Diabetes – Information & Advice

Diabetes – Information & Advice

 

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There are 3 main types of diabetes:

Type 1: With type 1, you cannot produce insulin. This is because the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce it.

Type 2: The difference with type 2 is that the insulin you do make can’t work effectively because the body cells don’t react properly, or not enough is produced. Type 2 is the most common variation.

Gestational: This can develop in some pregnant women. With the heavy demand on the body, there is a possibility it is unable to produce enough insulin to absorb the high levels of blood sugar.

Gestational diabetes normally goes away after birth. Women that have had it are more likely to develop gestational diabetes again in future pregnancies, and also type 2 diabetes in the future.

There are other, rarer types of diabetes with around 2% of people having these variations.

Diabetes UK have a great animated video explaining what diabetes is and how it occurs.

Key Stats

  • 4.7 million people in the UK have diabetes. That’s around 1 in 15 people.
  • Someone is diagnosed every two minutes
  • At least 10,000 people in the UK have end stage kidney failure because of their diabetes
  • More than 1,700 people have their sight seriously affected by their diabetes every year in the UK
  • The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled in 20 years
  • Around 90% of people with diabetes have type 2. Around 8% have Type 1, and 2% have rarer types.

What Causes Diabetes?

The amount of sugar in your blood is controlled by insulin, produced by the pancreas. Insulin allows glucose in our blood to enter the cells. With type 1 diabetes however, the immune system attacks the body’s own cells, including insulin producing ones in the pancreas. Those with type 2 still produces insulin but is unable to use it as intended. This then causes a build up of glucose in the blood and starts causing symptoms like those listed below.

Possible Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Feeling extremely thirsty
  • Feeling very tired
  • Cuts or wounds healing slowly
  • Blurred vision
  • Urinating frequently
  • Getting infections such as thrush
  • Weight loss
tired person on the train
Symptoms of diabetes include feeling very tired throughout the day.

Many people can have type 2 diabetes for years without being diagnosed because of the fairly general, slower release of symptoms. It’s also possible to not get any symptoms at all. In fact, around 6 out of 10 people have no symptoms when they diagnosed with type 2. It is estimated that around 1 million people are currently living with the condition and do not know it.

Type 1 has the same symptoms but comes on much faster, particularly in children. It can develop over weeks, perhaps even days. The majority of people with type 1 diabetes are diagnosed as a child or young adult, but can happen any age.

Unfortunately there are not any lifestyle changes you can make to prevent type 1, whereas type 2 is often linked to being overweight and a history of high blood pressure.

Complications

Over a long period of time, high amounts of glucose in your blood will cause serious damage to certain parts of your body. The sugar levels damage the blood vessels over time meaning blood cannot travel to the parts of the body it needs to.  Your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves and feet can be hugely affected by diabetes.

Preventing Complications

These complications can be prevented or delayed with the right action. Smoking, blood fats and blood pressure are large causes of the complications so the best way to prevent them is to give up smoking, enjoy a balanced diet and do regular exercise.

Living with Diabetes

If diagnosed by your GP, eating healthy, regular exercise and medication is the best form of managing your type 2  diabetes. Type 2 is more progressive so you will be given medication, usually in the form of tablets, with the dose increasing over time.

The type 1 form will require regular insulin injections for the rest of your life, usually with meals at set times during the day.

Food and Drink

With diabetes, it is important to still have a healthy, balanced diet. You can still eat from all food groups! Of course though there are still certain foods and drinks you should avoid to make life easier.

healthy food

It is a good idea to avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices that will rise blood glucose levels quickly. Drink plenty of water, and sugar free soft drinks. Coffee and tea is still ok to drink but try to substitute any sugar you may normally put in. Alcohol is still possible to drink but keep it limited. If you use insulin or diabetes medicines that increase the amount of insulin your body makes, your blood glucose levels may drop too low. Make sure you eat at the same time if you do have a drink.

