Planning Vacations When You Have Diabetes

If you suffer from diabetes, you are constantly watching the foods you eat to make sure you are managing your blood sugar levels. When it comes to planning a vacation, don’t let your diabetes get in the way of enjoying yourself. You still need to take time to manage your diabetes while you are on vacation but you don’t need to drop out of a fun vacation because of your blood sugar problems.
Enjoy your vacation, plan ahead.

Planning a vacation requires you to sit down and write out your meal patterns, time zone changes, activity levels, and other things that may impact your ability to properly manage your diabetes. Here are some helpful tips that will allow you to have a fun vacation without letting your diabetes get in the way:

  • Write down the times when you normally eat your meals and snacks so you can try and stick to the same schedule as close as possible. When you are dealing with time zone changes, you may struggle for a day or so while you try to help your body adjust to the new eating schedule.
  • Always meet with your doctor if you are planning to vacation to an area where you will have a major time zone change. Your doctor may need to provide you with insulin medication in case your blood sugar does start to climb and go out of whack. They can also give you advice on the types of foods to enjoy and the foods you need to avoid. You need to make sure you are current with all of your shots as they can interfere with your blood sugar levels.
  • Write down all the medications you are on and be sure to pack some emergency supplies you can get to quickly like some hard candies to suck on and boost your blood sugar if you can feel it is dropping too low. Wear a medical identification tag that will tell people you have diabetes and what to do if you pass out or have problems.
  • If you are planning to fly, you will need to obtain clearance to bring your diabetic supplies with you. It is important to keep your medication like your syringes and blood test monitors with your carry-on luggage in case your other bag is lost. Tell the security agents that you are diabetic and they will take you through a special checkpoint. All of your medication must have a prescription label on it and you must have insulin for the syringes. If you are wearing an insulin pump, the security guard must inspect it, just make sure they don’t remove it or it can throw off your blood sugar if they remove the meter.
  • Before you make all of your travel arrangements, speak with the hotel or cruise line to see if they have menus for diabetic patients. A lot of cruise lines have specially prepared meals for diabetic patients. Airlines will also serve you a special meal on the plane as well so you don’t have to eat white bread and other things that can cause your blood sugar to rise or drop rapidly.
  • Diabetic patients often suffer from foot problems. If you know you will be sitting for a long period of time, consider using compression stockings to help the blood flow in the legs.  Bring an extra pair of shoes with you to try and avoid rubbing on the feet which can lead to blisters and lesions. 
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