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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Traveling and Diabetes

As the World Diabetes day approaches November 14, we are urged to stay free from activities or edibles that can affect our health status.

Sound health is an important factor when it comes to migration and traveling, This has led Travel Army to connect with experienced personnel like physicians and NGO's on global diabetes issues to shed light on Traveling and Diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in someone's blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.

Types of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes : Once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. It is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces no insulin, a hormone needed to allow sugar (glucose) to enter cells to produce energy. It occurs most frequently in children and young adults, although it can occur at any age.

Type 2 diabetes: Once known as adult-onset or non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, the bodies of people with type 2 diabetes make insulin but either their pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body cannot use the insulin well enough. This is called insulin resistance

Common Symptoms
Frequent urination, Excessive thirst,Increased hunger,Weight loss,Tiredness,Lack of interest and concentration, a tingling sensation or numbness in the hands or feet, blurred vision.                  

Traveling and Diabetes
If you have diabetes, preparing for even daily activities can require advanced planning. So how do you prepare for travel, which can disrupt your diabetes care routine?

Here are 10 tips for traveling when you have diabetes.
1 -- Keep your supplies close at hand.Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, make sure your diabetes supplies are easily accessible. Back-up insulin should also be kept in your carry-on, because checked baggage can be exposed to extreme cold or heat that can spoil insulin, and ruin glucometers.

2 – Try to stick to your routine. Traveling can really throw people with diabetes off schedule, and at no fault of their own. if you’re traveling out of your time zone, think ahead and stick to your routine as much as possible.

3 -- Get documentation. Carry a note from your doctor stating that you have diabetes, and need to have your medication with you at all times. If you’re going to a country where they speak a language other than your own, translate the note into that language.

4 -- Inform airport security you have diabetes. When flying, remember to put your diabetes supplies in a quart size plastic container that is separate from the other non-diabetes liquids you’re bringing on board; this way, screeners can immediately separate diabetes medications from other liquid items in your carry-on baggage. Sometimes it is helpful to carry your insulin bottles or pens in their original packaging to prove the prescription is your own. Lastly, always check out the Transportation Safety Administration’s website.

5 -- Always be prepared to treat low glucose. When you travel, you may disrupt your normal routine for both eating and dosing insulin; you may also be sightseeing or increasing your physical activity in general. Because of these changes, you need to be prepared for low glucose whenever it strikes, so pack plenty of glucose tablets—these are usually the best because they won’t melt, explode in heat, or leak and become sticky.

6 -- Investigate the food you eat. "If you take mealtime insulin, do your best to figure out the carbohydrate grams in the foods you’re eating so that you take the right pre-meal insulin".  It's crucial to keep your glucose numbers in check to avoid problems.

7 -- Increase your stash of supplies.  Pack diabetes supplies more than your needs. Remember to bring extra supplies.

8 -- Consider time zone changes. If you’re wearing an insulin pump and will be traveling to a location that is in another time zone, be sure to adjust your insulin pump’s clock to reflect the change.

9 -- Test your blood sugar. Travel can have all sorts of effects on diabetes management. You are likely to sit for long, this lack of activity may prompt your blood glucose levels to become elevated; conversely, sightseeing and other physical activity may lower glucose. Because of the changes in your schedule, it is very important to test glucose before and after meals.

10-- Tell others that you have diabetes. Let them know what you have to do to stay healthy and active on your journey, and what they should do in case there is an emergency. Always wear a medical identification bracelet when you’re traveling and be certain that it states you have diabetes, if you take insulin, and if possible, list an emergency contact number.

Curled from: www.joslin.org

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