f you have diabetes mellitus (commonly referred to as ‘diabetes’), regularity is very important. During vacations or business trips, it can be difficult to maintain your regularity. When traveling, you probably have a different rhythm and eating pattern. There may also be a time difference, and the temperature and your activities are different from normal. All of this can affect your blood sugar (the level of glucose in your blood). That is why it is important that you are well prepared for your trip. This checklist for traveling with diabetes can help you with that.
Traveling With Diabetes: Preventing Health Risks
When traveling, the circumstances are different than at home. You will often eat, drink and exercise differently than at home. You may also feel different, for example more relaxed or more stressed. All of those things affect your blood sugar. That is why it is important to measure your glucose level more often when you are traveling. If necessary, take measures with food and / or medicines.
Counteract hypo (hypoglycaemia) In a warm environment (warm country) insulin is better absorbed by your body. This can give you a hypo: a drop in your blood sugar (glucose value). You can also get a hypo if your eating rhythm is interrupted, for example due to delays on the road. Read here what you can do against a hypo. So take the necessary measures in advance for a holiday to avoid a hypo. Counteract hyper (hyperglycaemia) A hyper is an increase in your blood sugar (glucose value). Read here what you can do against a hyper. Bridging the time difference When traveling abroad you can have to deal with a large time difference. It is important that you still take your medicines on time. If you are using insulin, your doctor or diabetes nurse can set up an injection schedule for on the go. You usually need to take short-acting insulin before every meal. You can move long-acting insulin forward or backward, in line with local clock times. Bring a diabetes passport Always carry a diabetes passport with you. It contains your treatments, your medicines and the results of your examinations. If you become unwell, bystanders or caregivers can tell that you have diabetes. A diabetes passport is available via the DVN website .
Note: Some insurance policies do not reimburse medical costs abroad for existing conditions, such as diabetes. Make sure you are clearly informed in advance, so that you travel well insured!
Family goes on vacation by car
Traveling with diabetes: storing medicines responsibly
Always store your insulin or diabetes tablets according to the instructions in the package leaflet. Also when traveling! You can always ask your BENU Pharmacy for advice.
Protect your diabetes medicines from heat and cold. Always store insulin between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius and out of sunlight. Otherwise, the efficacy will be lost. Protect your test strips and insulin pumps from heat and frost. To a warm destination? Your BENU Pharmacy sells special cooling bags for insulin. You can also store insulin in a cool box (but not against the cooling elements!), In a thermos with a wide opening, or in a rolled up towel. To a cold destination, such as winter sports? Then carry the insulin on your body for the day. This prevents the insulin from freezing. Flight? Keep your diabetes medications and accessories in your carry-on bag. It can freeze in the luggage compartment of the plane. Car trip? Camping? Do not leave your diabetes medicines and associated aids in a parked car, camper, tent or caravan. There it quickly becomes too hot or too cold for your medicines.
Tip: Keep your diabetes medicines and aids spread out over your (or those of your travel companions) luggage. Then you will not immediately lose all your medicines if a bag disappears.
Roll case at the airport
Traveling with diabetes: using additional medicines
You may need extra medicines in addition to your diabetes medicines during your trip. For example, medicines for motion sickness, air sickness, diarrhea or tropical diseases. Your BENU Pharmacy knows which medicines you can combine with your diabetes medicines and can inform you about possible interactions.
Tip: Do you get sick or sick while traveling? If you are not keeping food down, it is important that you still get enough carbohydrates. This can be done, for example, by drinking fruit juice.