Travel can make it hard to keep your blood sugar within your target
range because of changes in time zones, meal schedules, and types of foods
Whenever you need to see a doctor away from home, let
him or her know you have
diabetes. And always wear medical
identification. In an emergency, medical identification lets people know that
you have diabetes so they can care for you appropriately if you are unable to
"Diabetes diet." Simply hearing these words may be enough to make you feel overwhelmed or frustrated.
Perhaps you have said, or heard someone else express, one of these thoughts:
Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
There are too many rules about choosing foods that are OK in a diabetes diet.
You have to give up all your favorite foods when you're on a diabetes diet.
These three statements are all myths about diabetes diets. Take a closer look at these and other myths to find out...
Use a travel agent who knows the needs of a
person with diabetes. The agent can arrange for special meals or other special
Take extra diabetes medicine,
insulin and injection supplies, high and low blood sugar treatments (including a glucagon kit, if you have one), blood sugar meter
batteries, test strips, and lancets. You may not find your regular supplies
wherever you travel.
Double your normal amount of needed supplies
for short trips. For long trips, have enough extra supplies to last for 2 weeks
more than the length of your trip.
To keep your blood sugar at your
usual level, try to eat and take your medicine as close to your regular
schedule as you can.
When you are traveling by car:
Have snacks and drinks with you. Keep
sugar-free drinks and drinks with sugar in an ice cooler.
needed, store your insulin in the cooler so that it will stay at a more
constant temperature. Don't let the insulin touch the ice.
your blood sugar meter at room temperature. Don't leave it in a hot or cold car
or in the sun.
Walk a few minutes every 2 hours to improve the
blood flow in your legs.
When you are flying:
Check with your doctor, if needed, about
changing your medicine dose and timing if you will travel across three or more
Stay up to date with airport security rules. When you get ready to go through security, tell the officer that you have diabetes and are carrying diabetes supplies with you. Insulin pumps may set off alarms.
Pack your diabetes supplies in your carry-on bag.
Luggage can get lost and supplies damaged by the temperature extremes in the
baggage area. You will need medical identification or a doctor's prescription
for your needles and syringes to be allowed through airport
Put your insulin bottle (vial), if needed, into a small,
wide-mouth, cool, empty thermos if you are not sure that temperatures will stay
in a range that is safe for your insulin.
Put in half the air you
usually add to the insulin vial, if needed, to adjust for altitude air pressure
changes if you draw up your insulin while flying.
Get up and walk
every hour or so. This will help blood flow in your legs and will make sure
that your insulin works properly.
Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!
Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Thank you for signing up for the WebMD Diabetes Newsletter!
You'll find tips and tricks as well as the latest news and research on Diabetes.
Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.