In regards to food, refrain from eating anything fried or foods high in saturated and trans fats. While you do not have to cut salt and sodium from your diet, intake should be reduced due to people with diabetes being more likely to  have high blood pressure. This could lead to heart disease. Portion size is also very important as it will help balance your blood glucose level and weight.

It is common to create meal plans because of the importance of eating the right foods, and at similar times each day. It is important to talk to your GP or a Dietitian to make the correct adjustments to your diet.

Physical Activity & Exercise

Physical activity & exercise is very important to maintaining a lifestyle as healthy as possible when diagnosed with diabetes. Keeping active helps manage your blood glucose level, lowers blood pressure, improves blood flow and more.

yoga

With type 1, depending on the type of exercise you do, it can cause your blood glucose levels to rise (hyperglycemia) or fall (hypoglycemia). More moderate exercise over a longer period such as walking or cycling may cause a slow drop. More intense exercise such as running or playing football can cause your blood glucose levels to rise. It is important to eat carbs before, during and after your activity, and monitor your blood glucose when possible.

Talk to your GP before you start exercising with diabetes. If you take insulin, doses may need to be adjusted and managed a different way. Your GP may also recommend a ‘stress test’ prior to starting any exercise program depending on your age. This ensures your heart is in good enough shape to exercise safely.


At Medisave we have a large amount of professional and home equipment related to diabetes including:

  • Bags & cases
  • Insulin syringes & needles
  • Lancets
  • Glucose strips
  • Blood glucose meters
  • Blood pressure monitors

Find more online HERE

New Medical Emojis! 🙌

That’s right, you read that correctly – we’re getting a stethoscope emoji! Thanks to Melissa (NHS Blood and Transplant) & Jennifer (Emojination) who have spent over a year creating a proposal for the Stethoscope Emoji to be finally added to our devices.

The proposal was accepted by Unicode in February and has a planned release of the 5th March 2019. The proposal included concept art, history of the stethoscope & evidence of the high demand by health workers worldwide.

Just a few of the examples given in the proposal

Melissa Thermidor is the Social Media Lead at NHS Blood and Transplant (Check out their Twitter @givebloodnhs) and a New Yorker who now lives in London.  She’s passionate about using social media to save and improve lives.

The first draft image of the Stethoscope emoji was submitted on the PDF unicode proposal. You can read the full proposal here.

Image by Aphelandra Messer.

However the actual emoji has been adjusted to the following:

New stethoscope emoji.

So keep an eye out for the stethoscope in your emoji section. .. but wait, there’s more! Along with the stethoscope, an adhesive bandage and even a drop of blood has been added – a truly successful day for Melissa, Jennifer and health care professionals world wide!

Which of these emoji’s are you most excited for?

Febrile Seizures & Why You Need To Know About Them

A febrile seizure (also called a fever fit or febrile convulsion) is associated with a high body temperature, but without any serious underlying health issue. They most commonly occur in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. Febrile seizures generally last less than five minutes, while a fever may last for some time after.

Our Experience

This condition was bought to our attention by one of our Customer Service team members as his daughter has experienced febrile seizures recently. You can read his account below:

“The first time it happened we were eating breakfast in a cafe and Neive was fine. Then her head just dropped, her eyes rolled back, she went grey and didn’t respond to anything. My wife called an ambulance and I was hugging her tight laying on the floor crying my eyes out because it literally looked like she was dying in my arms.

The medic gave us loads of tips like stripping her off to cool her down and in future to check her feet because if it’s a febrile convulsion they stay pink. I had nightmares for weeks but as soon as they got her in the ambulance she came around and was back to her normal chatty self.

It’s just when they get high temperatures, so their body shuts down in order to fight the illness.  Sometimes where the children are so young, they can’t tell you they feel ill, or to what level, so it usually goes unnoticed. The doctors advice was that when it happens it’s best to pop the child in a cold bath* as soon as possible to bring their temperature down.”

*We have found varying information on this tip with the majority being that a child should not take a cold or luke-warm bath to reduce the fever. What is your advice on this matter?

