12 Great Gifts for People with Diabetes
Editor’s Note: This content was originally published at OnTrack Diabetes, acquired by EndocrineWeb, and is republished with permission. It has been updated to reflect available products we value in 2021. Beyond Type 2 received no compensation or samples of the products on this list. The products on this list are based on the authors’ personal preferences from several decades of living with diabetes.
Please stop buying us those gross, “sugar-free” chocolates from CVS, along with pretty much anything from the “diet” section of any store. A few people with diabetes may enjoy them, but we’ve never met any of them personally. Here are some suggestions.
Julia & Ginger.
Julia & Ginger’s Picks
Since I’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of disappointing “diabetes-friendly” presents from well-meaning folks, I decided it was high time I put together a gift registry for people with diabetes.
In addition to their loved ones, people with diabetes may also enjoy this list to find a gift for themselves this holiday season! There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, and we know you deserve it after all of the hard work you’ve put in this year (and every moment of dedication and diligence before that).
Here are my top picks:
1. Diabetes Backpacks, Purses and Cases—Oh My!
Myabetic offers an assortment of diabetes accessories to help make the diabetes management process more fluid and fashionable. Whether the person you love with diabetes could use a backpack, purse, or case for storing their supplies, you’re sure to find something that not only reflects their management needs but tastes!
2. Test-Strip Subscriptions—Save Money, No RX Required
Companies are getting smart and delivering test strips in the quantities we need to live well with diabetes without needing prescriptions or insurance approval.
These three companies have created their blood glucose meter and test-strip subscription plans (some even come with complimentary diabetes coaching with a certified diabetes educator) for the same price as a monthly copay. These plans are way better than having insurance companies dictate how many test strips you are permitted to use each day.
The companies offer programs that cost as little as $8 a month if you only need one or two strips per day and unlimited test-strip supplies for about $40 if you test more than four times a day. Check out each one and see what you think!
3. Investing in a Personal Diabetes Coach
Sometimes appointments with doctors aren’t enough. To reach our goals around weight loss, nutrition, A1C levels and the emotional challenges of living with diabetes, having a diabetes friend/cheerleader/coach (who also has diabetes) can be a life-changing experience!
If your loved one has been lamenting their diabetes-related struggles, getting a coaching plan with one of these inspiring people will give them the support and guidance they need!
- Coaching with Jody Stanislaw
- Coaching with Lauren Bongiorno
- Coaching with Christel Oerum
- Coaching with Fit4D
- Coaching with Gary Scheiner & Jennifer C. Smith
- Diabetes Training Camp for Teens/Adults
4. Cool Diabetes Apparel
Nothing shouts diabetes pride like a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or hat that shows just how powerful people with diabetes are! These fun tees (made by people with diabetes) reinforce to every passerby that diabetes can look STRONG and AWESOME, just like your family member or beloved friend! Diabetes is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by.
I wish GrifGrips existed when I was still using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM)! GrifGrips have dozens of designs to suit a variety of styles and ages, and they actually keep your diabetes technology where it belongs on your body without ripping off your skin! Boy, did I struggle with keeping that darn thing stuck to my body.
Designed for various diabetes gadgets, they are the ultimate must-have accessory for anyone wearing a pump or CGM.
6. A Few Good Reads
Books about diabetes, often written by authors with diabetes, are a wonderful gift to help your loved one feel understood and supported! Have the books delivered straight to your loved one’s door for the holidays. To find these books, simply search each title on Amazon.
- Think Like a Pancreas
- Dealing with Diabetes Burnout
- 50 Myths That Can Ruin Your Life—and 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It
- Sugar Surfing
- Thriving with Diabetes
- Pumping Insulin
For the Newly Diagnosed
- The Book of Better
- The Pocket Carbohydrate Counting Guide
- Typecast: Amazing Individuals Overcoming Chronic Disease
- If I Kiss You, Will I Get Diabetes?
