Want to travel without having a major BG crisis.

By Jan8 Latest Reply 2013-02-06 00:38:46 -0600
Started 2012-12-26 08:18:21 -0600

I would love to travel outside of my timezone but my blood BGs are so unstable. can anyone tell me how i could do this?

60 replies

jnblair 2013-02-01 15:16:40 -0600 Report

I travel all the time and it seems to me I'm just sayin for myself that hotter climates give me lower than colder cause I'm back home in illnoise and its frezzing and my levels been high for the last two weeks…

Jan8 2013-02-01 15:42:24 -0600 Report

me too. too high. I have heard from quite a few people that higher temps make for lower BGs. I am in Ohio and it's freeezzing here also. Last week it was 60.What a weird place. I think Mother Nature took a holiday.

snuggles11 2013-02-01 20:44:33 -0600 Report

I'm in Ohio also
Yes it is really cold and plenty of snow !

jayabee52 2013-02-01 20:49:02 -0600 Report

my mom lives there and so does my 2 youngest brothers. She picked this year of all years to not go to south TX. But the trip down there was getting too much for her and step dad.

jayabee52 2013-02-01 18:32:33 -0600 Report

HEY WATCH IT WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT OHIO! I grew up there! OH! Maybe that explains it! LoL!

GrammieMags 2013-02-01 21:10:52 -0600 Report

My late husband's family is in Ohio. Our kids were thinking of moving there. I told them that when they have winters it is ice. We are in southwest Michigan, where we have snow.

jayabee52 2013-02-01 22:12:36 -0600 Report

Lake effect snow!

Down in Nw OH we would occasionally get a lake effect snow. I remember one winter when growing up we had several lake effect snows pile up and the drifts went to the rafters of our house. I was about 8 or 9 then and we just tunnelled in the drifts like crazy.

Jan8 2013-02-01 18:42:26 -0600 Report

LoL jay um… I meant Ohio is beautiful in the summer and fall and occasionally in the spring ifit's not too cold !!!

jayabee52 2013-02-01 18:51:38 -0600 Report

Just try to make it up to me, Jan! LoL!

Well I agree with you actually. that is one of the reasons I am living in Las Vegas now. I had a chance to move back to OH in Nov 2010 but since I had a son in LV and it wasn't too cold there I opted for LV.

Jan8 2013-02-01 19:25:11 -0600 Report

My husband just called me from LV and he says he feels like it's in the 80s to him !

jayabee52 2013-02-01 20:11:53 -0600 Report

yes folks from colder climates do seem to feel the effects of being here, but if he is here for a while, one's blood seems to "thin out" and they'll start to feel the cold, and when they go back into the colder climates, can't get warm at all again!

carlo a
carlo a 2013-01-26 08:47:40 -0600 Report

If you are going to a warm country believe me cut it down by half and start there takes day or two for your body to get use to the heat but being well travelled and having spoke to a number of people when your hot your insulin works twice as good for example I take novo act rapid during day and a night time insulin that works in the background for 24 hours and basically I stopped taking the day insulin cos the night one work well enough on own just watch the carb intake please be care full as I wish someone had told me have some bad hypos abroad with heat

carlo a
carlo a 2013-01-26 08:47:14 -0600 Report

If you are going to a warm country believe me cut it down by half and start there takes day or two for your body to get use to the heat but being well travelled and having spoke to a number of people when your hot your insulin works twice as good for example I take novo act rapid during day and a night time insulin that works in the background for 24 hours and basically I stopped taking the day insulin cos the night one work well enough on own just watch the carb intake please be care full as I wish someone had told me have some bad hypos abroad with heat

MoeGig 2013-01-15 20:44:20 -0600 Report

I have traveled a lot and too many times would find myself with a low blood sugar…not good. After all those years, I realized the problem was that I was too aggressive in trying to maintain a low A1c…aiming for the 5's. As a result, I was taking a lot of Humalog to supplement the Lantus to cover the carbs I was eating. The solution for me was twofold: 1. Aim for a slightly higher A1c—being in the 6's is good enough. You don't have to be in the 5's. So you don't have to be as aggressive in taking humalog to cover carbs. 2. Try to minimize carbs and in turn, reduce the amount of humalog you have to take. Try to live as much as possible on Lantus which doesn't initiate aggressive low's. Lantus lows are gentle and easy to see coming and correct. Humalog low's are steep and can be dangerous.

Good luck, hope all is well. We now travel a lot with no problems.

