Diabetes and travel tips

Vacations are supposed to be a time to relax. But you may feel overwhelmed when you think about carrying all the diabetes supplies with you while traveling. Don’t let diabetes spoil your trip!

The key is to be prepared and plan ahead. You may want to discuss your travel plan and itinerary with your doctor or your pharmacist: ask for a list of medications (printed both in generic and brand names), update your travel vaccinations, and ask for a letter from the doctor outlining the need to carry your diabetes medications and supplies. This letter is important, as some airlines and countries may require such a letter for you to bring your diabetes supplies, including lancets and needles. Carrying documentation or identification (such as a MedicAlert bracelet) explaining your current medical condition may be helpful. You may also want to discuss any time zone changes with your health care teams, as it may affect your meal and medication schedule, especially if you are using insulin.

Create a packing list in advance. Divide and pack your diabetes medication and supplies in more than one of your bags. Don’t forget to pack some of your medications in your carry-on, in case of delay or lost luggage. If your diabetes management requires insulin, make sure to bring it with you on the plane as carry-on and not in your checked bag, as it could be exposed to extreme temperatures under the plane. It is important to pack extra medication or diabetes supplies in case of loss, theft, or trip plan change while you are away from home.

In addition to your diabetes medication, also pack for any likely travel ailments, such as indigestion, motion sickness, diarrhea, aches, and pain. Even though you are on vacation and away from your normal routine, it is important to continue with your physical activity. Don’t forget to pack your athletic gear, like gym clothes and comfortable running shoes.

If you are traveling by air, it may be helpful to review the Travel Canada and Canadian Air Transport Security Authority websites. The latest update will provide you with information on what is permitted in your carry-on or checked luggage. Give yourself enough time and arrive at the airport early in case your diabetes supplies are searched at the airport security. Drink plenty of fluids throughout your flight – opt for water rather than caffeine and alcohol, which can be dehydrating. Since hunger can hit at any time, also remember to pack your own healthy snacks. You don’t want your sugar to be too low (hypoglycemic). Great snacks include crackers, granola, trail mix, or dried fruit.

During the flight, take advantage of opportunities to stand up, stretch, and walk the aisles a bit. Simple seat-bound stretches help, too. Avoid crossing your legs – a prim crisscross may constrict blood flow in your legs. And wear comfy shoes, as the altitude can make your feet swell. Sticking with your regular snack, meal, and medication schedule while flying will help you to maintain good diabetes control while travelling.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Diabetes-and-Healthy-Living