Symptoms And Causes

As mentioned above febrile seizures are due to fevers (usually higher than 38 °C) often caused by a viral infection. The likelihood of a seizure is related to how high the temperature rises. The seizures always occur without any metabolic problems or intracranial infections. If these are the cause then it is no longer a febrile seizure.

During febrile seizures the body will become stiff and the arms and legs will begin twitching. Consciousness is lost even though the eyes will remain open and breathing can become irregular. Incontinence can occur as well as other secretions, namely foam at the mouth. Seizures will rarely last more than five minutes.

Diagnosis And Prevention

We will preface the next two paragraphs by saying that if your child is showing any of these symptoms you should call 999 right away. Please do not make any medication decisions without the opinion of a healthcare professional.

Once serious causes of seizure and fever such as meningitis, encephalitis, etc have been eliminated, then you can start to consider that it may be a febrile seizure. Blood tests, brain imaging and other such diagnostics are rarely needed for these kinds of seizures to be diagnosed. There is not currently any effective medication for the prevention of febrile seizures and whilst some medicines have shown to slightly reduce recurrent seizures, the adverse effects far outweigh the benefits.

blood test

What To Do If Your Child Has A Febrile Seizure

(Source)

If your child has a febrile seizure, stay calm and act immediately to prevent injury.

  • Place them on the floor or bed away from any hard or sharp objects.
  • Turn their head to the side so that any saliva or vomit can drain from their mouth.
  • Loosen any clothing around the head and neck.
  • Do not put anything into their mouth.

After this, call 999 if:

  • The seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes
  • The seizure lasts less than 5 minutes but the child does not seem to be recovering quickly
  • Has trouble breathing or turns blue
  • This is the child’s first febrile seizure. This is to make sure that the cause of the fever is not a serious infection e.g. meningitis

Otherwise, you should set up an appointment with your GP to find the cause for the fever.

 

[Main image from Rido/Adobe Stock]

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. It increases the risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart. If the clot travels to the brain, it can lead to a stroke.

People with Atrial Fibrillation are 5 times more likely to suffer a stroke. Yet 66% of AFib strokes can be averted with treatment.

stats on atrial fibrillation

What causes Atrial Fibrillation?

With Atrial Fibrillation, the heart’s upper chambers will contract randomly and sometimes at high speed to the point where the heart muscle cannot relax properly between contractions.

Normally, the muscular walls will contract to force blood out and around the body, then relax so the heart can fill with blood again.

The cause of this is not fully known, but tends to affect people over the age of 65. It can be triggered by certain situations, such as drinking alcohol in excess, and smoking. There is no hard and fast rule however, as perfectly healthy people can succumb to Atrial Defibrillation.

Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation

    • Heart palpitations
    • Tiredness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Dizziness
    • Feeling faint

Treating Atrial Fibrillation

With appropriate treatment, the risk of a stroke can be substantially reduced.

it is possible to be treated by your GP,  and be given blood thinning medications to reduce the likelihood of blood clots. Anticoagulant medicines make the blood take longer to clot, making it a vital part of helping prevent strokes.

In more extreme cases, you may be referred to a Cardiologist, or more specifically, a cardiac Electrophysiologist. They will focus on your heart’s timing, electrical system, or diagnosing and treating irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias.

Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation

As is fairly standard, the main way to prevent Atrial Fibrillation is by maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle. This includes exercising, avoiding excessive drinking, not smoking, and eating a healthy diet.

If you have concerns about your heart rate and blood pressure, visit your GP. They may recommend purchasing a blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on certain levels. Make an appointment with your GP if you notice a sudden change in your heartbeat or your heart rate is consistently lower than 60 or above 100.

A&D AFib+ Technology in Blood Pressure Monitors

The TM-2441 and TM-2440 are both compact & lightweight Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitors, which incorporate A&D’s latest technology. This ABPM range is validated in accordance with the new ISO810601-2 protocol, and the blood pressure accuracy is proven to be +/-3mmHg.

