It’s not easy traveling with any medical issue–diabetes included. Don’t worry! You can take the trip you’ve always wanted, you just have to take some simple precautionary measures first.
Things to do before you leave:
- Make an appointment with your doctor to check in on the status of your diabetes. Log in to My Diabetes Home to track your A1C, weight, cholesterol, sugars, and blood pressure before your trip. You can easily share this information with your doctor by printing out our Visit Optimizer and making an appropriate plan of action. The more control you have over your diabetes before your vacation, the better.
- If you’re going somewhere exotic, like the Caribbean, make sure all of your immunization shots are up to date.
- Ask your doctor to provide you with two letters: one that explains your medications, including the reason for and any directions for taking them, and another that can serve as a prescription in case you run out of medication or have an emergency while you’re traveling.
- Pack (and wear!) any medical ID that you may need.
- Bring twice the amount of medication and supplies that you would need normally, in case there’s an emergency.
- Plan out the timing for your insulin shots–this is especially important if you are crossing time zones. Keep track of your medications with the free MedSimple app for iPhone and Android–the app will remind you when to take your insulin and other medications.
- Make sure you pack your diabetes supplies separately from any other liquids you have in your carry-on luggage to minimize issues when going through airport security. Learn more about things to keep in mind when planning your trip.
Things to do on your trip:
- Keep moving! Go on walks, hikes, and sight-see as much as you can. Staying mobile helps reduce the risk of blood clots.
- Make sure others that you are traveling with are aware that you have diabetes and know what to do in case there is a medical emergency.
- If you are flying, inform TSA personnel that you have diabetes so you can better deal with airport security and your medical supplies.
- Pay attention to the food and beverages that you are consuming. Make sure you’re hydrating constantly, and stay away from sugary drinks when possible.
- Keep snacks with you that could be used to prevent–or treat–low blood glucose
- Protect your feet, especially if you are at the beach! This is especially important if you have peripheral neuropathy, because you will be unlikely to feel injuries to your feet and could suffer from greater injury or infection. Learn more about staying healthy while you’re traveling.
Things to do when you return:
If there were any irregularities with your health while you were traveling, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the changes. Staying on top of these issues can help eliminate larger issues when traveling in the future.
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