MewElla 2013-01-15 08:46:58 -0600 Report

I traveled quite a bit this summer. To make sure I did not have problems with BG# I made sure I had my snacks in pocket, drank a lot of water and walked a lot between my flights…no problem, but I was very diligent in testing, snacking and drinking my fluids.

Pannb714 2013-01-05 11:26:10 -0600 Report

I went to the West coast from the East coast two years ago and we drove. I had packed some meals to take along. One thing that surprised me was that California has personnel at the border and confiscated my apples. They told me that Eastern apples contaminate California apples. They took nothing else so I was ok but rather surprised.

Jan8 2013-01-05 14:28:56 -0600 Report

Wow!! Who knew that?? My husband is a manager at a produce warehouse in Cleveland and he has never heard of that either.

jayabee52 2013-01-05 14:43:47 -0600 Report

I have crossed over to CA from NV several times in the past 5 yrs, and yes there it is in the middle of the Mojave Desert just west of Baker CA on I-15. They usually just wave me through. I don't think I have ever been asked to go through my car. They are not only interested in apples but oranges as well, really any kind of fruit.

CA is trying to prevent infestations of the Med fruit fly in CA. Never been to CA any other way than I-15 so I don't know if there are other inspection stations set up for those coming from the east into CA.

Jan8 2013-01-05 14:46:33 -0600 Report

amazing !!! I understand about not wanting infestations of fruit flies though jayabee.

DT2_4EVER 2012-12-29 07:58:45 -0600 Report

I've been a DT2 for 5 years now and have traveled extensively around the world and in the U.S. I will be going to Australia soon which will be a 20+ hour flight. I have and do occasionally have low blood sugar but it is always my fault. How have I prevented same? BG tablets which are very inexpensive and a diabetic's best friend. I do not drink juices of any kind. How do I prevent low's? I have almonds in my purse and nibble on them in between meals. Since I do not like airplane food, I have ordered a Vegan meal on the plane and will take nuts, a few chocolates, peanut butter crackers, and some string cheese for the flight to nibble on. This has always worked for ME but all of us are individual when it comes to our own needs. Try it out while you're at home and see what works for you. Good luck! I refuse to let diabetes or anything else control me. I am and hopefully will remain in control of my life. I've learned the hard way!

Jan8 2012-12-29 08:37:04 -0600 Report

thanks DT2. I really felt great on metformin when I was a type 2. When I started insulin I have never felt well. I know some people take both. I am going to ask my doc for some metformin and maybe I will feel well again. I really admire you for being able to fly all over the world. Awesome !! Your tips are great and i will def. try them. I think that's exactly what I need for lows and nutrition. I have been letting this disease control me and that's the end of that !!

Set apart
Set apart 2012-12-29 07:07:56 -0600 Report

Hi Jan, wow lots of great information my husband and I are planning a summer vacation and like you I am scared to leave my house. It has become a safe haven for me, but I don't want D to be in charge either. I have a CGM and have had it for 3 months now, it's great. I have it set at 60 for lows and 150 for highs. So if I hit either of these numbers it alerts me. It's nice because you can see the trend on the graph. The holidays were a bit hard for me, had some friendly foods, yet seemed to spike a lot, couldn't figure out if it was the foods or the fact that we had company for like 5 days. Have a great trip and enjoy yourself!

Jan8 2012-12-30 11:07:08 -0600 Report

Thanks Set apart . If it werent for the wonderful people here I would still be believing I couldnt travel. Yes I could give the GCM a try to eval my ups and downs. Can't figure out what kind of jeans or pants one can wear with it. Can you tell me what you do?

Set apart
Set apart 2012-12-31 06:56:49 -0600 Report

The CGM is attached to your abdomen area above the belt line, it stays on for 7 days and then you start a new session! The actual receiver is the size of a cell phone and can be attached to any clothing or placed in a pocket! :-)

Jan8 2012-12-29 08:41:16 -0600 Report

Company for me would be really stressful and I'm sure my Bgs would be effected too. I have avoided the CGM because I don't want anything attached to my body and I hear they are a P.I.A. What kind do you have? All the medical people I know have them and love them.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-12-30 05:57:04 -0600 Report

I have the Dexcom G4 platinum, it's like having a very small jump drive in your abdomen area. It can be a pain, but it has saved me from many lows and for me that's worth it! I also get alerted if I hit over 150 so I can try to fix it before it rises! Good luck!

