Nothing should affect your ability to traveling overseas with Diabetes. There are things that have an effect on blood glucose levels and could impact your health. Your diet, the level of activity you'll be undertaking and the climate. With a bit of careful planning, you can have a straightforward, stress-free trip.
We've gathered 6 top tips for anyone who is traveling overseas with diabetes.
1. Take A Doctor's Note
A doctor's letter is useful when navigating customs and security at airports. It will make it easier to replace medication abroad should you lose any. The note should include:
a. List of the medication you are currently taking
b. The monitoring and dispensing equipment required
c. Details on the need to carry supplies in your hand luggage (if traveling by plane). This includes insulin, needles, and syringes
d. Contact details for your diabetes team
2. Remember to Pack Glucose Monitoring Equipment in Your Hand Luggage
All diabetic medication should be labeled and in its original packaging. It's important to remember to pack glucose monitoring equipment in your hand luggage. It should remain accessible during all flights. You can contact airlines to request diabetic meals. It's also worth packing extra carbohydrates for traveling, should you need them.
3. Research on Your Diabetes Medications
It's worth knowing the names of some generic brands. Learn what certain medications name in countries you are visiting. Also, find out how blood glucose levels are measured in the country you're heading to. Arming yourself with such information, you'll be better prepared should something bad happen.
4. Keep Your Insulin Cool When You Travel Overseas with Diabetes
Insulin damage can occur fast in hot climates, especially if you leave it in direct sunlight. If it's warm enough for you to sit out in a swimsuit, it's too hot for your insulin. So refrigerate when possible and take a cool pack along with you on days out.
Extreme heat will also affect both meters and test strips. Keep your devices out of the sun in a cool place too. Hot or cold test strips can result in misleading figures.
5. Take Extra Care in Colder Climates
The climate not only affects your insulin and diabetes devices. It can change how your body functions. If you're heading on a winter sports holiday, it's worth remembering your body will use more energy. The body needs more energy in cold weather to keep warm. Be aware you could suffer from unexpected low glucose levels.
If your glucose levels drop, you'll be in more danger because of the risks of hypothermia. Be diligent and track your glucose levels especially if you'll be exerting lots of energy.
6. Keep Up Good Hygiene Practices
Being ill can have more severe health complications for someone with diabetes. Being sick can lead to low blood glucose and fever can have the opposite effect. And for anyone, being unwell overseas is stressful. So it's best to practice good hygiene levels when you're abroad.
Also, Consider the Following Advice:
- Avoid raw or undercooked seafood
- Stay clear of food that's been left to stand for long periods of time at room temperature
- Buy bottled water
- Ask for your drinks without any ice
Are you diabetic? Share your travel tips with us.
Now that you have learned about traveling overseas with diabetes, what's next?
Check out Senior Citizens Are the New Nomads