The new, unique Afib+ technology allows patient screening for both Irregular HeartBeat and Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).

A&D AFib technology

The A&D UA-767S-W and UA-767S sets the standard for personal use. It benefits from 2nd generation IHB technology, which now measures the frequency of IHB (Irregular Heart Beat) detection – shown by icons and divided into different grades. This now enables the user/clinician to see how often IHB has been detected – indicating the level of risk to the patient.

Click the image below to take a closer look at the products.new a&d afib products

Christmas Gifts For The Medical Professionals In Your Life

With the holidays upon us,  it can be tough to think of something to get for your friends, family and loved ones. Ideally, you’d like to get a gift that is personal for those receiving. Below you can find our top suggestions for medical related gifts at a range of prices, perfect for any healthcare professional.

Stocking Fillers/Secret Santa

We have a great range of smaller gifts perfect for stocking fillers or as a small gift. We have variations of phone cases, key-rings, pins, mugs and more.  Not only are these items inexpensive (and some of them hilarious) it allows the person receiving the gift to have something a little more unique and tailored to them.

Personalised Stethoscopes

With our wide range of Littmann stethoscopes, it can be hard to know which one will be right for the person you are gifting to. Thankfully, this article should help: “Which Littmann Stethoscope Should I Buy”.

We have a multitude of variations  from the sleek All Black, to the colourful Caribbean Blue with Rainbow. We offer engraving on all of our Littmann stethoscopes so you can make it extra special for the recipient.  Our most popular engravings are the names of the soon to be owner – so why not head down that route and make someone’s Christmas extra special with a personalised Littmann stethoscope?

High End Engraved Items

We also offer engraving on a wide range of our diagnostic sets. These bits of kit are essential for any GP or Doctor and engraving is once again a great way to turn a necessity into a heartfelt memento. All of our diagnostic sets are high quality and we’re certain the recipient will love the product and thought behind it.

Bags & Cases

Bags and cases can be an essential for doctors, nurses, and others in the medical profession. To be able to carry around important documents and medical equipment while keeping it together is very important, which makes it an ideal and practical gift! To make it even better, you can also add an engraved ID tag to most bags, up to 100 characters, to add that personal touch.

 

Choosing The Right Blood Pressure Monitor

Choosing The Right Blood Pressure Monitor

At the time of posting we have over 50 items in our Digital Blood Pressure Monitors category so it is understandable how it can be daunting trying to chose the correct one for your needs.

Below, you will find our guide to choosing the right blood pressure monitor for you.

Blood pressure cuff on mans arm

For Use At Home

The beauty of digital blood pressure monitors is how easy they are to use, with no need for intimate knowledge of the heart. You can strap it on and get your readings almost right away.

Our best seller for use by the public is the Omron M6. This machine is not only easy to use and read with a Large LED display, but also comes with a day/night mode, advanced averaging function and irregular heartbeat detection. This means that more can be done at home and less time needs to be spent with a doctor. You can also get small and large cuffs, from 17cm to 42cm in diameter.

omron m6 blood pressure monitor

Another popular brand is A&D. Our current best seller of theirs is the A&D UA-651, which is small and lightweight as well as having a 30 reading memory and irregular heart beat indicator. This gives you a clear indication of when you need to see a professional.

In summary, digital blood pressure monitors can be fantastic to have at home. From simple, to more complex detection options, there are a range of prices and functionalities to suit you.

Professional Blood Pressure Monitors

Some monitors are too advanced to be viable for home use but are perfect for doctors, nurses and other medically trained professionals.

omron hbp1100 and omron hbp 1300 blood pressure monitor

The Omron HBP1100 and the Omron HBP1300 are the link between home and professional monitors, being suitable for both environments. Both offer amazing functionality and accurate measurements as well as being clinically certified. The HBP1300 even comes with a handle and shook proof bumper so is perfect for someone on the go.

Truly professional blood pressure monitors such as the Welch Allyn ProBP 2400 are not suitable for home use. This BP machine can detect irregular heart beats and uses microprocessor-controlled deflation rate which provides consistent technique. It also comes with a manual mode so it can be used much like a sphygmomanometer.

