Whenever worst case scenarios are discussed, sooner or later someone brings up a health related issue, such as stocking up on prescription meds or what to do with a family member who has a chronic health problem.
A couple of weeks ago, a reader raised the question of having a diabetic in the family. If someone is insulin-dependent, is there any way to prepare for the possibility that insulin might, someday, be difficult or impossible to find?
I posed this question on Facebook and wanted to share some of the answers with you. Of course, before trying anything you read on the internet, always talk with your doctor first.
- Buy a small fridge or electric camping cooler and a dedicated power supply to keep your stock of insulin from going bad, and stock up. Also look into ways with diet and lifestyle to mitigate and/or lessen the amount of insulin needed.
- I only have a diabetic dog but when there are chances of losing power I always stock up on those cold packs you put on sports injuries. you know the ones you break and shake. They will keep the insulin cold for quite a while.
- Check out the you tube videos of The Patriot Nurse. She recommends Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes and There is a Cure for Diabetes.
- Cinnamon is a natural way to lower blood glucose levels, as is cranberry. There is an over-the-counter supplement called Cinnergen. It works really well. Mother and I have used it as a quicker way to lower levels, as we’re both non-insulin dependent but use pills.
- Check out Raw for 30 Days.
- As a diabetic and a nurse, I can tell you that with most diabetics if fat to muscle body ratio is decreased, regular exercise is performed, and a diabetic diet is adhered to, most diabetics can get off insulin and or pills, and maintain a normal blood sugar with diet. Sometimes cinnamon or Vitamin D supplement is needed. I am living proof this works. 15 years of non-medicine controlled diabetes
- Look for a meter that uses test strips that don’t expire. Stock up on testing supplies and batteries for the testers. Also, insulin needles. Testing blood sugar can be important for non-diabetics too, e.g. hypoglycemia, pregnant women, etc. I also keep lots of those frozen bags in case of power failure or traveling. Artificial sweetener is helpful.
- Perhaps stockpiling some of the fast acting and slow acting pills. They don’t replace insulin but could keep a coma at bay. They are not as fragile as insulin.
- I use the insulin pen. Once taken out of the refrigerator, they can be kept at room temp for up to 28 days, though 14 is preferred. I use them daily, though you could ask your doctor about ordering them for just the winter months if cost is a factor. And the insulin is right in the pen and does not have to be drawn up into a needle.
- Not all diabetes can be controlled by diet. Type 1 diabetics get NO insulin from their pancreas, thus having to receive the shots. Type 2 diabetics have an under-functioning pancreas and sometimes they can be controlled by diet alone (but not all).
- If you have juvenile diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t produce the insulin, therefore you have to take shots to regulate. We did try the zeer pot, (see this article, also) but it did not get down to 55. We were able to stock up on insulin from a Canadian pharmacy without a prescription. My husband is in great shape. He runs and does strength training. He eats good, too. It still doesn’t make his pancreas work.
- My son is Type 1. I have a 1 year supply of insulin and am currently looking into getting this solar generator. It is 1800 watts and is strong enough to run a small refrigerator and other appliances. It is completely run on sun power, is portable and is plug and go out of the box. I would enjoy hearing other ideas too. Maybe we can start our own group.
- Look into growing stevia… not sure if it helps with Type 1 or not, but it has been used in Japan and South America to help with diabetes. If nothing else, maybe it could help to stretch your insulin supply.
- I am a pharmacy tech, and I can tell you it will be next to impossible to come up with homemade insulin. Best advice that I can give:
- Stock up on insulin pens, but be aware! They too have a shelf life with a window. They do not require refrigeration.
- If your family members are not on an insulin pen, they must change BEFORE any disaster hits. It is extremely dangerous to switch insulin without a medical doctor monitoring the changes.
- Insulin dependent family members must maintain a routine, even if it is SHTF time. So prepare, prepare, prepare. Going too long without insulin, or taking it too early is a disaster waiting to happen! Start right now, using a schedule that can be kept to in case an emergency strikes.
- Watch those carbs! And carbs are any starch or sugar. Plan on having more dried jerkys, more dried or canned meats, etc. Beans and rice make a complete protein, but you will have a carb price to pay. So, your meal needs will be different from other preppers.
- Unless an atomic bomb hits or something totally decimates society-SOME pharmacies and hospitals will still be open. Don’t go in saying that you only have 12 insulin pens left and need to buy up their supplies. The pharmacist will simply sell you one. But, if you say that you are out, most pharmacists can get you resupplied for a week, maybe more. Just remember, when SHTF, we are trying to take care of everyone with very limited supplies. And-no ETA of more supplies arriving.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss this with your medical doctor, your pharmacist, and your local hospital. I wouldn’t necessarily go down the prepper road-that can lead to questions about your sanity! I would phrase it as, “I want to know, if an earthquake like LA’s in 1993 hits, what are my options?” (Or hurricane, or tornado, or whatever is in your area.) That will make you seem prudent, not nutso.
Great advice! Hope it helps with your prepper planning.