Diabetics on trips Part 1

Travel to foreign countries also means adjusting to other environmental conditions. Conversely, this means that many behaviors that are taken for granted in everyday life, run differently on vacation. So you will be physically active on holiday, you have a different life rhythm and you will also feed differently. Therefore, every diabetic should be informed at home about customary customs and foods.

Control blood sugar more often than usual

Since not all foreign influences are foreseeable in advance, should On vacation the blood sugar can be checked more often than usual. Overall, however, simply enjoy the holiday and stay calm, even if the metabolism is not running perfectly.

Consult the doctor before traveling

Those who go on vacation and know that they are exposed to other influences, should discuss with his doctor before traveling. He may suggest a therapy adjustment for certain situations, prescribe sufficient medication - even in an emergency - and carry out necessary vaccinations.

Travel vaccinations - vaccinate in time!

Diabetics can easily be vaccinated as well as all non-diabetics. Which vaccinations are recommended depends on the destination. It is generally recommended to refresh the standard vaccines against tetanus, diphtheria and poliomyelitis. In countries with a low standard of hygiene, vaccination against hepatitis A and typhoid makes sense. The pathogens are transmitted by smear infection, contaminated drinking water and food. Also against hepatitis B vaccination may be useful. The infection takes place via blood and mucous membrane contact.

Sun protection - Just untanned skin is at risk

Ungrown, winter-white skin must first slowly get used to the sun - so always a sunscreen must be taken. The correct sun protection factor depends on the radiation intensity as well as the skin type.

Absolutely take

Diabetics who inject insulin need a medical certificate. Diabetics who inject insulin and therefore carry an injection kit need a medical certificate certifying the injection treatment and the insulin set. As high security standards apply at the airports (for example, do not carry pointed objects), the required items should be listed individually. Information about the customs regulations of the respective country is available at the Federal Foreign Office.

  • International Diabetic ID card (when traveling abroad in the local language)
    For Type 1 diabetics, international ID is mandatory. But also type 2 diabetics should carry an international diabetic ID card, because even they can be dependent on foreign aid in case of hypoglycaemia. Every diabetic should be identified as a diabetic when traveling.
  • Medicines and meter in hand luggage
    Important utensils - medicines, insulin, snacks, measuring instruments, etc. - should always be carried in hand luggage on flights. Do not carry insulin in your suitcase as it is cold in the luggage compartment of the aircraft and insulin can not tolerate temperatures below two degrees. Every insulin-injecting diabetic should take U-100 injections on vacation. Attention: some countries do not sell U-40 insulins - even for conventional syringes. In the event that the meter should fail, it is advisable to additionally take visually readable test strips.
  • Take snacks between meals
    Take enough carbohydrate reserves! Crispbread, biscuits and dried fruit are well suited. It is important that the KHE of the entrained food are also known. When traveling abroad, the import regulations of the respective country must be taken into account (for example USA). Grape sugar should always be there for emergencies!

Travel by car

  • Who is traveling by car, should inject the usual amount of insulin at the usual time if possible or take his tablets at the usual time. It is advisable to simply keep the usual rhythm.
  • For longer trips: always test the blood sugar before driving! The blood sugar should be at least 120mg / dl (6.6mmol / l). Avoid night driving by car if possible.
  • Take enough carbohydrate-containing foods such as bread, fruit, biscuits for snacks.
  • Breaks: For longer trips, take a break of about 15 minutes every two hours, move around and possibly have a snack. Drink enough!
  • Attention: Hypoglycaemia - therefore always carry glucose. If hypoglycaemia is imminent: stop immediately and eat enough glucose. Only after 30 minutes is the full ability to concentrate restored.
  • Alcohol may not be drunk anyway when driving a car. But: Alcohol on the eve can still express itself in a Hypoglyk√§miegefahr the next morning!

Travel by train

Rail travel is well suited for diabetics as a means of travel: snacks can be taken as usual, movement by going up and going is also possible. But: you should also adjust to late departure and arrival, possibly missed connecting trains or crowded trains at peak times. Therefore, when traveling by train:

  • Timely planning, so that there is always enough space between the individual connecting trains.
  • For longer train journeys, you should also take into account delays.
  • For these cases, take enough carbohydrate-containing snacks or adequate diabetic supplies (insulin, tablets, syringes, cannulas and test strips).

Travel by plane

Airports and flights within the US have tightened security since September 11, 2001. These also affect insulin-dependent diabetics: Injected syringes or lancets for blood glucose control are considered to be a potential risk to other passengers. These must therefore be originally packed.

Tip: Prior to departure for domestic and international flights, obtain information about the current measures from the airline.

7 flight tips for diabetics

  • Many airlines offer special menus for diabetics. It is best to inquire early with travel agency or airline.
  • Time-shifting long-haul flights change the rhythm of insulin injections and drug taking. Diabetics should therefore develop a dose adjustment strategy with their doctor before traveling, if they are traveling abroad.
  • Due to the low humidity on board the body needs three times as much fluid. The rule is: eat less - drink a lot so that the mucous membranes always stay moist. It is best to drink a glass of mineral water or fruit juice every hour.
  • Physiological saline dripped into the nose every 30 minutes lessens the unpleasant dehydration of the nasal mucosa.
  • It is advisable to bring warm clothes for the flight as it is often cold on the plane.
  • To prevent calf cramps or vein discomfort - move frequently on the plane.
  • Alcohol and coffee should not be drunk on the plane.
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