If you have diabetes, travelling comes with some additional baggage. Here are some travel tips for diabetics to keep in mind by Dr Banshi Saboo.
Talk to your doctor before you travel: Go to your doctor for a check-up a few weeks before your trip to get the advice you need to stay fit during your trip. Your medication may need some adjustment if you are flying across time zones or if you are going to take part in physically strenuous activity.
Pack sufficient diabetes medicine: In general, pack at least twice as much or an extra two weeks’ worth medication and blood sugar testing material as required. Pack all these supplies in a separate carry-on bag that can be kept handy at all times. Make sure you pack any additional medicines you may have been prescribed, such as tablets to stop vomiting and diarrhoea. Also carry some hard candy, biscuits or fruit juice, just in case your blood sugar drops too low. Include wet wipes so you can clean your fingers on-the-go before pricking them to check sugar levels.
Wear a medical bracelet: You must wear a medical ID bracelet that states you have diabetes. This is particularly helpful in case you are travelling alone and there is a medical emergency.
Be wise with your food choices: Indulge in local cuisines but pay attention to ingredients and hygiene because a stomach upset can ruin your vacation and your diabetes control.
Be careful of outdoor excursions: Avoid going out barefoot and wear comfortable shoes. Check your feet for cuts or bruises.
Take extra care if the weather is too hot or too cold: If you are travelling outdoors in summer, keep your medicines and insulin insulated and away from direct sunlight as much as possible. If the weather is very cold, remember that your sugar levels may increase while the temperature may make it harder to prick your fingers for a blood test. Stay active and keep a regular check on your sugar level.
Remember to get a certificate from your doctor: It helps to get a letter from your doctor stating that you have diabetes, in order to carry your insulin in your luggage. If you are going to a foreign country, check that your medical insurance covers your illness, in case of an emergency.