Mellitus and Travel
If you anticipate problems or your
diabetic control is unstable take advice from your professional advisor
at home before booking the trip.
During the journey
Be prepared and take adequate supplies
of insulin, syringes, blood glucose strips. Carry necessary equipment in
hand luggage where it can be easily accessed. Have a means of disposing
of needles. If prone to travel sickness take an anti-emetic; vomiting can
predispose to hypoglycaemia. Carry diabetic identification and inform travelling
companions of diabetic status - ideally travel with someone familiar with
possible problems that might occur such as hypoglycaemia.
Insulin absorption may be affected
in a warm climate. Maintain a high fluid intake to compensate for loss.
Ensure safe storage of glucose strips to maintain accurate readings. Keep
insulin out of direct sunlight and in colder climates do not let it freeze.
Some people are more active on holiday,
others less so. It is important that medication, diet and insulin are adjusted
Food and Drink
The diabetic traveller has to be extra
cautious to prevent infections which can cause gastro-intestinal upset.
Vomiting and diarrhoea can lead to hypoglycaemia.
All international flights east or
west involve crossing time-zones. Some practical advice on administering
insulin is as follows:
plan in advance
talk with a specialist
take adequate equipment and medication
take adequate carbohydrate or glucose
supplies since delays can alter mealtimes
MONITOR sugar levels especially on long
be prepared for delays
plan a schedule in advance but be prepared
to alter it later if delays occur.
Although some manufacturers state
that insulin can remain stable for up to one month at normal room temperature,
extremes of temperature can reduce its activity. When travelling keep vials
in a cool, dark place. Polystyrene containers, vacuum flasks, face cloths
in a sandwich container,are all useful. Special travel-carry systems are
available from specialist suppliers.
During the journey make sure shoes
are not too tight as feet can swell. Take a walk each hour as exercise
limit the amount of swelling. If hospital shoes are normally worn then
also wear them on holiday. Changing to ordinary shoes could cause ulcers.
Avoid walking barefoot; wear protective footwear on the sand and in the
water. Avoid sunburn to feet and legs by using protective sunscreens or
Prevent dry skin by using moisturizers,
especially on heels which crack easily. Moist skin can lead to infection.
Take first aid kit for minor injuries. Examine feet regularly and seek
medical attention if any problems arise.
source: Scottish NHS www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/General/