you motivated. However, rather than buying exercise videos at retail price, it is far more cost-effective to borrow them from your public library, buy them for pennies at a garage sale, record them from your TV or watch them online.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 14, 2020: I’m thinking of starting an exercise program. Should I purchase equipment to enhance the routines I’m planning on?

If you’re thinking of buying exercise equipment, only buy something if you’re sure you’ll use it regularly.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 13, 2020: I can’t afford to join a gym. How can I get exercise?

Walking is one of the best — and least expensive — forms of exercise. The only piece of equipment you need is a good pair of walking shoes.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 12, 2020: How can I save money on my food?

One of the keys to saving money while maximizing nutrition is to plan meals well in advance.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 11, 2020: Can generic drugs help me save money?

Quite possibly. Generic drugs are almost identical to brand-name preparations, but they can cost significantly less. Ask your doctor if a generic version of your diabetes drugs is available and acceptable.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 10, 2020: How should I go about getting the best price on my medicines?

When shopping around for a deal on drug prices, consider all the medicines you take. Pick the source with the lowest overall cost for your total drug needs.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 9, 2020: How long can I use a bottle of insulin?

Manufacturer recommendations vary, but generally, opened bottles of insulin kept in either the refrigerator or at room temperature should be discarded after one month. Store unrefrigerated insulin below 86ºF away from heat and light and follow the manufacturer’s storage recommendations to avoid spoilage and waste.

Learn more about insulin here.

January 8, 2020: I spend a lot of money on alcohol wipes each year. What can I do?

Packaged alcohol wipes aren’t absolutely necessary. You can save money by using cotton balls and alcohol or by washing your hands with soap and water before each stick.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 7, 2020: How can I get discounts on my supplies?

Look for a supplier that offers a frequent-buyer program with discounts and check for discount coupons in the packaging of your diabetes supplies.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 6, 2020: I sometimes forget to reorder my supplies and end up running out. How can I prevent this from happening again?

Many insurance companies require personal initiation of each mail-order shipment, as opposed to automatically shipping supplies on a predetermined schedule. If you tend to forget to reorder supplies before you run out, therefore, it’s probably best to stick with local suppliers.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 5, 2020: Where can I get the best bargain on my diabetes supplies?

Ordering supplies by mail (on the Internet or by phone) is often the most cost-effective way to buy them.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 4, 2020: What special precautions should I take when reusing a syringe?

If you are going to reuse a syringe, recap the needle after each use, and don’t use alcohol on it, as this can damage its protective coating.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 3, 2020: Is it OK to reuse syringes?

One syringe can be used multiple times throughout a day, unless you have a history of infections or are ill or immune-compromised. Check with your doctor before you do this.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 2, 2020: Can I reuse lancets?

With good hygiene, it is usually acceptable to use the same lancet throughout a 24-hour period (but check with your doctor first). Remember, though, never to share your lancets with another person.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

January 1, 2020: Is there any way I can save money on my diabetes supplies?

Yes — buying your supplies in bulk can save a significant amount of money. However, make sure you don’t buy more of any item than you will use before its expiration date.

Learn more money-saving strategies here.

December 31, 2019: What is the goal of diabetes management?

The primary goal of diabetes management is optimal blood glucose control. Self-monitoring of blood glucose helps you and your diabetes care team evaluate your overall blood glucose control and review the trends and patterns of your blood glucose levels during the course of the day.

Learn more about blood glucose monitoring here.

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