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Tips For Traveling With Diabetes — an article on the Smart Living Network
April 8, 2008 at 8:33 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Tips For Traveling With Diabetes


Traveling with Diabetes

Traveling with diabetes is entirely do-able, but it does require some preparation. Make sure to schedule an appointment with your physician well in advance of your departure date. Have your doctor make sure that your diabetes is under control (traveling is not advisable for individuals with uncontrolled diabetes). If it is not, work on getting it under control, and schedule another appointment closer to your departure. Have your doctor write a letter explaining your condition, your treatment regimen, any allergies or sensitivities to medication, and how he/she can be reached in an emergency. Also have your doctor write out an extra prescription for you to take with you in case something happens to your supply of medicine while you're traveling. Make sure to wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace identifying you as a diabetic at all times while traveling. Bring appropriate foot gear, even if you're headed to the beach. Diabetics are prone to problems with their feet, so don't take any chances.

Traveling with Diabetes Medications

If you need medication or supplements to control your diabetes, bring at least twice the amount you think you might use during the trip. This way, you're prepared for eventualities. Also bring an extra prescription slip, just in case. While traveling, keep at least half of your supply on you at all times so that you aren't separated from it in an emergency. Also bring an emergency snack pack with foods to quickly raise your blood sugar should it drop too low. If you need insulin for your diabetes, it may be worthwhile to invest in a special travel pack. While insulin is easy to store at room temperature, it can deteriorate if it gets too hot or cold.

Air Travel

Special rules apply when traveling by airplane. First and foremost, make sure all your medications are clearly labeled so as to avoid problems going through security. If you have an insulin pump, you can walk through the metal detector with it. If you prefer, or if this causes any problems, you can ask for a manual examination. Once on the plane, you'll want to keep your medication with you. The luggage hold can be too cold and might interfere with the efficacy of your medicine. If you are a type 1 diabetic, you will want to map out when and how you are taking your doses before getting on the plane, especially if you are crossing time zones. If you are a type 2 diabetics using insulin, make sure you have the food in front of you before taking your insulin, since any delay in food service could otherwise cause an unsafe drop in blood sugar. Airplane restrooms can be unsanitary, it is better to take your insulin at your seat. If modesty is a problem, you can always inject through your shirt. Once you arrive at your destination, make sure that you continue to monitor your blood sugar carefully. Jet lag can make anyone feel under the weather, and it may make it harder to subjectively tell where your blood sugar level is at.

Travel to Foreign Countries

If you are traveling to a non-English-speaking country, make sure to learn key phrases like "I'm a diabetic," "I need a doctor," "I need sugar," etc. before heading out. You might also want to note the locations of the practices of English-speaking doctors within the country you are visiting. Be aware that insulin doses vary in different countries. If you need to restock while abroad, make sure that you're taking the right dose.,2933,316744,00.html?

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