mrstee62 2012-12-28 21:19:22 -0600 Report

Hi my Husband is type 2 Diabetic, Have you ever attended a Managing Diabetes class. They are awesome and Hubby is always on target.. I can give you lots of info. first keep your carbs at an intake of 45 per Meal like breakfast 45 no more that. The key is to stay consistent with your carbs. like a car needs fuel don't let the tank get low or to high on carbs, however they are your energy. 1snack between meals keep therm between 15-30 carbs. a piece of small fruit has 15 carb half a banana has 15 carbs only 4oz of meat per meal. oatmeal is a good Carb 1/4 cup of oatmeal I believe has 30 carbs toast any kind or one tortilla have 18 carbs. Oj is high in carbs. Stay away from sugar drinks, as soon as my Hubby cut out the cokes and sweet tea over to splenda, his numbers dropped to normal. Remember always check your sugar 2 hrs after a meal should be under 180 In the morning it should be between 70-130 I hope this helps. mrstee62

Jan8 2012-12-30 11:24:05 -0600 Report

mrstee62 Thanks for all the really great info. I think some of my downfall is from a coffee creamer that is suppose to have no sugar but does have hydrogenated corn syrup. On all other accounts the Diabetic diet I follow like it's a bible. I do wish I could get away with eating something I shouldnt.

Type1Lou 2012-12-27 08:42:37 -0600 Report

I have travelled significantly over the years. The key to travelling is testing frequently and, if you are taking insulin, adjusting the dosage to accommodate the hour changes. My trips to Hawaii, China and Australia demanded different adjustments than my trips to Italy and Greece. Your doctor can guide you on how this adjustment should be made, depending on the type(s) of insulin that you use. If you are on a pump and will be gone for an extended stay, you most probably will need to change your pump settings to accommodate the change in time…again, talk to your doctor or pump rep for guidance. It can be done…Bon Voyage!

manapua72 2012-12-26 18:36:49 -0600 Report

I'm going on vacation next year and worried as to how they will respond to my insulin pump … I heard one story where a young lady's pump was broken after they made her put it through x-rays … Hope the TSA has better training by summer of next year … I too will be getting my info so I'll know what to say when I travel with my pump and supplies …

Nick1962 2012-12-27 11:00:05 -0600 Report

Type1Lou pretty much sums it up.
We went through 4 different airports on our recent trip. Even after a clean scan I was patted down in 3 of them and my wife in 2. My looks may have had something to do with it.
This is what makes DC here so nice. We can avoid these hassles just by talking to each other, so from a traveler to all here, thank you all for being considerate diabetics/travelers and not holding up the security line (a peeve of mine), which was not the case for another passenger on our trip. I’ll spare the details, but no one wants to see a shirtless 325 pound guy in bad shape.
If it can be done, remove the pump/CGM and put it in the tray. From what I’ve seen on this recent trip, trading the body scan for a pat down isn’t an option unless you really, really have an issue why it can’t be done. This has changed considerably since our travels last year, and it has something to do with the national threat levels. This year they were higher.

Jan8 2012-12-27 11:10:40 -0600 Report

You are right Nick. it's so great to be able to relate to the people here and I have been so afraid to travel because when I get a low Bg I can't move,I just have to keep eating until my numbers go up. This am My BG was 499 . My doc thinks I have a bad batch of insulin. How could both my long and short acting be bad batches. Go figure. My lows go into the high 40s and low 50s. I eat exceptionally well so my doc just says theres no rhyme or reason for this. I am getting braver about the traveling thing though. I shouldnt let this disease ruin my life. Thanks again.

Nick1962 2012-12-27 11:59:09 -0600 Report

Nail on the head there! Can't let it run or ruin your life.
Yikes! 499? Have you ever tested (or have a CGM) to see how long that lasted? If you feel your highs and lows, I'd think you'd be good to go. I feel my highs, but not the lows, but I pretty much know by now what puts me in the 40's, so I usually always have gum or something on me.
If I can ask - where are you planning to go?

Jan8 2012-12-27 12:33:11 -0600 Report

I feel my highs( I get so tired it's hard to stay awake. I feel lows by a nervous feeling inside. i've never has CGM but I know I should. Thanks for the advice on that !I want to go to Italy and a cruise to the Bahamas..

mrstee62 2012-12-28 21:22:56 -0600 Report

If you get Ill, It is very dangerous as a Diabetic. Have someone travel with you if out of the Country.

