Traveling With Diabetes: How To Make Flying Easier
It is not always easy to live with diabetes.
No matter what you do or where you go, you have to be aware of your disease and plan accordingly. Travel can be especially difficult because you have to alter your routine.
If you are planning a trip and you have diabetes, here is what you need to know.
1. Always Have Your Supplies Nearby
Your method of travel doesn’t really matter for this tip.
Whether you are going by car or by plane, you need to have your diabetes supplies close to you.
If you are heading up in the air, you need to make use of your carry-on bags and store your items so that you have quick access to them. Make sure you have extra insulin in this bag as well; you never know what will happen with your checked baggage, and you don’t want to arrive at your location only to find that your insulin has spoiled. You don’t know what kind of temperatures the bags will be exposed to.
And, be careful with how you pack up the insulin; you may think that a freezer pack will help with extreme heat, but if the insulin freezes, it won’t work well. That is why you should go with a cold pack instead.
2. Routines Are Important
Traveling means that your routine is going to be altered. However, try to stick to your normal plans as much as possible.
There will be times that you simply can’t; for example, if there is a flight delay, that is outside of your control.
However, prepare for as many things as you can, so that you can try and adhere to that routine. Bring extra food so that you can snack when you need to. If possible, pack non-perishables so you don’t have to worry about keeping them cold.
If you do have food that needs refrigeration, talk to the cabin crew to see if they can put it in a cold space for you.
3. Have A Doctor’s Note
People that you encounter on your trip will not necessarily understand your circumstances.
Get a doctor’s note that explains your condition and mentions that you must carry your medicine close to your person.
This will help others understand what is going on. If you are traveling to a foreign country, make sure the note is translated so that it can be read by others. Have multiple copies of this information so that you are never without it.
4. Tell Others
Don’t be shy about letting airport security know you have a disease.
All of your supplies need to be in a plastic container (quart sized), and they should be kept separate from anything that is not related to your medical condition. When going through security, the officials can easily look at your diabetes supplies and will not confuse them with other liquids. If possible, bring the original packaging so there is no confusion that the prescriptions actually belong to you.
5. Be Ready
Low glucose may be a problem when you are traveling. This is because your meal schedule is usually off.
Also, your planned activities may interfere with the time that you normally give yourself insulin. Therefore, you have to always be ready for low glucose. Make sure you have a lot of glucose tablets on your person at all times. These tablets are not affected by extreme temperatures, so that makes them handy when traveling.
Ensure you are wearing comfortable clothes too as well as footwear, like these Dr. Comfort Shoes – they’ll help make all the difference.
6. Research Your Food
Before you even leave on your trip, plan out which restaurants you are going to visit and what food you are eating.
You can then use sites like Nutrition Data or Calorie King to figure out nutrition information for the items that are in these meals.
You can learn a lot about new foods, and taking this step will help you prepare for your trip.
Also, make sure you measure your blood glucose level both before and after you eat to get a handle on how you are doing. You need to keep your glucose numbers at a healthy level.
7. Pack Plenty Of Supplies
If you are going to be gone for three days, pack six days of supplies. You don’t want to come close to running out of your medicine.
In addition, if you have a pump, bring an extra one if possible. You don’t want the pump to suddenly stop working when you need it most.
8. Pay Attention To Time Zones
If you are heading into a different time zone, the clock on your insulin pump needs to change. It is also a good idea to talk to a medical professional about your plans and inquire as to how the time change may affect your diabetes.