The most high end BP machines can reach up to £2000, and are rarely found outside of hospitals or private clinics. An example of such machine is the Spacelabs 90217. It utilises a proprietary oscillometric algorithm which has been proven in over 20 years use in paediatric, adolescent, adult and elderly patients with a variety of disorders. It also includes advanced Artefact Rejection Algorithms which discriminates between pressure signals, patient movement and respiratory artefacts. BP monitors like this should only be used by medical professionals.

Something Different

It’s not just the classic arm cuff and monitor setup available on the market. A popular option is the QardioArm Wireless iPhone Blood Pressure Monitor. This machine connects wirelessly to your smart phone and keeps track of any recordings you take. You can also connect with other people, including friends, family and your doctor, creating a support network for better health.

qardioarm iphone blood pressure monitor

 

Wear it Pink – For A Future Where Everyone With Breast Cancer Lives

Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear it Pink’ day, on October 19th, is one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK.  This year, Medisave is proud to be supporting the event and will be raising money for the cause.

About “Wear it Pink”

Since 2002, Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear it Pink’ fundraising event has raised over £31.5 million for  life-saving research. Research that is constantly working to discover how to prevent breast cancer, detect it earlier and how to treat it effectively at every stage, to prevent the disease taking lives.

The idea (of course) is to wear pink on October 19th with your colleagues, friends and/or family to help raise money for the charity. Putting together fun activities such as a quiz, raffle, or clothing sale, will get more people as possible involved and bolster the money raised.

3 ladies dressed in pink holding cupcakes
Credit: https://www.wearitpink.org/

Fundraising Ideas

  • Pink-themed quiz – ‘Wear it Pink’ has very nicely put together a quiz question PDF which you can download from HERE. Ideal to play with your work colleagues, it includes picture rounds and anagram challenges.
  • Pink treat cake sale – cupcakes are a must for a cake sale and you can go mad with the pink decoration! Ask you friends, family and work colleagues to get baking and hold a stall or bring them all into work to raise some money. Try thinking outside the box with what you bake to get people even more tempted to donate their money.

pink cupcakes decorated with hearts

  • A raffle – Would your company donate a few ‘grand prizes’ to make the tickets even more tempting? How does and extra day’s holiday sound? At the very least you can ask your colleagues to donate something worthwhile. A bottle of wine counts right?!
  • School sports day – Ask the children to participate in a sports day event while wearing pink and let them have fun! The parent can be charged an ‘entry fee’ for donation, and there is always the possibility of having stalls on site with cakes and toys to purchase, with all proceeds going to the charity.
  • Dare to do more – Choose a challenge that you aim to complete and ask for sponsors! How far would you go to save lives?
woman holding "will abseil for cash" sign
Credit: https://www.wearitpink.org/

Signs & Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Some of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • A change in size or shape
  • A lump or area that feels thicker than the rest of the breast
  • A change in skin texture such as puckering or dimpling (like the skin of an orange)
  • Redness or rash on the skin and/or around the nipple
  • Your nipple has become pulled in or looks different, for example changed its position or shape
  • Liquid that comes from the nipple without squeezing
  • Pain in your breast or your armpit that’s there all or almost all of the time
  • A swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone

Remember to check your breasts regularly!

Take a look at this illustrated guide from Breast Cancer Care, or alternatively, the video below from Breast Cancer Now. You can also download the free Breast Check Now app for Android and iOS.

Illustrated guide on how to check your breasts for breast cancer
Credit: https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk

 

Fundraising at Medisave

At Medisave we’re going to be doing all kinds of activities to raise money throughout the month. We have quizzes, cake sales and a pink fancy dress day planned. We have also set up a separate page for our ‘pink’ October deals with discounted products; with the idea being you could donate the difference to ‘Wear it Pink’.

If you would like to donate to Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear it Pink’ you can do so HERE.

