Diabetic And Traveling

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For many, the holidays mean travel. So it is always a good idea to anticipate bumps along the road, especially for people with diabetes.

On The Saturday Early Show Dr. Mallika Marshall offers the following advice on how diabetics can make traveling safer and less stressful.

From meals to medications, people with diabetes have to take certain things into consideration that other travelers may not. But if you plan ahead and anticipate any problems or issues before they arise, you can have a wonderful trip while keeping your diabetes under good control at the same time.

Here are her travel tips:

Bring A Travel Folder
This is a good tip for any traveler with chronic medical problems, not only diabetics. If there's an emergency, you want the people tending to you to know right away all about your medical history so you get the best care possible. In a folder, include your name, address, doctor's name and number, a list of your medical problems, medications and their doses, any drug or food allergies, a report of recent lab results from the past six months, and a copy of your most recent electrocardiogram.

This kind of information is invaluable when it comes to taking care of a new patient.

Wear A Medical Bracelet
You want anyone who comes to your aid to know immediately that you're a diabetic. You could be incapacitated and unable to communicate this, so wear a bracelet that says you're a diabetic and lists your other major medical problems and allergies. And if you're traveling overseas, know how to say "I am a diabetic" in that country's language.

Bring Extra Medication
You always want to have more medicine on hand than you think you might need, in case of emergency. A good place to start is to bring twice as much medication as you think you'll use. If you're on insulin, this includes syringes, needles, lancets, alcohol swabs, etc. Pack half of the supplies in your luggage and bring the other half on board so you always have your medication with you. Also, bring an extra prescription for all of your essential medications in case you need to get more on your trip.

Notify The Airline
If you're on insulin, you want to let the airline know that you'll be brining needles and lancets on board. The Transportation Security Administration will allow you to bring these things through security, but you need documentation from your doctor's office saying that these items are medically necessary.

Order A Diabetic Meal
You should ask the airline for a diabetic meal if one is being served on board. Also, always travel with snack such as cheese, crackers, fruit juice or candy in case your blood sugar levels drop.

Move Around The Cabin
Anyone who's taking a long flight should get up and move around every hour or so to keep the circulation moving in your legs, including diabetics.

Take Care Of Feet
Diabetics are at risk of having infections and non-healing wounds on their feet, so, just like while at home, they need to take good care of their feet while on vacation. Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes, and don't walk around barefoot inside or out.