Travelling with Diabetes? Essential Summer Holiday Preparation Tips
Most people may think that temperature change and weather aren’t that big a factor when it comes to diabetes. What they don’t know is that hot and cold weather alike does, in fact, alter the effects of the condition. If you are going to be completely prepared to be in your best shape, you have to know how climate reacts with the symptoms of diabetes. Here are some tips on how to be prepared for Spring, Summer and the changes in weather. Heat & Diabetes When temperatures rise your first worry should be your blood sugar levels. Hot weather has been found to lower blood sugar, so for those enjoying the sun, it may have a helpful quality. Nevertheless, people on medication already lowering their blood sugar should be wary of hypoglycemia. Diabetes & Dehydration One of the earliest symptoms of diabetes is what is called, polydipsia, or increased thirst. High levels of glucose in your blood cells prevent the kidneys from properly separating the sugar from the water. This causes a number of side effects that pose a great risk to one’s health.
- A rise in blood sugar due to the body due to the bodies weakening ability to expel glucose through urine.
- Dehydration triggers the release of hormones that actually inhibit the production of insulin further putting your sugar levels at risk
- DKA: Diabetic Ketoacidosis, a buildup of ketones (fatty acids) in the bloodstream that can lead to serious complications.
- A letter from your doctor: If you are bringing along any sort of special medication or equipment, it makes things far easier to have a note from a physician describing your condition. TSA or Immigration officials understand that diabetics have special concerns and have their own corresponding protocol.
- Snacks for Hypoglycemia: When travelling you can run into long trips or unexpected delays, don’t let your blood sugar get too low. This is especially important for those taking Insulin or other medication that can lead to low blood sugar. Keep some fruit, nuts, or other tasty low carb snacks around to make sure you stay energetic.
- Personal Info: As well as carrying a note from a physician, keeping your personal insurance, and contact information at hand is just as important. People run into unexpected situations when abroad, don’t let the difference in language or culture keep you from receiving proper help. Make sure you have all of your important information on your person, and that it can be understood in the country you are visiting.
- Glucose meter - Don't forget your glucose meter! Checking your sugar levels is an absolute must, even on vacation.