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Traveling With Diabetes

Taking Insulin While Traveling

If you need an insulin injection during a flight, follow your normal procedure, but put only half as much air into your insulin bottle as usual. Air pressure on the plane is not the same as on the ground.

If you take inhaled insulin on a plane, you don't need to do anything different.

Store your insulin bottles and unopened packages of inhaled insulin between 33 F and 80 F. Don't freeze insulin or keep it in direct sun. Once you open a package of inhaled insulin, you can keep it at room temperature safely for 10 days.

Caring for Your Feet

Pack comfortable shoes, socks, and a first-aid kit to treat minor foot injuries.

Bring at least two pairs of shoes so you can change them often. This can help you avoid blisters and sore pressure points.

Protect your feet at all times. Don't go barefoot -- not even by the pool, shore, or while swimming. Wear shoes made for ocean or beach walking.

Avoid open-toe shoes like sandals or flip-flops. Exposed toes make injury and infection more likely.

Follow your daily foot-care routine.

Handling an Emergency Overseas

If you have a diabetic emergency while you're overseas and you don't know where to go, try the American consulate, the Red Cross, or a local medical school.

Prescription laws may be different in foreign countries. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends getting a list of International Diabetes Federation groups from

Get a list of English-speaking foreign doctors from the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers, or 716-754 4883.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on August 06, 2014
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