Traveling with Diabetes

tips for traveling with diabetesIt used to be that traveling with diabetes was a difficult proposition; carrying insulin and syringes was more difficult, as well as keeping track of a routine, and the other aspects of management that make it possible for diabetes patients to live healthy lives were not as easy to achieve in transit. More recently, however, it’s much easier to follow your wanderlust while managing your diabetes. With a little bit of preparation, and a few items from the diabetic supply company of your choice, you can enjoy your travels without worrying unduly about issues that might arise with your blood sugar. As this infographic explains, while it takes some forethought, it is actually very easy to travel with diabetes.

Safety while traveling with diabetes hinges primarily on preparation. Before you travel, make sure that your diabetes is under control—it’s not a good idea to enter into a situation where control will be more difficult if you’re already having trouble. You should also make sure that you have the diabetic supplies and diabetic accessories you’re going to need; it’s recommended that you pack extras, and make sure that they’re in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. You should also prepare copies of your prescriptions, just in case you need them. If you’re carrying a credit card, keep in mind as well that many companies offer travel health services, and can refer you to doctors in the area you’ll be in. Otherwise, if you’re traveling abroad you can also check with the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT), who can provide you with a list of English-speaking doctors in the country or countries you’ll be visiting. You may also want to teach yourself how to say “I have diabetes” and “Sugar or orange juice, please” in any languages that are widely spoken where you are traveling.

During your trip, it’s important to keep a few things in consideration as well. Make sure that you’re storing your insulin somewhere that stays at least relatively cool; heat can degrade the efficiency of the medicine, which can result in not getting a strong enough dose or in unpredictable dosages. If you have to purchase insulin syringes outside of the United States, keep in mind that they might be calibrated differently; many websites offer conversion charts so that you know how much to take, based on the type of insulin and the number of units. Make sure that you keep track of your injections, as well. Your supply company can provide you with diabetic log books and diaries that will help you, even when you’re crossing time zones; it’s vital to be able to plan ahead to when your next meal or dose of insulin should be. Another good tip is to bring snacks with you when you are hiking or sightseeing. Don’t necessarily assume that you will be able to find food or snacks wherever you are. You might consider glucose tablets as they are easy, portable and do not require refrigeration. Continue taking care of your skin and feet as well; check yourself for blisters, cuts, the early symptoms of inflammation or infection, and use sunblock if you’re going to be outdoors often. Finally, keep in mind that a number of factors can affect glucose meters—make sure that you’re not getting false readings. The manual that comes with your meter may have suggestions for recalibrating or otherwise setting the meter for the new area you’re in.

If you do have a medical emergency while you’re traveling, don’t panic. Stress makes all medical situations and particularly diabetes complications more difficult to deal with. If you have a medical ID bracelet or necklace, this will be of great benefit to you in seeking treatment, as it will explain what you may not be able to. Learning key phrases in the languages where you’re traveling is important—if your blood sugar is low, you need to be able to communicate your needs. It may also be worth your time to carry with you a card that has all of the information about your medications, in case of a medical emergency that leaves you incapacitated. Keep in mind for minor emergencies that there are multiple resources to call upon in case you need a prescription. Having your prescriptions handy will make this easier, as well. If you notice a wound or other mishap that needs immediate treatment, make sure that you seek it out. With adequate planning before you leave your house on your travels and a few diabetic accessories from the diabetic supply company of your choice, you can have fun traveling wherever you want.

It used to be that traveling with diabetes was a difficult proposition; carrying insulin and syringes was more difficult, as well as keeping track of a routine, and the other aspects of management that make it possible for diabetes patients to live healthy lives were not as easy to achieve in transit. More recently, however, it’s much easier to follow your wanderlust while managing your diabetes. With a little bit of preparation, and a few items from the diabetic supply company of your choice, you can enjoy your travels without worrying unduly about issues that might arise with your blood sugar. As this infographic explains, while it takes some forethought, it is actually very easy to travel with diabetes.

Safety while traveling with diabetes hinges primarily on preparation. Before you travel, make sure that your diabetes is under control—it’s not a good idea to enter into a situation where control will be more difficult if you’re already having trouble. You should also make sure that you have the diabetic supplies and diabetic accessories you’re going to need; it’s recommended that you pack extras, and make sure that they’re in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. You should also prepare copies of your prescriptions, just in case you need them. If you’re carrying a credit card, keep in mind as well that many companies offer travel health services, and can refer you to doctors in the area you’ll be in. Otherwise, if you’re traveling abroad you can also check with the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT), who can provide you with a list of English-speaking doctors in the country or countries you’ll be visiting. You may also want to teach yourself how to say “I have diabetes” and “Sugar or orange juice, please” in any languages that are widely spoken where you are traveling.

During your trip, it’s important to keep a few things in consideration as well. Make sure that you’re storing your insulin somewhere that stays at least relatively cool; heat can degrade the efficiency of the medicine, which can result in not getting a strong enough dose or in unpredictable dosages. If you have to purchase insulin syringes outside of the United States, keep in mind that they might be calibrated differently; many websites offer conversion charts so that you know how much to take, based on the type of insulin and the number of units. Make sure that you keep track of your injections, as well. Your supply company can provide you with diabetic log books and diaries that will help you, even when you’re crossing time zones; it’s vital to be able to plan ahead to when your next meal or dose of insulin should be. Another good tip is to bring snacks with you when you are hiking or sightseeing. Don’t necessarily assume that you will be able to find food wherever you are. Continue taking care of your skin and feet as well; check yourself for blisters, cuts, the early symptoms of inflammation or infection, and use sunblock if you’re going to be outdoors often. Finally, keep in mind that a number of factors can affect glucose meters—make sure that you’re not getting false readings. The manual that comes with your meter may have suggestions for recalibrating or otherwise setting the meter for the new area you’re in.

traveling with diabetes

If you do have a medical emergency while you’re traveling, don’t panic. Stress makes all medical situations and particularly diabetes complications more difficult to deal with. If you have a medical ID bracelet or necklace, this will be of great benefit to you in seeking treatment, as it will explain what you may not be able to. Learning key phrases in the languages where you’re traveling is important—if your blood sugar is low, you need to be able to communicate your needs. It may also be worth your time to carry with you a card that has all of the information about your medications, in case of a medical emergency that leaves you incapacitated. Keep in mind for minor emergencies that there are multiple resources to call upon in case you need a prescription. Having your prescriptions handy will make this easier, as well. If you notice a wound or other mishap that needs immediate treatment, make sure that you seek it out. With adequate planning before you leave your house on your travels and a few diabetic accessories from the diabetic supply company of your choice, you can have fun traveling wherever you want.

 

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