How to Travel With Diabetes
Are you allowing diabetes to stop you from traveling further and seeing the world? It is not necessary to let diabetes obstruct your travel plans, or your travel plan to be hampered by diabetes. With a little planning, your diabetes can be well managed during your excursions. This article, can make traveling just a little bit easier and help you ease your mind, and thus also improve your blood sugars.
Traveling with diabetes can be a hard task. Learn how to travel with your insulin, how to carry your medications and more!
When traveling with Diabetes Mellitus you must have an action plan when travelling on a plane, train, car, etc. to know what to do when a problem arises. Having diabetes is a big responsibility and making sure that you are safe as well as the individuals traveling with you. It is best to carry a tight schedule of your medications as well as your testing. Keeping a watchful eye on the sugar levels is always a plus when traveling as well as at home.
People with diabetes often become depressed as well as tired of the relentless poking and testing they are subjected to each day. Though they long for it to end, often more then not the disease becomes worse as time passes by. This makes it hard on loved ones, and others are working closely with them. That is why it is so important for others to be connected with them, keeping them on task.
When traveling, sugar levels can often drop rapidly; since people usually eat only small meals while traveling this causes problems with diabetes. The fact that people aren’t active and are under stress when they travel, could make a major turn and result in elevated sugar levels instead of low ones. These levels are just as important as the low readings.
Key Things To Carry With You:
- Of course is the testing meter. Always carry this item where ever you go.
- Medication- it is always important to carry your medicines with you. Even if you don’t plan to be out long, often times unexpected things can occur; always be prepared.
- This one might be difficult to remember; a juice or some form of sugar, or carbohydrate. This item is very important because many of us think that we can get something while we’re away, or we won’t be out that long. When the onset of hypoglycemia is very quick. There’s little time to react.
- When you travel it is important you carry a log book. Make sure that you can keep an eye on your levels. See what affects them when you are gone.
- Last, but not least is a healthy snack. People with diabetes often need to eat, extra meals throughout the day. When we travel we don’t always eat right. So a healthy snack will keep our sugar levels on track and not mess up our day.
Remember when you travel it is important to eat well. Keeping a calorie counter or book to follow for all those extra sweets we love so much. Remember traveling won’t be that difficult if you follow the simple rules.
Keep the people around you informed of how you are feeling. Let them know if you aren’t quite yourself and educate, educate, educate. The most significant rule is to keep the loved ones informed of the latest in diabetes research. Educate yourself on the new studies and research; all that’s available around you. The more informed you are, the more educated they will be and will be able to help you when you need it most.
So many people suffer from this disease every day and still lead healthy, happy and full lives; and so can you. Make sure you remember to keep your head up and don’t let it get you down. Whenever you’re feeling bad, remember there is always someone else who feels worse. You’ll make it through.
Tips for Traveling With Diabetes
To travel with diabetes, it requires preparation both before and during your trip. The following tips are to ensure that your diabetes does not disturb the pleasure from traveling:
- Go to your doctor at least a month before you leave to ensure that your diabetes is under control. If you have to stabilize, a month gives you enough time. In the same month, your body has to settle after the necessary vaccinations, so take them at the same time.
- Seek a letter from your doctor stating that you have diabetes and mention the various medicines and supplies you must take with you.
- Get a prescription for your insulin or another medication for diabetes. Even if you need enough syringes, strips, and medicines for the duration of your trip, it is always good to have a prescription in case you lose them, if extreme weather conditions spoil them, or if you took a trip longer than initially planned.
- Wear an identification bracelet with your diabetes and a small card in the local language of the places you are going to visit.
- Learn to express the specific needs of diabetes in local languages. It is best to put these sentences on a map and indicate what you need because you probably do not know how to pronounce them correctly.
- Take at least twice as many medicines and supplies as you think you need. Put half in your suitcase and the other half in a special bag that you never leave. The container for these supplies must be strong, preferably a rigid wall, for protection.
- Pack a sealed pack of hard candy or glucose tablets in case an irregular diet causes your blood sugar level to drop. Your bag should also include noodles, crackers, cheese, fruit, and fruit juice – if you have to the patience to last between long between meals, which can happen during your travels.
- Insulin can lose strength at extreme temperatures. Take your supplies, pills and other medications in an insulated bag.
- Wear bandage and first aid cream, comfortable walking shoes, and protective beach shoes. During your trip, your feet will not receive any special attention.
