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Holiday Travel Tips for People With Diabetes

December 24, 2011

FRIDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) — If you have diabetes and plan
on traveling this holiday season, there are certain things you need to do
to safeguard your health, says a University of Alabama at Birmingham

“I tell patients, especially type 1 diabetics, to be diligent about
blood sugar control when they travel — especially across time zones —
because it’s easy to lose control of your glucose management when you get
out of your usual routine,” Dr. Fernando Ovalle, director of the UAB
Multidisciplinary Diabetes Clinic and a senior scientist in the UAB
Comprehensive Diabetes Center, said in a university news release.

When traveling in the United States or to most places in Europe, you
should pack twice as much medication and blood-testing supplies as you
think you need. If traveling to places where medical resources may be
scarce, pack three to four times that amount, Ovalle recommended.

Pack at least one set of medication and supplies in a carry-on bag and
keep the bag with you at all times so you always have medication on hand,
even if your checked baggage is delayed or lost.

Reduce the risk of airport hassles by carrying a letter and
prescription from your doctor. The letter should outline the treatment for
your diabetes (such as, “take diabetes pills or insulin shots”) and list
syringes, insulin and any other medications or devices you use.

If you’re traveling across time zones, start adjusting your medication
times for insulin in increments in the days before you depart. If the time
change is more than four hours, ask your doctor to create a new dosing
schedule in order to reduce your risk of making a mistake, Ovalle

If you’re traveling long distances, make sure you move around or get up
and walk at least every hour or so. People with diabetes are at increased
risk for blood clots and movement can help prevent them.

People with insulin pumps need to be careful when flying. Research has
shown that changes in airliner cabin pressure during flights can cause
insulin pumps to deliver too much insulin when the plane is climbing,
Ovalle said.

“Individuals with diabetes who are extremely sensitive to insulin may
want to consider disconnecting the device before taking off and while the
plane is ascending, as well as checking the insulin supply for air bubbles
upon landing,” he suggested.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips for managing diabetes during the holidays.

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/holiday-travel-tips-people-diabetes-170212560.html


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