The world is an exciting place! Get out there and enjoy it this summer. Diabetes may add a few challenges to travel, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. Consult Dr. Kausel and the entire team at Ana Maria Kausel MD to prepare yourself for your summer adventures. We can help you navigate the following tips so your trip is as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.
When you’re planning your trip, make an appointment at our office to ensure you’re in good shape for the trip. Go over with Dr. Kausel your planned activities and how they could affect your blood sugar levels.
She can give you guidance as to how to adjust your insulin doses if you’re traveling to a different time zone, especially overseas. You’ll be eating and sleeping at different times, so your medicine schedule may need to change.
We can also update you on any necessary vaccines and provide you with a letter that verifies your medical condition and why you’re carrying extra diabetic supplies, such as medications and needles.
We can help you get a medical ID bracelet stating that you have diabetes. Sign up for travel insurance, and locate the names and numbers of pharmacies and clinics in the place you’re headed – just in case. It’s better to have the information and not need it than be scrambling in an emergency.
If your summer vacation means airline travel, pack your diabetes supplies in your carry-on bag. Bring extra just to be safe. Always keep the meds in the bottles they came in so they’re properly labeled and you can get through security easily.
Also, know your rights. If you’re traveling, you’re exempt from the 3.4-ounce rule for liquids while on a plane. Plus, if you wear an insulin pump or glucose monitor, you can request a hand inspection when you go through security – rather than go through the X-ray machine and risk damage to your equipment.
If you’re driving and spending any time in the heat, pack your insulin and other medications in a cooler so they don’t overheat. Most types of insulin should be kept at a temperature below 86℉. Don’t store insulin or diabetes medicine in direct sunlight or in a hot car; keep them in the cooler too. And don’t put insulin directly on ice or a gel pack.
Your blood sugar monitor and insulin pump are temperature sensitive, too. So keep them away from direct sunlight and not in a hot car.
Pack healthy food options for road trips and long airplane rides. Good options include fresh fruit, nuts, and yogurt. Healthy options while out of your home include salads with protein (skip the extras like croutons) as well as omelets, grilled lean meats and veggies, and fajitas without the rice and tortillas.
If you’re at an all-you-can-eat getaway, such as an all-inclusive resort or cruise, ask for special menus. Many of these places have a spa or low-carb menu to help you stay on track.
When you’re on vacation, you may be more active than usual. High temperatures also affect your body’s insulin usage. Keep checking your blood sugar before and after activity and make adjustments to your food and insulin intake. Don’t forget a quality pair of walking or athletic shoes to protect your feet. Going barefoot is inviting foot injury, even on the beach.
If your vacation means more sitting than usual – such as long car rides or flights – make a point to get up and walk for a minute or two every hour or so to prevent blood clots.
Don’t let your diabetes keep you from enjoying summer travel. At Ana Maria Kausel MD Endocrinology, we’re ready to help you plan for a safe and satisfying vacation. Call our office in Chelsea, New York, for your appointment or book using this website.