Flying With Diabetes – You are now prepared to board after passing through airport security with all of your diabetic supplies! Additionally, the following information about diabetes and plane travel may be of interest to you:
Flying With Diabetes
IS DIABETES AFFECTED BY FLIGHT?
The truth is that the answer is indeed. in several ways. You can still control your diabetes while flying, though, by following a few easy steps.
When you’re traveling with diabetes, a number of things might impact your blood sugar, including stress, altitude, changes in air pressure, food, exhaustion, dehydration, and more. Don’t worry though; there are several things you can take to lessen the effects of those variables and maintain stable blood sugar levels while flying.
DIABETES-FRIENDLY AIRLINES AND FOOD ENTITIES
If you’ve ever taken a flight, whether you have diabetes or not, you know how awful the food can be up there. You can either elect to carry your own food or ask your airline company in advance for a diabetic menu in order to try to acquire the healthiest alternatives, especially on long-haul trips.
Some airlines may give you the opportunity to request a Diabetic Menu ahead of time when making your reservation (sometimes at a greater cost…). It could be a wise decision. It couldn’t be one, either.
The so-called “diabetes diets” offered by airlines may occasionally be a complete nutritional disaster because airlines are not dietitians. And don’t be shocked if they tell you after you’re on board that your desired diabetic menu hasn’t been boarded due to a regrettable error. It occurs fairly frequently!
We suggest? Always have some wholesome emergency food with you when flying. You won’t have to rely on anybody else to balance your meals and control your blood sugar levels while you’re in the air if you do it that way.
Consumer Reports has released a helpful updated list of food products permitted past airport security if you wish to carry your own diabetic-friendly meals on board with you.
You should always continue taking the same medication and dose, regardless of whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes or are using insulin or pills. Don’t forget to include your hypoglycemia kit, some high-carb items, and low-carb snacks in your food supply.
You’ll need to take quick action if you have hypoglycemia while flying. You can’t rely on the flight crew to bring you sweets. You’ll need to carry and wear your own supply of go-to hypo foods. Do not keep it in the overhead bin since you won’t be able to retrieve it in an emergency, EVEN if you are hypothermic.
Always have your customary glucose pills with you if that’s what you use, as well as a chocolate bar, fruit juice, glucose gel, and even your glucagon kit if you’ve had severe hypoglycemia in the past.
You will need to consume some high-carb meals to assist stabilize your glycaemia if you encounter exceptionally low blood glucose and find it difficult to get it back up. Consider whole grain biscuits, whole grain bread, oats, cereal bars, etc.
SNACKS WITH LOW CARB
If you need to quell a sudden want for food but don’t want your blood sugar levels to fly as high as your aircraft, you’ll also want to keep some low carb snacks on hand. Typically, airlines don’t provide a lot of sugar-free snack choices… Therefore, remember to bring your own.
Cheese, dried meat, almonds, sugar-free yogurt, prepared salad, and other items are examples of low carbohydrate snacks that are simple to obtain at airport shops.
INSULIN AND AIRTRAFFIC
Insulin and insulin cooler cases are allowed on board the aircraft. Even when travelling with diabetes, keep in mind that you should never stop taking your daily insulin injections. While travelling with diabetes, using insulin pens or vials and wearing an insulin pump do require certain changes.
DISCONNECT AND RECONNECT THE INSULIN PUMP
The following is not supported by scientific research. However, some research has indicated that the pressure differential experienced during takeoff and landing on an aircraft might interfere with the operation of the pump and cause it to administer too much or too little insulin.
Your best course of action is to just unplug your insulin pump prior to takeoff and landing to prevent any hassles or issues. You can unplug your insulin pump for the remainder of the journey after the aircraft reaches cruising altitude, at which point the pressure will have stabilized. Simply look for air bubbles that may have been created by variations in height.
For the same reasons, you must repeat the entire disconnect/reconnect procedure both before and after landing.
PENS AND VIALS FOR INSULIN: PRIME!
Don’t forget to prime your insulin pen before administering any injections on the plane for the same reasons as previously mentioned. Turn the dosage knob to the 2 units setting, hold your pen with the needle pointing up, and inject in the air to prime it. The air bubbles ought to disappear as a result. Every time you make an injection when traveling with diabetes, you should do it.
WITH DIABETES ON THE AIRLINE
Several additional tricks
AS OFTEN AS NECESSARY, CHECK YOUR BLOOD GLUCOSE
Keep an eye on your blood sugar levels when flying if you have diabetes. The reason why blood sugar levels tend to increase while flying at high altitudes is unknown to us.
I frequently struggle to lower my blood sugar levels during lengthy trips. It’s possible that you’ll need to use a little more insulin than normal. It will return to normal a few hours after arrival, so be patient and hydrate well.
FOR BETTER DIABETES CONTROL, KEEP WELL-HYDRATED
One of the most important aspects of a good travel is staying hydrated, which will benefit you when flying with diabetes more than you would imagine. Flying can dehydrate you, which slows down your metabolism and makes it more difficult for it to run normally.
This might result in difficulties digesting glucose, which would raise blood sugar levels. Dehydration does have the impact of boosting blood sugar levels, according to certain research.
During your flight, don’t forget to have at least one glass of water per hour.
ADORN COMFORTABLE GARMENTS
Even though it might seem trivial, it’s crucial to dress appropriately when flying with diabetes. One of the keys to relaxation is feeling at ease. And one of the keys to effective diabetes treatment is unquestionably resting. So put away your new trendy tight pants and wear some roomy, comfy clothing instead for the sake of your health!
BLOOD CIRCULATION AND FLIGHT SOCKS
You don’t need me to tell you how vital blood circulation is, especially given the frequent changes in blood sugar that diabetic travelers encounter. On an aircraft, a lot of individuals have swollen legs or feet.
Though it shouldn’t cause too much concern, it could cause phlebitis. Consider using support stockings if you’ve ever had venous insufficiency, are at risk for it, or even just have general blood circulation issues.
There’s also no need to purchase any particular “diabetes socks” (they can turn out to be very expensive). Any typical pair of high, snug-fitting socks or stockings that support your lower leg will do the job and promote healthy blood circulation. The greatest piece of advise we can provide you regarding the shoes is to remove them when flying.
The pressure differential and the fact that these cramped seats lock your legs in the same posture for such a long period are the two primary causes of blood circulation issues on flights.
Keeping your legs moving can help you avoid leg edema most of the time. NEITHER a 2-hour flight nor a 10-hour flight should be taken entirely seated. Move about as much as you can!
Instead of asking the hostess to bring you a glass of water every hour, try getting up and going to the “bar” yourself (remember that you should drink more water than usual). And throughout the trip, take a couple short walks up and down the aisle.
If you can, select an aisle seat. You’ll have more room to walk about and the freedom to get up whenever you want without disturbing other passengers. And if for any reason you are unable to stand or walk, you may still boost your blood circulation by performing this easy action every half hour: firmly press your feet on the floor for a few seconds.
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