Traveling With Diabetes
Traveling with diabetes can be a challenge, and does take some real planning when going on vacations. You need to plan carefully well ahead of time, and gather all of your necessities together.
The first thing to think about is how you manage your glucose at home. You need to use this same plan when traveling, gathering all of your supplies together, and making certain to take your medicines and/or insulin at the right times. When going away from home, everything does change, especially the timing of meals, and the amount of activities you are doing.
First on your list, should be to make sure you have plenty of medications and insulins on hand so that you don't run out. If going on the airplane, it is best to have medicines and insulins in your carry on, as well as in your baggage. Luggage gets lost all the time in airports. And if you are insulin-dependent using syringes and not pumps, this could be a very tough situation. So that is why it is wise to have medicines and insulins in two places. Better to be safe then sorry!
Always carry coolers for insulin. If insulin gets hot, you will not be able to use it and injecting it anyhow, will make you very sick. Check your diabetic supply place or drugstore for a cooler that will keep your insulin nice and cold for protection against hot climates.
If you are taking a trip outside the US, do your homework first and find out where medical help is available in the country you are traveling to. Also check out if airlift is available in that country should a big emergency arise, and whether insurance covers it.
Have extra copies of prescriptions available in the rare case that you have forgotten to bring something. Always keep these extra scripts in your carry-on bags or purse. That way, it can easily be filled if you need it.
Above all, you need to carry these essential items traveling with diabetes:
Your doctor's phone number for emergencies
Your blood sugar meter
If you have a pump, you'll need syringes in case the pump quits!
A supply of glucose tablets should always be there.
Little snacks like granola bars or whole-grain crackers.
Glucagon is important if you tend to have severe lows from short acting insulin shots.
Ketone test strips for Type 1 diabetics.
A back-up pump. Some companies will loan you one for extra travel in case something happens to your current pump.
Even though trips are a challenge with diabetes, having everything you need is essential in order to have a safe trip without incidents. Always be sure you plan well ahead!
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