Don’t let your diabetes stop you from travelling.
Travelling is one of the best ways to reduce stress. However, it requires a lot of work. There is planning, packing, preparing, and lots of unwanted stress. If you have diabetes, planning of daily activities can require a lot of preparation. So, if you are travelling, this can disrupt your entire daily routine. Here are some tips that you can use:
Make plans in advance
Find out about the place you are going to stay in. Look out for the nearest pharmacy where you can get all the medications you need in case of an emergency. Make an appointment with your doctor at least 2 months before leaving. It is important that all the adjustments are made beforehand. If you need any papers regarding the airline regulations, plan ahead. The doctor might ask you to follow the normal routine or give specific information regarding the medication. If you have to take a vaccination, now is the time. They will also advise you if there are any tablets that you might have to take to treat nausea or diarrhoea.
Don’t forget your medication
Make sure that the insulin delivery system and the syringes are marked clearly with their labels that help in the identification of the medication. Remember to carry the copies of the prescription. If you can, pack a glucagon emergency kit. Keep snacks, glucose tablets with you at all times. Keep time zones in mind while using the medication. Wear an identification that tells that you have diabetes, like a medical alert ID or a bracelet.
Take Insulin while you travel
Keep your unopened packages of inhaled insulin and insulin bottles between 33 – 80F. Don’t keep it in direct sun. An opened package can be kept at room temperature for about 10 days.
Monitor your blood glucose level
You need to maintain your blood glucose level. The anticipation of travelling, daily schedule and the change in time zone can spike the level of blood glucose. Wherever you go, have a source of glucose, like candy, soda drink or juice. Look for fresh juices. Monitor your fluctuation during the day to make sure that the level of glucose in the blood is within the target zone.
Know what you are eating
If you take insulin during mealtime, make sure that you know the number of carbohydrates in the food so that you take the right amount of insulin. If you are going to a different place where the culture is a bit different than yours, you might be eating different food. You need to research on the local foods before you go on a trip. There are several websites that allow you to research on the nutrition information of the local foods. You need to get all this information beforehand. Test your blood glucose level before and after the meals to check how the food is affecting your blood.
Consider time zone, food and other factors
Always carry glucose tablets and additional snacks so that you can handle any situation. Change in normal routine can affect anyone’s body, but for people with diabetes, this change can be even more frustrating. Remember when you took your last insulin shot. If you wear an insulin pump, you need to match its time, according to the new time zone.
During the flight
Inform the flight attendant that you have diabetes. Keep all the supplies within your reach at all times. Before administering insulin, wait till your meal is on the table. To ensure safety, take insulin halfway or after the meal. Do not drink alcohol. Keep yourself hydrated. Sleep whenever it is possible and ask the attendants to wake you up for meals. Wear comfortable shoes. Move around the cabin whenever you can. This will assist your circulation and keep your blood glucose levels under control.
Always have carbohydrates
If you manage your diabetes using insulin, meglitinides or sulfonylureas, always have something to eat. Glucose tablets would also work great because they don’t have to be refrigerated and have a longer shelf life.
Some extra supplies
Pack twice the supplies that you usually need. Have extra blood glucose monitors. Add two weeks extra supplies of insulin pump supplies, test strips and lancets, insulin, and glucose meter batteries. Bring extra shoes and check your feet for signs of scratched, swelling, redness, cuts and blisters. Consult a doctor at the first sign of any inflammation or infection.
The purpose of this blog is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health and wellness topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.