This Month’s Charts: Fast-Acting Glucose, Syringes, Pen Needles and Lancing Devices

This issue, we lay out the many devices with which diabetic peoplemust poke themselves: syringes, pen needles, and lancing devices.And we top them off with a sprinkling of sugar: a chart outliningall the sources of fast-acting glucose.

Every insulin-user faces the possibility of low blood glucose. Giventhe unpredictability of blood sugar in people with diabetes, it'sjust about unavoidable. When a low happens, being prepared makes allthe difference between a simple fix and a big disaster.

The rest of the world doesn't always "get" the symptoms of low bloodglucose, so the possibility exists that you might be mistaken fordrunk. That's why it's imperative that you always carry fast-actingglucose with you to stop lows in their tracks.

Fast-acting glucose tabs or gels (the latest incarnation of whatstarted as cake frosting tubes) are just about the handiest form ofsugar to treat a low because they're small, portable, and raise yourblood sugar fast. It's wise to keep a supply on your person at alltimes, just in case. You never know when you might need them, andthey'll usually do the trick so that you don't have to goglucose-hunting in an emergency. There are flavors to please everypalate, so consult our chart to decide which kind is best for you.

The glucose chart is followed by three charts that really get to thepoint: syringes, lancing devices, and pen needles. They're allhumble but very important components of your diabetes care, andthey've come a long way as well. People who remember the old days ofsharpening enormous 25 gauge burr-covered steel needles on awhetstone and boiling them for twenty minutes believe that today'sslick disposable syringes are among the best of all improvements indiabetes care.

We've laid out almost a hundred different ones for you to choosefrom, with needles all the way down to 31 gauge, as well as 25 penneedles of various lengths and eighteen kinds of lancing devices.These days all lancing devices come with multiple depth settings sothey'll work for everyone from the thinnest-skinned child to thetoughest-skinned carpenter, and you can cock and fire many of themwith just one hand.

All the details of all the poking devices are covered in ourcomprehensive charts, so be sure to visit our Charts page the next time you want to explore what's available in the world ofsharps. And by the way, don't forget to dispose of them properly. Asharps container should always be the last resting place of all yourpointed accessories.

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