Top Tips to Keep Diabetes in Control While Traveling

Diabetic woman checking blood glucoseIt’s summer, and you’re preparing for that long anticipated vacation. For patients with diabetes, keeping medication schedules and care routines on track while traveling can be a challenge. However, with extra preparation, you can have a great trip and be ready for any unexpected health emergencies. Whether you are headed to the beach, camping in the mountains, flying across the country, or exploring a foreign destination, follow these guidelines for a healthy and hassle-free vacation.

Take Backups

Pack extra medication, insulin, and supplies, such as test strips or syringes. If you use an insulin pump, bring extra reservoirs, infusion sets, inserters, and extra batteries. Alcohol wipes can help you clean your finger before a blood sugar check if you aren’t near a sink with soap. You should also talk to your doctor about your upcoming trip and ask for prescriptions for any of your diabetes medications and supplies.

Just the Right Temperature

If you have insulin, it’s important that it’s not too hot or too cold. Unopened insulin should be kept at a refrigerated temperature, and open insulin at room temperature.

If you’ll be in a hot car, place insulin in a container with an ice pack wrapped in a towel; this will keep it cool but not frozen. When camping, take cool packs instead of ice packs. Cool packs do not require freezing; just run them under cold water for five or 10 minutes and the crystals in the pouch will keep the insulin cool for hours.

Friendly Snack Options

Having some healthy snacks packed comes in handy if you encounter travel delays or can’t find low-sugar, low-carb options. Raw vegetables, nuts, cheese, or low-sugar yogurt are all good snack choices.

Handle the Lows

Take glucose tablets, juice, or some form of pure sugar in case of low blood sugar. If you have air travel planned, it’s a good idea to alert a flight attendant to the fact you have diabetes and could possibly need juice during the flight. When visiting abroad, learn how to say, “I have diabetes,” and “Sugar or orange juice, please,” in the language or languages of the countries you’ll visit.

Be Prepared

The two best things you can have in case of a medical emergency are your Medical ID and a letter from your doctor that explains your condition and your care plan, including medications and devices you use. In the event of severe hypoglycemic episode or an accident, medical personnel will be alerted to the fact you have diabetes through your medical ID. The letter from your doctor can be used if you need to visit a clinic or hospital for any reason.

Need Help Managing Your Diabetes?

A trusted primary care physician is an essential part of managing diabetes. If you’re looking for a knowledgeable and caring doctor who understands diabetes, contact LeBauer HealthCare for an appointment with a member of our primary care team. With eight convenient locations in the Triad, it’s easy to find a doctor near you. Request an appointment with our online form today!

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