WESTPORT, Conn.- For people living with diabetes, “don’t leave home without it” has an extra cautionary note. As America faces its busiest most traveled week of the year, if you have diabetes you need to be especially prepared for delays, lost luggage and limited healthy food options. Airports and highways will be saturated with people going away and inevitably leading to unexpected anxiety and stress.
dLife.com is the go-to holiday travel resource for people living with diabetes. Start with these helpful tips to get you through being away from home:
Double the amount of diabetes medicine and supplies you might need and put it in your carry-on luggage.
Be prepared for a low; pack healthy snacks, extra glucose gel or tablets.
Check to see if a healthy meal is going to be available. If not, bring your own.
Always bring your medical insurance card and know an emergency number to call, just in case.
Wear medical identification.
Try to tell at least one person you’re traveling with about your diabetes, and explain the symptoms of a low blood sugar reaction (sweating, dizziness, confusion). If traveling alone, tell a flight attendant or conductor that you have diabetes.
Bring at least one if not two Glucagon kits if you use insulin and pack insulated bags and blue ice to keep insulin cool.
Don’t leave medication in the trunk or glove compartment where they can heat up.
Avoid going barefoot, even in the shower or pool.
Move around every one to two hours to increase comfort and reduce risk for blood clots.
“Diabetes doesn’t take a holiday so remember to plan ahead when traveling. Stay as close as possible to your usual blood testing routine and test more often if you’re changing time zones. Planning where to test will reduce stress and help improve blood sugar control,” says Susan Weiner, R.D., M.S., C.D.E., C.D.N. Susan is a successful nutritionist in a private practice, specializing in sports nutrition, weight management, diabetes and metabolic disorders.