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Traveling With Diabetes

by Kerri Sparling

The food in different countries can trip you up a bit, diabetes-wise, as well. Carrying a few foil-wrapped urine glucose-testing strips (such as Diastix) in your wallet can help you determine if a drink is sugar-free or not. If you’re able to pick up a guidebook about local cuisine, it may help in your efforts to determine the carbohydrate content of unfamiliar foods. When in doubt, dose your medicines conservatively, and monitor often; it’s better to be correcting a slightly high blood glucose level than chasing a low for hours.

Or what if you are traveling alone and find yourself needing diabetes assistance? If you are in a country where you do not speak the native language, write out a few key phrases on an index card and keep it in your wallet. Phrases like, “I have diabetes and I need some sugar. It’s an emergency,” or “Please take me to the nearest hospital. I have diabetes” might seem silly to have scrawled on a card in your wallet, but they can be literal lifesavers.

I may seem like a crazy person, with all the planning ahead and bringing-of-stuff. But I can’t help it: It’s the combination of my Type 1 diabetes and my type A personality. It’s part of my travel routine that I can’t deviate from. Regardless of where I’m going, all this health stuff comes along with me. It makes for a long packing list. I test the limits of airline carry-on policies. But when I travel, I’m confident that I’ve anticipated what kind of diabetes disasters can occur, and how to properly handle the situations.

Have diabetes, will travel — just not light!

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Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

 

 

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