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My diabetes and I have traveled a lot of miles together in nineteen years. Racing Ironman triathlons in Australia, Europe, the Carribean and all over North America, climbing and camping at the top of 14,000 foot Mt. Whitney, and of course dozens of family vacations and business trips. Packing equipment and supplies for an Ironman triathlon and 3 weeks in Australia requires a bit of planning and preparation, but when you have diabetes you feel like you do that for just a weekend out of town. Meters, strips, insulin, syringes, infusion sets, pump supplies, snacks . . . a simple weekend trip becomes a lunar expedition.
Here are my top five tips for traveling with diabetes.
When flying across the country or internationally be sure to adjust the time on your insulin pump for your basal rate or injection of long acting insulin to correspond to that new time zone. I make sure I have a bottle of juice or other carb drink in my hotel room. Nothing is worse than waking in the middle of the night with low blood sugar and having to dress and roam the hotel halls for a vending machine. When I travel alone I prefer to err a bit on the high side of normal blood sugar when sleeping because no one is in my hotel room to help if I have a severe low.
Traveling usually means eating different foods, and often at different times, so I tend to test more frequently on the road. A little exercise on the road is always a great way to stabilize blood sugar and refresh your body and mind, especially on a business trip. You knew I would recommend exercise, didn't you! I always pack my running shoes and clothes on a business trip with a packed schedule just so I can feel better, and enjoy a nice dinner. I love to have dinner within walking distance of my hotel in major cities like Washington or New York so I can walk back and enjoy the conversation and post meal exercise.
A little planning will make for a good trip. Have fun!
1 comment - Jul 10, 2010
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.