 

Why Choose A Career In Rare Diseases

There are so many career paths to chose from in the medical area and it can be hard to decide which path to follow. A rare disease is classed as a disease that affects up to 30,000 people but most affect many fewer than this. With an estimated 3.5 million affected by rare diseases in the U.K alone, maybe a career in rare diseases could be the direction to take.

Why work with rare diseases?

3.5 million sounds like a lot (17% of the the UK population to be exact) for something that is meant to be rare, but this is because there is nearly 8,000 rare diseases. With another 5 described in medical literature nearly every week, the list is only growing.

50% of the new rare diseases discovered and diagnosed will affect children, often leading to a shorter life of poorer quality. But with the help of professionals in the field of rare diseases, the people affected can lead full and happy lives and may even be cured one day.

Who can work in rare diseases?

At first it may seem that this would only be a career path for scientists and doctors but this is wrong. While those in the scientific field are needed to find cures, and doctors are needed to identify the diseases, there are many other roles. As with any illness, nurses are needed to care for the patients who suffer with these diseases and apply treatment in a hospital or at home. Care assistants are needed to help those with the more severe diseases to try to lead a more normal life.

Examples of rare diseases

Mesothelioma is a cancer that can affect the thin lining of nearly all your internal organs called the mesothelium but it mostly affects the lung and chest area. 80% of rare diseases have a genetic component but most cases of mesothelioma are asbestos related which is why  Mesothelioma Day was created on the 26th of September 2004 and continues to this day to raise awareness and funding for those affected.

Fibrosarcoma is a tumour found in fibrous bone tissue and is often very hard to tell apart from other tumours of a similar nature. Almost all cases of fibrosarcoma are due to a genetic fault.

Just mesothelioma and fibrosarcoma combined affects approximately 8,700 people, most of whom do not have appropriate access to care due to the rarity of theses diseases. Having a career in rare diseases could help cure these diseases or help those already feeling the effects of them on their lives.

Find out more about mesothelium HERE

Nitrile vs Latex vs Vinyl Gloves – Which Should You Choose?

You need to buy some gloves so you head over to your favourite online store, Medisave, and notice that there’s 3 different types to choose from. Which one do you buy? This article should hopefully clear up any questions you have and help you decide what gloves are right for you.

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are ideal for people who have latex allergies, as they are made from synthetic rubber. These are great medical grade gloves but also excellent for general use with solvents, oils and greases – also many chemicals. Nitrile gloves are thicker, this means it’s harder to puncture the glove – if you do tear the glove, it’ll be very visible. It’s essential you spot a tear early, especially when dealing with chemicals, so Nitrile gloves win on this front. Excellent fit around the hand.

A big con with these gloves is that they are quite pricey when compared to Latex gloves.

Sum up:

  • Fantastic alternative for people with latex allergies
  • Thicker than other gloves
  • Great fit
  • Resistant to many chemicals
  • Easy to spot glove puncture

Aurelia supermax gloves

Aurelia Amazing® 300 Nitrile Powder-Free Examination Gloves

£6.79

Thinner, lighter and more flexible than standard Nitrile, our new Amazing® gloves are so comfortable, you’ll feel the day just fly by.

Buy It Here

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves are probably the most popular in the medical industry. These offer the most comfort and allow the most movement to preform tasks. It’s harder to detect puncture holes in these gloves which could be a concern. The best alternative to these would be Nitrile Gloves. These gloves don’t offer great protection against chemicals.

A con with these is that they can cause allergies due to the latex.

Sum up:

  • First choice for medical professionals
  • Cost effective
  • Comfy fit
  • Hard to detect puncture holes

Aurelia supermax gloves

Aurelia Vibrant 100 Micro Textured Latex Examination Gloves 5.7g – Powder Free

£2.78

Thinner, lighter and more flexible than standard Nitrile, our new Amazing® gloves are so comfortable, you’ll feel the day just fly by.

Buy It Here

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are the most popular choice when it comes to food and catering situations. These gloves tend to be less expensive than the other two, while providing high levels of durability and hygiene at the same time.

