HAVE DI­A­BETES, WILL TRAVEL

Don’t let your ill­ness stop you from trav­el­ling over the hol­i­day sea­son. Just keep these five tips in mind when plan­ning your journey for a safe so­journ.

Best Health - - CONTENTS -

Five strate­gies to keep your dis­ease in check on the go

CARRY ON TO CARRY ON

You want to en­sure that you have ev­ery­thing you need close at hand, in­clud­ing med­i­ca­tions, in­sulin, sy­ringes, test strips, lancets and ke­tone strips. That means pack­ing them in your carry-on bag­gage.

With in­creased air­port se­cu­rity, ex­pect your sup­plies to get a thor­ough once-over, but don’t fret: You should be able to board a plane with in­sulin, sy­ringes and in­sulin­de­liv­ery sys­tems as long as you can doc­u­ment that you need them. Bring a let­ter from your doc­tor and carry your in­sulin vials in their boxes (once you use the in­sulin, keep the box). It’s OK to carry lancets as long as they’re capped. You can also carry a glu­cose me­ter with a man­u­fac­turer’s name printed on it. If you use an in­sulin pump, don’t dis­con­nect it prior to en­ter­ing se­cu­rity. But if you’re wear­ing a con­tin­u­ous glu­cose sen­sor, you’ll need to dis­able it be­cause the ra­diofre­quency it emits can in­ter­fere with the plane’s in­flight nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem.

BE SMART, NOT SORRY

At hol­i­day time, se­cu­rity may be height­ened, es­pe­cially at for­eign air­ports. Call ahead to your lo­cal air­port to find out cur­rent poli­cies. Con­sider work­ing with a travel agent, who can help you suss out poli­cies at for­eign air­ports.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Whether you’re trav­el­ling by plane or train, it’s a good idea to con­firm that they have spe­cial meals on board. When you’re en route, wait for meal ser­vice to be­gin be­fore you take your pre-meal in­sulin to en­sure that you don’t ex­pe­ri­ence low blood sugar if food ser­vice is de­layed or can­celled.

MEALS ON WHEELS

Trav­el­ling by car? Stick to your reg­u­lar meal­time sched­ule to keep your blood sugar stable. If that isn’t pos­si­ble, carry glu­cose tablets with you and be alert to symp­toms of low blood sugar, such as ner­vous­ness, sweat­ing and crank­i­ness. If you feel a hy­po­glycemic episode com­ing on, pull over and take sev­eral glu­cose tablets. Wait at least 10 to 15 min­utes for the feel­ing to pass be­fore con­tin­u­ing on.

GET IN THE ZONE

Trav­el­ling across dif­fer­ent time zones can throw your nor­mal in­sulin and meal sched­ule com­pletely off kil­ter, but you can com­pen­sate for the dis­rup­tion if you’re care­ful. When you’re adding hours to your day by trav­el­ling west, you may need to take more in­sulin. When you’re los­ing hours by trav­el­ling east, you may need less. When it comes to tim­ing your in­jec­tions and meals, keep your watch set to your home time as you travel to your des­ti­na­tion, but switch your watch – and your sched­ule – to the lo­cal time the morn­ing af­ter you ar­rive. If you don’t feel com­fort­able mak­ing these ad­just­ments on your own, ask your health­care provider to help you cre­ate a sched­ule.

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