Diabetes – no reason to refuse to travel. Despite the fact that preparing a person with diabetes for a trip requires solving a considerable number of logistical issues, with proper preparation, you will be ready for all sorts of situations.I love to travel and have already visited about 20 countries and more than half of the US states.For example, I am writing this publication from Berlin, where I am currently studying and from where I travel around Europe.Since the diagnosis of diabetes, I have repeatedly traveled (especially now during my studies), so in this publication I will look at several aspects of traveling with diabetes, which, in my opinion, are the most difficult.
What to take with you on a trip?
Consumables for pumps and tanks.I take with me one set for every three days of the trip, as well as several additional spare sets.
Insulin.It should be transported, preferably in the cold, but at least at room temperature.Therefore, I take with me either the FRIO bag-case (the gel that forms after the case is immersed in water, keeps the insulin cool), or regular ice packs.Also, for more safety, I always take more insulin with me than I need.
Other consumables.Be sure to take with you extra lancets, a large number of test strips, a pump, batteries for the pump, an additional meter , batteries for the meter and additional syringe pens (in case of a pump failure).
GlucagonAnd of course, always take with you a glucagon (including a spare one) in case something goes wrong.Extra vigilance has never harmed anyone.
My advice – ALWAYS carry your diabetic kit along with you (in your carry-on bag).Thus , you will never have to worry about the fact that in case your baggage is lost, you will be left without all the necessary means.It will also eliminate the possibility that insulin and consumables will be damaged as a result of physical force or extreme temperatures.
What to take with you on a long trip (for example, in the case of a trip to study abroad)?
If you are a pump user, be sure to find out if there are offices of representatives of this company in this city (Country), so that in the event of a pump breakdown, you know where to turn.
Insulin prolonged action.If, for some reason, the pump has stopped working, and you do not have a spare pump, injections of long-acting insulin will help you to return to the regime of multiple injections for the period when you do not have a pump.
Security screening at the airport
Insulin and other consumables.During all my travels, I have never been asked questions about consumables when passing the border.Only questions about your insulin pump.However, always take a prescription with you, which contains information about the insulin and glucagon you are taking.
Means for stopping episodes of hypoglycemia.I always take glucose tablets, chewy sweets or sugar in any other non-liquid (and non-melting) form so as not to carry the liquid on board the aircraft.I used to take juice with me – if during the inspection I was warned by security officers that you need juice to prevent hypoglycemia, they, as a rule, quickly check the safety of the package and allow you to carry the juice on board the aircraft.
During the trip
Temporal basal rate.During long road journeys or flights, I usually barely move all day, so I use the temporal basal rate feature to prevent blood sugar levels from rising.My body is used to the fact that I exercise every day, so on days when I am inactive, my blood sugar level rises.The function of the temporal basal rate allows you to effectively deal with it.Personally, I set a temporary rate at 110-130% of normal speed, but you may have to experiment before you find what suits you.
Time Zones.If you are traveling to a different time zone, do not forget to change the time on your insulin pump!
In the days of travel!
Emergency contact information.When you travel abroad (and especially if you go abroad to study), make sure that you have the contact details of those who can be contacted in case of an emergency, at home and in the city where you arrived.
Find a pharmacy.Despite the fact that this advice is more suitable for those who study abroad, a pharmacy near the place where you live will certainly help you in the case of, for example, loss of a blood glucose meter .
The use of glucagon.As usual, be sure to teach someone who lives with you (friend, teacher, family members, etc.) how to use glucagon and where you store it.This will help in case of an emergency.
I hope my advice will help you to more easily transfer the journey and get more pleasant impressions from exploring new places.As I said at the beginning of this publication, do not allow diabetes to limit yourself to what you love – especially when it comes to travel.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Insulin pumps, as well as continuous glucose monitoring systems and consumables should be used only on the advice of a doctor under the guidance of a doctor who is aware of the associated risks.In order to effectively use the insulin pump and / or the continuous glucose monitoring system, the user’s view and hearing must be sufficient for accurate recognition of notifications and messages.
Insulin Pumps Therapy with an insulin pump is not recommended for persons who are unable or unwilling to measure blood sugar levels at least 4 times a day.Insulin pumps use short-acting insulin.In the event that insulin is discontinued, you will need to immediately replace the missed insulin dose.
Continuous Glycemic Monitoring Systems
The information provided by the continuous glycemic monitoring systems serves as an addition to the information obtained using the glucometer , but does not replace it.Before insulin shots, you will need to measure your blood sugar with a glucometer .
Installation of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the installation site. In the event of severe pain or in case of suspected infection of the sensor, contact the doctor immediately