Sum up:

  • Latex Free
  • Best use is for catering
  • Loose fit

Aurelia supermax gloves

Vinyl Gloves – Clear – Powder Free

£1.99

Designed for short-term use, vinyl gloves offer a cost-effective alternative to latex while providing an effective temporary barrier against biological contaminants.

Buy It Here

 

Your decision to which gloves to get will depend on what your intended use is, however hopefully reading this article will have cleared up some questions you may of had about gloves.

12 Tips For Sharing A Fridge At University

12 Tips For Sharing A Fridge At University

Sharing a common space can be difficult, especially in regards to food. We’re all guilty of being ‘hangry’ at times which can lead to some major arguments!

After a long day of lectures or work, you or your housemates may be guilty of raiding the one fridge in the house, with somebody ‘accidentally’ taking another’s content. With the opportunity for people to get heated when missing food is involved, it is important that ‘by-laws’ are set.

To ease any tension, we’ve put together a list of top refrigerator tips to get you through your university year unscathed and food intact.

1. Divide Shelves Equally

If your fridge has enough shelves, why not use a shelf each? Perhaps not ideal depending on the number of housemates, but it is the easiest option to keep food separated, leaving no excuses.

2. Create A Fridge Cleaning Rota

While it may not appeal initially, it will save arguments. Anything dodgy will be thrown out before it affects any other food, and your friendships!

3. Contain Those Smelly Foods

Takeaway leftovers? Don’t just it leave half open in the fridge. Transfer it to an airtight container to conceal the smell and as an added bonus, save space. Containing the food will also contain any mould if left for too long.

fish

4. Label Your Food

Purchase a label maker, use stickers or even just a sharpie and get your name on your food! That way there is no excuse for people ‘mistakenly’ taking your food, and if you add use by dates to the label, you won’t be in for a nasty shock if left too long.

5. Cook The Leftovers

If you have leftovers at the end of the week, why not pool them together and create a large evening meal to share? This will then clear the fridge before your weekly shop, and bring everyone together for a great evening in.

6. Set Rules For Sharing Condiments

Share those condiments! Items like tomato sauce and butter are mostly going to be used by everyone so take turns in purchasing new ones. Set up rules in deciding what foods and condiments are a free for all and which ones are yours and yours alone.

tomato ketchup

7. Clean Your Spills

Don’t be that person! If you’ve spilled something out of a container or bottle, clean it straight away before it sticks and leaves an unwanted smell. Make sure to clean it even if it is not your turn on the rota to clean the fridge.

8. Remove And Replace

If you’re the one that has just finished the last of the tomato sauce or milk that you’re all sharing, replace it! There’s nothing worse then going to make a cup of tea and finding your housemate has used the last of the milk.

9. Share Your Perishable Foods

If you have fruit or other perishable items in the fridge that you know are going to go bad, why not offer it to your housemates? It saves wastage and they may return the favour the next week!

berries bowl

10. Say It Outright

Except for labeling your food with your name, what’s a more obvious statement then just saying outright what people can and can’t take? If you’re dying to eat that leftover pizza the next evening, then be blunt with your housemates and say it can’t be taken. Maybe you’re happy to share it! In which case let them know so they too can enjoy it the second time around.

11. Make Use Of The Freezer

Refrain from taking up unnecessary space. Could you put your airtight contained leftovers in the freezer rather than the fridge? Save space and use that freezer compartment; even better if you have a standalone freezer!

12. Don’t Leave Messages

One of the worst things you could do is leave a passive aggressive (or fully aggressive!) note on the fridge door. Yes it can be heartbreaking if someone has stolen your last beer, but it will make for a very awkward time if you and your housemates are at eachothers throats over a magnetic letter message you left. Speak up, make the point, and you never know, you may get bought a few more as an apology.

 

Do you have any other vital tips for sharing a fridge with your housemates? Do you pool together your money for one big shopping trip, or do you prefer to just shop for yourself? Leave a comment below!