Blog

2017-06-29

Travelling With Diabetes

Okay, let’s face it. You are more concerned now that you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, or know someone close to you who has it. Is that going to be a deterrent in your wishes and desires to travel and bask in that ‘getaway’? Absolutely not!

We are here to guide you to have those days off, without having to worry about the implications or even, take unnecessary stress when it comes to your health.

Foremost, you have to keep in mind these very important points that will help you tackle any problems, if ever need be. Safety and precautions ought to be your priority!

Pre-trip planning

Before going on the trip, you must get your medical tests done to ensure diabetes is at check and that you’re stable and fit to travel. Consult your doctor so as to keep in consideration the health insurance(s). Request your doctor to provide you his/her professional opinion on paper as a proof of evidence.

Besides these, ask yourself if you feel fit and healthy to travel, and manage your blood glucose levels timely.

Scheduling of travel

  • Consult doctor/diabetes educator

  • If travelling by airplane, check the airline security regulations to figure out if the electronic device to monitor blood glucose levels/infuse insulin can be operated in flight.

  • Arrange travel insurance and health insurance

  • Check vaccination requirements, talk with doctor regarding the vaccination, paperwork, prescription for trip

  • Make sure the travel insurance paperwork and payments are confirmed and that all medical needs are prepared for

  • Keep a medical ID bracelet with you everywhere

Supplies you must carry

  • All diabetes medication

  • All insulin and syringe supplies

  • Blood glucose testing monitor and strips (include extra new batteries for your monitor)

  • Your emergency glucagon kit

  • Over-the-counter medications such as anti-diarrhoea tablets, antibiotic cream, anti-nausea medication, painkiller, stomach relief tablets

  • Your diabetes identity card and logbook (stick to your routine )

  • A supply kit of emergency snacks and glucose tablets for treating low blood glucose level

General concerns of travelling

  • Tell people you have diabetes

  • Keep supplies close at hand

  • Stick to your routine, of diet and insulin checks

  • Carry medical documents

  • Always be prepared to treat low glucose levels( keep glucose tablets/ sachets with you)

  • Be mindful of the food you consume (check for allergies)

  • Increase stash of supplies

  • Keep testing your blood sugars before after meals

Risks to keep in mind

-Care during long-term travels-

-Fluctuation of blood glucose levels leading to higher tendency for individuals to experience dehydration raising the thickness of blood and decreasing the rate of blood flow. This increases the chances of developing deep vein thrombosis(DVT). Blood clots might reach the heart/lungs leading to fatal complications, therefore, always stay hydrated.

-Pregnancy/ overexertion might also cause dehydration which you must keep a lookout for.

Travels in Colder regions

People with diabetes tend to have higher blood glucose levels when they are in colder temperature. The body stresses itself in order to cope with the temperature to keep itself warm and the blood flowing. This results in higher blood sugar levels. Thus, to avoid hyperglycemia, and other dangerous situations, keep these points on your finger tips.

  1. Cold temperatures might make the insulin less efficient and kill the battery in the glucose monitor. Don’t leave the medications and supplies in the car, or in the open.

  2. Looking at how cold temperatures might be an incentive to give you cold or flu, get a vaccination before the trip.

  3. Wear insulated shoes and thick clothing (especially socks) to keep your body warm. Diabetic persons have greater chances of developing nerve pain and infection in their feet, frost bites etc, so, it is imperative to keep yourself warm at all times. When body is warm, the blood glucose levels are less likely to fluctuate.

  4. Looking at how the body may develop insulin resistance in cold temperatures, be mindful of what you eat, as you may become more sensitive to sweet food. Test your sugar before and after meals to get a sense of how the body is reacting to such weather changes.

  5. Keep your skin moisturised, especially the feet.

Travels in Hotter regions

  1. Carry a water bottle with you always.

  2. Store medication and supplies inside a temperature controlled container.

  3. Check blood glucose levels more frequently so as to adjust medication and diet accordingly to avoid fluctuations.

  4. Avoid stressful physical activities in the sun, instead try staying in the shade or inside during the hottest parts of the day.

  5. Protect skin by wearing loose and breathable clothing and carrying a hat, sunscreen etc to avoid fungal infections.

  6. Avoid foods that make you dehydrated like caffeine or alcohol.

  7. Carry comfortable shoes and change socks often to air out the shoes.

  8. Avoid jumping into the busy schedule of travelling and give your body time to adjust to the temperature. Don’t overexert yourself.

  9. When sweating a lot, keep your skin dry by applying powders on feet.

Finally, now that you’ve check marked these very crucial pointers, you’re ready to hit the road. Stay connected and mindful of your activities and you shall have a gala time on your trip!

 

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