Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a condition that prevents the body from properly using the energy derived from food. As a result, diabetic patients have abnormally high blood sugar.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes while another 88 million people are at risk of the disease. These numbers can spell trouble in a collapsed society where medical supplies have gone dry.
One of the worst-case scenarios is when a patient has to be amputated due to gangrene, which happens when body tissues die due to a loss of blood supply. High blood sugar can limit blood flow or damage nerves, leading to a loss of sensation in the affected area.
It’s important to avoid diabetes complications as these minimize a patient’s chance of survival. Before SHTF, preparing for a medical emergency is a must. Consider the following safety tips. (h/t to PreppersWill.com)
Wear a medical ID tag
A medical I.D. tag is a small emblem that’s typically attached to or worn as a bracelet to let other people know that you have an existing medical condition. This can be useful in outdoor emergency situations.
In diabetes, for instance, your blood sugar could plummet dramatically in a condition called hypoglycemia. This can happen if you have not eaten enough carbohydrates or have taken too much insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb and use sugar for energy. You could pass out on the street, feel shaky and dizzy or have a seizure.
There are “medical alert bracelets” being sold in the market. You can procure one, especially if it’s advised by a physician.
Feel out your surroundings
However, take note that an I.D. tag will only work depending on the disaster scenario. In more desperate situations, other people are more likely to ignore you or exploit your condition. Wearing a tag should be worn with caution as it can be perceived as a weakness. Feel out your surroundings so you could evaluate whether a tag is an advantage or not.
Prepare a first-aid plan
If you’re bugging out with a diabetic or you yourself have the condition, preparing a first-aid plan will be important for emergency situations. Keep a blood sugar testing kit and stockpile on medications and emergency foods, such as sugar packets and carb-rich snacks.
When prepping with diabetes, one of the most important things you have to worry about is a hypoglycemic attack. If a person is conscious, give him a glass of fruit juice or something similar. Otherwise, open his mouth and put a teaspoon of sugar under his tongue. Your bug-out companion/s should also be aware of these emergency steps. (Related: 6 Useful medical devices to have when SHTF.)
Plan your diet
A good prepper communicates with his healthcare provider to work out a weekly dietary schedule before SHTF.
Diabetes management and treatment are based on making changes to one’s diet. So you’ll likely be advised to eat less sugar and incorporate more healthful foods, such as leafy greens and beans. Having a diet plan is good not only for your health. It will also help you choose which foods to stockpile.
Shed some pounds
Obesity and being overweight are common risk factors for diabetes. That said, you should monitor your pounds especially if you’re a diabetic or have been identified to be at risk of the disease. On top of a solid diet, regular exercise can help in maintaining a healthy weight.
Pay attention to wound care
Over time, diabetes can slow down wound healing and increase the risk of infection. In worse cases, it can lead to gangrene. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to wounds no matter their size. Your survival kit should include wound dressings, antiseptics and other medical supplies. Natural wound remedies like sugar can also help, so you can consider stockpiling on those.
Though diabetes might seem like a hindrance in a survival situation, you can manage it by prepping and keeping these safety tips in mind.