Traveling with Diabetes - 5 Holiday Travel Tips!
Many people with diabetes experience problems with blood sugar control while traveling. Read our top 5 tips for a successful trip experience!
1) Plan for Airport Security
Medications, insulin (3 oz and over), cold packs, and glucometer supplies are all allowed through airport security. Obtain a letter from your doctor alerting TSA about your diabetes and your need to carry your equipment. If you take medications, ensure pill bottles and/or insulin vials have the pharmacy label on them. Insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors can go through the airport metal detector. However, it is not recommended to go through an airport body scanner. Instead, you may elect for a pat-down check.
*For more TSA information click here.
2) Pack accordingly...
Pack healthy snacks to avoid making poor food choices during your trip. This can make traveling easier, as choices at the airport are limited and more expensive! This preparation allows you to stay ahead of your hunger and say no to junk food. Mixed nuts and string cheese are examples of easy to pack, low carb options.
Bring a carry-on bag with easy access to your glucometer, medications/insulin and supplies, snacks, and fast-acting glucose in case of low blood sugar levels (especially in the event of unexpected delays!)
3) Watch out for Hypoglycemia (i.e. low blood sugars!)
Traveling somewhere warm? Plan on spending the day hiking or walking around exploring? Both excessive heat and more activity than usual can put you at risk for having low blood sugars. Keeping fast-acting glucose on you at all times is a must! Glucose tabs or gel (from any pharmacy), 1 glass of juice or soda (not a diet!) or 5-6 hard candies will do the trick.
4) Understand the Effects of Alcohol
It is common to consume more alcohol when vacationing. Alcohol can cause both high AND low blood sugars. The key is checking sugars often if you are drinking. Sticking to diet soda/water mixers and light beers, rather than sugary drinks can reduce your risk for high blood sugars. However, excessive alcohol intake can actually lower blood glucose (especially during the hours you are asleep!). Alcohol can increase the body’s production of insulin and prevent the liver from releasing stored sugar. Furthermore, alcohol can blunt the warning symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Stay hydrated, drink with food, and check sugars often!
5) Balance Meals to Minimize Sugar Spikes
Enjoy yourself – but be careful! Really high sugars can cause you to feel extra tired. If you'll be trying new foods or eating differently than you do at home, try filling up with a salad first and then sampling smaller portions of carb-heavy foods or desserts. If you do overindulge, try to burn it off with more activity.
Did you know...we can help!
While these tips can help you maintain blood sugar control while traveling, supplementing with Doctor Diabetes make maintenance easier! Mealtime Sugar Defense™ (Sugar-Blocker™) is a great natural solution to help you keep blood sugars healthy while away from home. Here is a testimonial from one of our customers and how Diabetes Doctor supplements helped her keep sugars in control while traveling:
“We moved our son to college and things were stressful. Finding the right places to eat that wouldn’t knock my numbers out of the park was another stress. The Sugar Blocker along with the Daily Support helped keep my numbers in the normal range and made things a lot easier while I was away from home. I truly recommend these products as they have done a great deal for me!”
- Sandy P.