Summer Traveling with Diabetes
Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
ATLANTA - Since diabetes is so prevalent in Indian Country, the following information the National Diabetes Education Program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be helpful on your trips this summer - and throughout the year.
Whether you are traveling to the powwows, family reunions off the reservation, you should realize you will not be leaving diabetes at home. You cannot take a vacation or business trip from diabetes.
Here are some helpful diabetes travel tips from the National Diabetes Education Program:
Plan ahead. Make sure you:
- Take twice the amount of diabetes medication and supplies that you'd normally need. Better safe than sorry.
- Keep your insulin cool by packing it in an insulated bag with refrigerated gel packs.
- Keep snacks, glucose gel, or tablets with you in case your blood glucose drops.
- If you use insulin, make sure you also pack a glucagon emergency kit.
- Make sure you keep your medical insurance card and emergency phone numbers handy.
- Donâ€™t forget to pack a first aid kit with all the essentials.
Some things to keep in mind if you are flying
- Plan to carry all your diabetes supplies in your carry-on luggage. Don't risk a lost suitcase.
- Have all syringes and insulin delivery systems (including vials of insulin) clearly marked with the pharmaceutical preprinted label that identifies the medications. The FAA recommends that patients travel with their original pharmacy labeled packaging.
- Keep your diabetes medications and emergency snacks with you at your seat - don't store them in an overhead bin.
- If the airline offers a meal for your flight call ahead for a diabetic, low fat, or low cholesterol meal.
- Wait until your food is about to be served before you take your insulin.
Otherwise, a delay in the meal could lead to low blood glucose
- If no food is offered on your flight, bring a meal on board yourself.
- If you plan on using the restroom for insulin injections, ask for an aisle seat for easier access.
- Don't be shy about telling the flight attendant that you have diabetes - especially if you are traveling alone.
- When drawing up your dose of insulin, don't inject air into the bottle (the air on your plane will probably be pressurized).
Some things to keep in mind on a road trip
- Don't leave your medications in the trunk, glove compartment, or near a window - they might overheat.
- If possible, carry a cooler in the car to keep medications cool.
- Bring extra food with you in the car in case you canâ€™t find a restaurant.
General traveling tips
- Stay comfortable and reduce your risk for blood clots by moving around every hour or two.
- Always tell at least one person traveling with you about your diabetes.
- Protect your feet. Never go barefoot in the shower or pool.
- Check your blood glucose often. Changes in diet, activity, and time zones can affect your blood glucose in unexpected ways.
You may not be able to leave your diabetes behind, but you can manage it and have a relaxing, safe trip.
Have safe travels, where ever you go this summer.
posted July 15, 2011 6:00 am edt