Top tips for travelling with diabetes
Be it a business trip, vacation, or a quick weekend away, travelling with diabetes can add to the packing and prep challenge. Travelling can also take you out of your diabetes care routine and – if you’re not prepared – could lead to unintended blood sugar spikes and health emergencies. However, we have a few tips that can get you ready. They might not cover every possible contingency, but they will go a long way towards making you feel comfortable.
Pay your doctor a visit first
You should visit your doctor six to eight weeks before the trip so that they can give you prescription refills and a doctor’s letter. The letter should clearly indicate your allergies, food sensitivities, the insulin and syringes you use, and other medications. In case you need to be immunized, it should be done during this visit so that you’ll have time to recover if the shots make you sick. The doctor should also advise you on adjusting your medication while travelling across time zones.
Get a medical bracelet or an ID necklace
A medical bracelet can really come in handy in case of an emergency, as it lets bystanders and health professionals know that you have diabetes. The ID necklace should include your name, address, phone number, a relative’s name and phone number, and should clearly indicate that you are diabetic.
Get travel insurance
You never know when your health could affect your travel plans. You should, therefore, take out travel insurance that covers your diabetes. You can talk to your insurer about the right cover for your diabetes and how it affects your travel plans. Despite the fact that 1 in 16 people in the UK have diabetes, obtaining reasonably priced insurance coverage remains a difficult task. UK nationals are advised by the government to always take out travel insurance when travelling overseas.
First of all, you should put all your diabetes supplies such as insulin, syringes, blood and urine testing supplies, oral medication and diabetes identity card in a carry-on bag. It is also advisable to have a smaller bag containing glucose tablets, insulin and snacks at all times. The snacks should also be healthy, such as raw veggies, fruits and nuts. In addition to this, it is always best to pack more medicine than you will need. You should also ensure that the medication is in the pharmacy bottles provided.
Plan for meals
You should never assume food will be available, so bring snacks wherever you go. Always be mindful of what you eat or drink to keep your blood sugar in check. Unfamiliar foods should be avoided since they may upset your stomach or make your diabetes difficult to control. You should also be aware of alcohol since it can affect your blood sugar levels.
Prepare for airport security
If possible, you should get a TSA notification card which can make the screening process much more smooth and quick. The X-ray can easily damage an insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor, so you should ask for an inspection by hand instead.
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