Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Diabetes is a life-long condition that affects 3 million people in the United Kingdom, a massive 25.8 million people in the United States of America and countless others elsewhere in the world. With symptoms of extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss, blurred vision and rapidly increased thirst, you could be forgiven for thinking that people with diabetes might not be able to travel long distance by airplane. Fortunately for those with the disease, you’d be wrong.
Fine to Travel, But be Aware
In actually fact, it is completely fine to travel with diabetes, provided some very important precautions are taken prior to liftoff as well as during and directly after your flight. People suffering from diabetes will each have a fairly rigid and structured routine for taking their medication (predominantly eating and exercise), and long-distance travel will more than likely be a temporary but notable disruption to this routine. Therefore it is important to monitor your progress throughout travel in order to deal with the potential effects of meals taken away from home, flight delays, time zone changes and a decrease in physical activity.
Though the process of long-distance travel with affect the routines of those with diabetes, there are some very effective steps you can take to ensure that you avoid any potential problems. Be aware that travel delays are a common occurrence with long-haul flights, so be sure to pack twice the amount of medical supplies that you expect to need throughout your journey. Also, having a supply of snacks or glucose gel at hand will help you to keep your blood sugar levels up. You will probably want to monitor these levels a lot more closely and regularly than you usually would. Finally, it goes without saying that you need to have specialised travel insurance, that covers you for anything that may happen as a result of your diabetes. A company such as Able2Travel will be able to provide this. Make sure your health insurance card and any emergency phone numbers are easily accessible, and if possible, wear a bracelet informing people of your condition.
Have Peace of Mind
All of these precautions are there to prevent a worst case scenario. So don’t fret. In reality, provided you consult your GP prior to travel and stick to these rules, you should have a smooth and pleasant journey.