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Gift Ideas for People With Diabetes

It's that time again. I've blogged on this topic several times before. You'll find those posts here. I have updated the links where they needed to be updated:

Great Gifts for People with Diabetes (2009)

Holiday Gifts for People with Diabetes (2008)

The suggestions you'll find in these older posts are still useful. But here are some more.

1.Erythritol for baking There are several different brands of this sugar alcohol sweetener available online. It's expensive, but it is the one sugar alcohol that does not raise blood sugar and I've found that if you mix it up with a bit of Da Vinci Sugar free syrup it gives baked goods a very nice flavor.

2. Accu-Chek Multiclix Lancet Device Kit. This is a great gift for someone who does not use an Accuchek meter. The lancet comes free with the meters, so it's a waste of money for someone who does. The advantage of this lancet is that it is by far the most painless blood sugar testing device on the market. The lancets come in drums of six and since I only change to the next lancet every three months or so a box of the lancet drums will last many years.

3. Yoga, Swimming, or Other Fitness Classes at a local Gym or Y. These often cost extra above monthly membership prices, so if your giftee already belongs to a gym, they might appreciate your gift of some of these classes. Make sure you check which gym they attend. A three month membership in a gym that has a pool with lots of free swim time and hot tub is a wonderful "vacation at home" gift, especially in cold climates. (Oh how I wish there was a pool like that near me I could sign up for!)

4.Hypnosis Sessions to Help Achieve Dietary Goals. Some people find hypnotic suggestion very helpful in giving themselves a boost in their motivation. Dr. Bernstein recommends this technique in his book, and though I haven't used it for dieting, I have used it for other applications and have found it very useful. Look for someone who has been in practice for a while in your area and who can give you local references. A good hypnotist will ask the person exactly what suggestions they want to have implanted and create a CD of the session they can use at home. If you live in New England I highly recommend the services of Janet Masucci in Gill, MA.

5. Carb Counting and Nutritional Database Apps for Smartphones. Having nutritional information at your fingertips makes it a lot easier to track carb and calorie intake. This pays off for either weight loss or insulin dosing. Apps that give restaurant food counts can be very helpful. Look for nutritional sofware that makes clear portion size as counts without this vital information are useless.

6. Pulse Rate Monitor A very safe, healthy way for older people who are out of shape to improve fitness is to calculate the target pulse rate for low intensity workouts (there are sites online that will do this for you) and then to use a pulse rate monitor to stay in the "zone" where they are getting a good but safe workout doing simple exercises like brisk walking or biking. There are quite a few inexpensive monitors on the market nowadays which can be helpful for reassuring people that they are exercising enough to get benefits from it.

7. Help Paying for Meds and Testing Supplies. A shocking number of prescriptions go unfilled because people can't afford them, or because the copays are too high. People on Medicare may also have run out of coverage this time of year. Don't be shy about asking friends with diabetes if they'd like the gift of help in paying for essential medications.

That's a start. Please add your own suggestions in the comments section.

This is the time of year to make sure in advance that your friends and family know NOT to give you food gifts labelled "SUGAR FREE" or "DIABETIC.: These foods are invariably very high in carbs and the candies will often give you the runs. Just tell people that if they want to give you diabetes friendly food gifts they should stick to cheese, meat, nuts, dry wines, and dark chocolates (70% and higher).


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