- Usually, check your blood glucose more during your trip. Many factors, such as temperature fluctuations and time zones, can cause sudden fluctuations in your blood sugar level. If you check often, you can take better corrective action if necessary.
The Art of Traveling With Diabetes
People with diabetes should plan their travel and holidays and seek advice wherever necessary.
Plan ahead. Make sure you:
- Get all your vaccinations. Discover what it takes to know where you are going and make sure you choose the right pictures in time.
- Control your ABCs: A1C, cholesterol and blood pressure. Consult your health care provider for a check four to six weeks before your trip to ensure that your ABC is under control and within a healthy range before you leave.
- Ask your health insurer for a prescription and a letter explaining your medicines, supplies and all diabetes allergies. Carry this with you at every moment of your journey. The prescription must contain insulin or diabetes medication and can help in emergencies.
- Carry an identification that states that you have diabetes. The identification must be written in the languages of the places you visit.
- Change the time zone changes. Make sure you always know when to take your diabetes medicines, no matter where you are. Remember: traveling east means a shorter day. If you inject insulin, you may need less. A trip to the West means a longer day so that you may need more insulin.
- Discover how long the flight lasts and whether meals are served. However, you must always bring enough food to cover the full flight time in the event of a delay or unforeseen change to the timetable.
- Keep your insulin cool by placing it in an insulated bag with refrigerated gel packages.
- Keep snacks, gel with glucose or tablets with you in case your blood glucose drops.
- If you use insulin, make sure that you have an emergency package with glucagon.
- Ensure you own your health insurance card and emergency telephone numbers at hand.
- Do not forget to pack a first aid kit with everything you need.
Some things to keep in mind when you fly:
- Plan to take all your diabetes supplies with you in your hand luggage. Do not run a risk of a lost suitcase.
- Ensure that all syringes and insulin delivery systems (including insulin vials) are clearly labeled with the pre-printed pharmaceutical label identifying the medication. The FAA advises patients to travel with their original packaging, labeled by the pharmacy. Keep your diabetes medications and emergency snacks in your chair – do not store them in a container
- If the airline offers you a meal for your flight, ask for a meal for diabetics, low fat or cholesterol. Wait until your intake is about to be used before you take your insulin. Otherwise, a delay of the meal can lead to a decrease in blood sugar levels.
- If there are no meals available during your flight, bring your meals on board.
- If you plan to use the toilet for insulin injections, request a seat in the aisle for easy access.
- Do not be afraid to tell your hostess that you have diabetes, especially if you are traveling alone.
- When you prepare your insulin dose, do not inject air into the vial (the air in your aircraft is likely to be pressurized).
What to keep in mind while traveling by car:
Do not leave your medicine in the trunk, in the glove box or near a window; they may overheat. If possible, take a cool box in the car to keep the medicine cool. Take more food with you in the car in case you cannot find a restaurant. This has happened to me. All of a sudden you’re on a road to nowhere and there’s nothing around!
General Travel Tips:
- Stay comfortable and reduce the risk of blood clots by moving every hour or two.
- Always tell your diabetes to at least one person traveling with you.
- Protect your feet. Never walk barefoot in the shower or swimming pool.
- Check your blood sugar levels often. Changes in diet, activity and time zone can have an unexpected effect on your blood sugar levels.
Always carry the following with you when traveling:
- Identification such as a Medic-Alert bracelet or chain.
- Treat hypoglycemia in your bags or bag, such as glucose tablets, gel or glucagon. Make sure your travel partner understands that you have diabetes and know what to do if you experience a hypoglycaemic reaction. Inform them of your symptoms of hypoglycemia so that they can help you if necessary. Teach them to give glucagon in case of severe hypoglycemia. Never drive if symptoms of hypoglycemia are present.
- If you stay longer than expected, you will need additional facilities (test strips, glucose-meter/insulin pump batteries, control solution, syringes, needle containers, lancets, ketone strips, snacks to delay meals, medicines.
- Know your requirements for medicines and test strips.
- Have shoes that are comfortable and well adapted to wear at any time.
So this is how to travel with diabetes. When you travel is it always good to let people around know that you have a medical condition, not only for cases that are directly related to that condition but for many other situations that may occur, make sure that you let some responsible people that you know are in your area know that you have this medical condition, it may help on some occasions.
Diabetes is not something easy to live with, but it’s still getting much easier to handle with the recent advancements of technology. There is still some way to go regarding awareness and the general understating of diabetes in the general public. Above are some important things to bear in mind when you travel, and some caution that needs to be taken.
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