- Too Sweet: The Not-So-Serious Side of Diabetes
- Sugar Linings
To Manage Blood Sugar Levels When Exercising
- Diabetic Athlete’s Handbook
- Yoga for Diabetes
- Unleash Your Inner Diabetes Dominator
- Fit with Diabetes
- Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes
- Balancing Diabetes
- Emotional Eating with Diabetes
- A Woman’s Guide to Diabetes
To Laugh and Feel Seen
7. Frio Insulin-Cooling Case
To protect your insulin during the hot summer months, or even in your car on a warmish spring day, the Frio case is a simple, affordable “cooling” case that requires zero time in the freezer. Instead, you just run it under water to activate its cooling system and presto—insulin protection! This case is a must-have for anyone with diabetes who carries insulin in their bag, backpack, or purse.
When it needs to be “re-cooled,” you simply run it under the water again!
8. Low-Carb Pasta that Tastes Seriously Good
Seapoint Farms Edamame Fettuccine is my favorite diabetes-friendly noodle. Not only because it holds together well, but it’s NEVER gummy or chewy like rice pasta and barely affects my blood sugar! It’s easy to cook, too. Just boil, add pasta, drain and add your preferred sauce. Mangia Pasta in under ten minutes! Even my picky father-in-law likes it! And if he wants it, anyone will.
Caulipower also provides a hearty serving of planted-based yumminess! The brand recently released a cauliflower-based pasta that I enjoy. Even better, I notice little difference in taste and flavor compared to “regular” pasta noodles. In an 8.8 oz. container of Caulipower linguine, you will find 2.5 servings. Each serving is 50g of carbohydrate and 2g of protein. Caulipower is wheat-free, vegetarian, vegan, tree nut-free and peanut-free. I have found it to have minimal effect on my blood glucose levels (BGLs).
9. Orgain Protein Powder
Orgain Protein Powder and “Orgain Simple” are both excellent protein powder options for people with diabetes. In addition to the powder, Orgain also offers collagen peptides, protein bars, pancake and waffle mix, mixing bottles and pre-mixed protein drinks. Orgain is a plant-powered brand with low sugar content and high-quality ingredients, whether you drink it as a pre-workout beverage or as a meal supplement.
Ginger especially loves Orgain Simple because it only has a few ingredients and zero artificial sweeteners! It doesn’t hurt her stomach like so many other protein powders.
Some of the added benefits of the products are that they are vegan, non-GMO, non-dairy, gluten-free and have no added sugars. So, whether the person you love with diabetes is interested in Orgain’s holiday flavors or the classics, this is not only a fun treat but a nutritional one.
10. Fitness Tracker
These gadgets are undoubtedly trendy in the non-diabetic community, but for people with diabetes, they offer an extra incentive to get moving. This motivation is vital for managing blood sugar levels, especially with those holiday treats that tend to cause spikes.
Somehow, seeing how many steps you’ve taken each day is an effective eye-opener for anyone struggling to make exercising a bigger priority. They can be expensive, so being the one to give your loved one a quality fitness tracker, like a FitBit, could make you the Queen of Christmas or the Hero of Hanukkah or the King of Kwanzaa!
Buyer, beware of the cheap knock-offs! While the reviews can be great, you may find, as I have, that they have a shorter lifespan and fewer features that benefit your diabetes management. Ultimately, you may regret not investing in a high-quality and effective gadget that helps your loved one(s) improve their health and wellbeing.
11. A Little Dab Will Do Ya!
For those who prefer to “wipe” the blood after a finger prick (versus licking it), these are just for you!
Diabetic Dabs were invented by a mom of a type 1 kiddo and serve as a perfectly compact little pad, sort of like a Post-It note for your bloody finger that you keep in your diabetes kit. Wipe it, dab it and go! Save money when you buy them from Amazon.
12. Seasonal CGM Patches
Not every person with diabetes wears a CGM, but those that do are sure to appreciate holiday patches! Various creators on Etsy have you covered, whether you want to decorate your tech with The Grinch, snowflakes, pine trees, Santa, or prefer a pattern that will transition across seasons better. (You’ll be online browsing for a while as there are so many creative designs to look at!)
Find CGM patches on Etsy by performing a simple search for “CGM patches” or “(Your CGM device name here) patches.”
This list touches the surface as to the fun diabetes-friendly products this amazing community has created. Still, we hope that if you are doing any last-minute shopping that it gives you some ideas to show your loved one you’re paying attention!
Happy Holidays, and cheers to another year without throwing away multiple boxes of gross “sugar-free” chocolate from the drug-store checkout line. Don’t waste your money but don’t forget—people with diabetes love presents, too!