If you are going to travel during your summer holidays, and in order to enjoy your trip to a destination in Greece or abroad, it is important that you plan for all contingencies taking into account the following.
By Dr. Ioannis Doupis, Special Pathologist - Diabetologist, Director of the Diabetes Department of the P. Faliro Medical Center
- Always keep a list of all the medicines you are taking with you. If you plan to travel on an airplane, it is a good idea to have a medical note from your doctor with you, analysing the medication you are taking.
- Inform the aircraft staff on time, to get a diabetes menu. Most airlines have a menu for people with diabetes and the aircraft staff will be willing to help. Take your insulin and the dosage devices inside the aircraft cabin, as the insulin may deteriorate at the low temperatures of the luggage compartment, and your suitcases may delay reaching their destination.
- Consult your doctor or dietitian for possible changes to your diet plan and expected physical exercise during your journey.
- If you are traveling between different time zones, be sure to adjust your basic insulin time schedule to your country of departure.
- Always carry your antidiabetic drugs or insulin in double quantity, as there is always the possibility of getting sick and the need for medication and insulin is high.
- Be sure to have some glucose tablets or candies in your pocket to deal with a possible hypoglycaemia.
- If you suffer from hypoglycaemia without comprehending it (undiagnosed hypoglycaemia), make sure you have a glucagon injection with you and ensure that one of your co-travellers know how to use it.
- Always carry with you the card of the person who suffers from diabetes.
- Always take your blood sugar measuring device and some measuring tapes with you.
- Beware of drinking large quantities of alcohol, especially when the stomach is empty, as there is a risk of severe hypoglycaemia. One or two glasses per day is more than enough.
- If you are going to drive, check your blood sugar before driving, and at regular intervals during the trip.
- Take proper care of your feet. Choose at least 2 pairs of comfortable shoes and socks. Avoid sandals and slippers. Never walk barefoot, especially on the beach. Follow a daily foot care program.