Letter Re: Diabetes Management


I read your recent article on diabetes management with much interest, as I am a 64 year old diabetic myself. The problem with being insulin-dependent is access to insulin after things crash.

Walmart (of all places) sells Relion Diabetes management products, which include insulin over the counter with no prescription needed. Relion makes different insulins that are equal to the same insulins that sell for over $250 per bottle at the pharmacy.

Their insulins are very reasonable at $28.44 per 10ml vial. I went to my local Walmart in Michigan, and sure enough I was able to buy Relion Novolin R (to replace my Humulin R) with no questions asked!

The pharmacist told me I could buy up to four bottles at a time, and the expiration date of the product I purchased on 4/5/2017 is April of 2019! Relion has a full line of diabetes management products that are ridiculously inexpensive with no prescription needed!

A long term prepper could buy four vials of insulin every few weeks or months and build up a very nice supply that would last years.

In some states, like Indiana, a prescription is needed, but in many it is not. Check your local Walmart. – J.C.


    1. That’s a pretty general statement on MDs; However, as a former school teacher who dealt with the special education department, I saw many students properly medicated for real medical issues, but I also saw many students whose doctors simply rubber stamped what the school or parent wanted without any real involvement with the children as a patient.

  1. I have been a type 1, insulin dependant diabetic for a while; thankfully once daily Lantus and careful diet keeps my sugar levels manageable. My endocrinologist has been understanding, and wrote my scrip for 3x what I use a month, which has helped my stockpile.
    That said, the info on Relion at Wal-Mart is helpful, I will add a caveat. Our bodies react differently to different insulins, and it will take about a week for you to gauge the differnce, and effect. It would be better to know this difference sooner rather than later – like after the SHTF. And, it goes without saying that you will need to stockpile your supplies, not just your meds. Also, in re-reading ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’; mention is made of Dr. Forrester being a diabetic, and knowing he could make insulin – by sacrificing one sheep a month…
    Knowledge is power, for diabetics, knowledge is life. Thanks for sharing.

  2. http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/you-can-buy-insulin-without-prescription-should-you#stream/0

    Found this article when trying to find out if I could buy insulin in Idaho. Probably a good read to understand the dangers of using without doctor’s supervision, but I’m not suggesting that all insulin be prescription only, like the article suggests. It is still good to see all sides. I’ve been wondering about the insulin situation ever since I read “One Second After”. While I don’t know any one who is insulin dependent(that I know of), I would be interested in storing some in the event that someone I know and love is or becomes insulin dependent.

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Letter Re: Diabetes Management and the Jerusalem Artichoke

Mr. Rawles;
Several posts have mentioned that in a serious, long-term disaster, diabetics unable to maintain a store of insulin will have a high death rate.

The following may help. Note that Jerusalem artichokes contain Inulin, not Insulin; however, the effects are similar for stabilizing blood sugar levels, according to several online sources (see Jerusalem artichoke, diabetes, and inulin). Inulin works for diabetes, pre-diabetes, and hypoglycemia; and helps with overweight which is related to a variety of medical conditions. It may also help to prevent the development of diabetes for those prone to it, or with mild cases.

Jerusalem artichokes are a natural source of inulin, and easy to grow. “Directly after harvest the carbohydrates are in the form of inulin, and are good for dieters and diabetics. The inulin changes gradually in storage to other starches and should then be regarded more like a potato by diabetics. Can be frozen or kept refrigerated in plastic bags. Can be stored un-dug in the garden, or in the root cellar as long as tubers are kept moist to prevent shriveling. The next crop can be planted from harvested tubers or you can leave some the in the ground to grow again.” (Johnny Seeds 2010 seed catalog, page 48).

Since Jerusalem artichokes take 90 days to mature, starting some plants indoors very early should provide a continuous supply for the year. The plants are perennial, and more than able to take care of themselves, but need to protected from animals digging up the tubers. Tubers look somewhat like ginger roots, have a sweet, nutty flavor, are about the size of large eggs, and can be eaten raw or cooked.

The Jerusalem artichoke is a native North American vegetable, is easy to grow to the point of being difficult to eliminate, and grows well in almost any garden soil, even in wet or dry soils. It grows from six to eight feet high, and makes a good windbreak or screen. Jerusalem artichokes are actually a species of sunflower, and have bright yellow, daisy-like flowers.

Their site should be carefully selected; make sure you want them there forever. The soil should be fertilized and aerated for maximum tuber size, since tubers will get somewhat smaller over the years. If you have lots of land, you may not care. The tubers also make excellent livestock feed.

Dosage varies, consult internet sources and check with a knowledgeable doctor, nutritionist or medically qualified herbalist. They have excellent probiotic qualities as well, which unfortunately means they can create a lot of gas. Best to start with small amounts and work up to the needed dosage. Internet sources suggest anything from two a month to one a day, depending on severity.

Oddly enough, for carbohydrate sensitive people, TEOTWAWKI could result in obesity if protein supplies are limited, and people are living largely on wheat, beans and rice. Jerusalem artichokes should be particularly helpful for weight control for carbohydrate- triggered weight problems, but probably not for fat sensitive people. Recent research suggests that about half of the obese are genetically carb sensitive, and the other half fat sensitive, and weight control methods hat work for one group won’t work for the other.
On the other hand, if you are trying to prevent weight loss, it also helps to know which group you are in. To use Jerusalem artichoke for weight gain purposes, store it until the inulin changes to carbohydrate.

Best wishes from New York. – Janet W.