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Tips for flying if you have diabetes

flying with diabetes

Diabetes is never a barrier for travelers. People with Type 1 diabetes and type 2 Diabetes both can travel all over the world. Preparing for your daily activities can require a bit of planning. Here are a few tips to be followed while flying when you have diabetes.

Pre- travel planning should include:

  • Consult your physician and inform him/her about your travel plan.
  • A diabetes ID and a letter from your physician which says that you are diabetic and the medication and dosage details.
  • Pack all your diabetes medications in a separate sealable bag to avoid hassle during luggage screening.
  • Pack twice the amount of supplies you would usually require, they might not be available in the country you are going to.
  • Pack a quick acting source of glucose to treat low blood glucose as well as an easy to carry snack.
  • Know the quantity of insulin allowed to be carried.
  • Finally, arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before the flight.
  • Be patient with lines, delays and screening procedures.

During the travel:
Check for time zones: consult your diabetes care team, as there might be a need to adjust the clock on the pump.

  • There might be a difference in the working of insulin according to temperature. It is always safe to know the dosage of insulin to be taken according to temperature.
  • Do not forget to check your glucose before and after meal during travel. There might be elevation in blood sugar due to prolonged sitting or a decrease in levels due to continuous sightseeing.
  • Always be prepared to treat low glucose. When you travel, you may disrupt your normal routine for both eating and dosing insulin, it is always advisable to be prepared for a low-glucose episode.
  • Carrying Diabetes equipment and medication in flight: Most air travels permit screening a patient with his pump on, only if a written advice from the physician is available.
  • Emergency kits like glucagon emergency kit, Urine ketone test strips, liquids (including water, juice or liquid nutrition and gels up to 3.4 ounces are generally allowed.
  • Plan your meals on the flight according to the time provided by the airlines.
  • Carrying extra starchy carbohydrate foods like biscuits, cereals, nutrition bars might be helpful especially when the blood sugar falls.
  • Try to know the generic name of the drug you are using and not just the brand name to avoid confusions.
  • Note that there is always a helpline available for all kinds of assistance at the airport and also during the flight.
  • Find out where you can get supplies of insulin at your destination, in case of emergency.

At Apollo Sugar, we offer a complete training for diabetes on flight travel to make your travel worry free.

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