Summer Travel Tips for Patients with Diabetes

Summer Travel Tips for Patients with Diabetes

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. 

The providers at Macomb Medical Clinic in Sterling Heights, Michigan are ready to help you plan for a safe and satisfying vacation. Read on for our tips on preparing for your summer adventures. 

When you’re planning your trip, make an appointment at our office to ensure you’re in good shape for the trip, discuss your planned activities and how they could affect your blood sugar levels. 

We 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.

Plan for emergency

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.

Keep your supplies on hand

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.

Keep it cool

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.

Stick to your diet

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.

Adjust for activity

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.

For diabetes management and all of your primary healthcare needs, schedule a consultation with the team at Macomb Medical Clinic by calling the office today.

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