Nick1962 2012-12-27 15:08:16 -0600 Report

A cruise is sure the way to go. We did one that got us to the Turks and Caicos Islands, San Juan, St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands and Little San Salvador Island (Half Moon Cay) in the Bahamas. It’s a cheap way to travel (if you don’t mind the limited time you’re in the ports), and you never have to deal with luggage and food is always available. And since you have so many choices of foods, staying within your diet is easy (until of course you’re in port and absolutely have to try the local food – that was my downfall).
Magens Bay in St. Thomas is a must http://www.destination360.com/caribbean/usvi/...
Its $5 to get in, but never full unless the cruise ships are in town. The pelicans will sit next to you on the beach waiting for fish, and if you’re on the edges of the beach a yellow crab might amble across your beach towel. Restaurant and bar on the beach and waitresses will bring you cocktails wherever you are in the sand. Snorkel gear will cost about $15 to rent for the day, but it’s how we fell in love with snorkeling. GO! Girl GO!

Jan8 2012-12-28 07:58:21 -0600 Report

A cruise it is and a little bit of heaven too. Thanks for all the info. I really needed it. ( and thanks so much for all your support). How far ahead of time did you book it?

Nick1962 2012-12-28 08:19:48 -0600 Report

You can usually book up to a year in advance. The ones we took usually left a flyer in your room if you wanted to book while still on board. We chose the Holland America line because it was more adult oriented than say a Disney or Carnival cruise, and the staff is the best there is.
You can book directly with the cruise line and find your own flights (if flying) to your disembarkation city, or for the same price you can have a travel agent do it all. I’ve done both. As I say time in ports is limited, but cruises can kind of be like a sampler platter of places you might want to visit again for a longer period not on a cruise.
I thought we were connected here, but if you want, e-mail me and I can give you more info and a referral for the agent I used.

jayabee52 2012-12-27 01:51:13 -0600 Report

Well we have to be proactive in a situation such as that. You CAN ask to go through a patdown. It would be far better than having the pump broken by the x ray machine.

for myself I don't go into the x ray scanners because I need a wheelchair escort from the curb through security to the airplane because my balance is off, and due to my burning neuropathy I can't walk that far easily. For that reason I always ask for a patdown, and the TSA agents I have gotten on my trips to Milwaukee and back have been very professional and personable. They even ask if I have a sensitive area on my body and I tell them of my burning neuropathy and they are very gentle on my legs and feet.

Of course you could also print out the most recent news story you could find about the scanners breaking pumps and have it along with you in your pocket just in case. If they insist, then ask to see a supervisor.

Jan8 2012-12-27 05:55:44 -0600 Report

great idea manapua ! I don't have a pump but still,rather than go through alot of BS they were very good with you ! and Manapua too ! good thinking !

Nick1962 2012-12-26 11:59:11 -0600 Report

Recently back from vacation I’ll tell you it can be done. Getting control before you go is pretty important, but depending how far you go has an effect as well. Crossing time zones can be tricky, and no matter what, you’ll throw everything out of whack. We were up at 5:00 a.m. to catch a 7 a.m. flight – 11 hours in the air, 15 hours total home to destination, little (if any) real sleep. We landed at 8:00 p.m. local time (which was 1:00 a.m. the next day to our body still on east coast time). I had a 1lb. bag of almonds in my carry-on (avoid airport food at all costs). Our in-flight meal was around 1:00 p.m., but it was a full 10 hours before we could get someplace again to find a real meal, so we had to live on our packed snacks. By this time (1:00 a.m. the next day) we just found the only open Subway sandwich shop and split a tuna sub and hit the sack. I was pretty much low on carbs by this point anyway.

If you’re traveling by car, there’s really not a problem with testing and injecting (if you need to), but planes are a different story. On long flights they will let you take food on-board, (but it typically has to be airport purchased), and you can have a meal on your schedule. I would not attempt to test in my seat unless I could do it in a way that would absolutely not be seen. Unfortunately, on our flight we had close to 4 hours turbulence and we weren’t allowed to use the restroom during that time. And yes, you will be using some nasty airport restrooms to test in – just part of the hassles.

I’m an ex-shift worker so I have little trouble with jet lag or adapting to time zones - takes me about 2 days. Once I got adjusted to local time, I just tested as I routinely would and showed no effects. I just made sure I was eating something small every couple hours and avoided big meals until my body was on local time (but then I went a little overboard).

Some here have suggested getting a doctor’s note to explain your need for supplies while going through security. Not flying – not an issue, but we did have one guy with a pump going to our same destination, and it sure was a hassle for him (of course he didn’t seem to be the brightest either and could have saved himself a lot of it).

And if you are flying, diabetes aside, don’t be that person who insists on wearing an outfit you need a belt for, shoes that have to be untied and re-tied, lots of jewelry, etc. Pick up your stuff at the end of the machine and carry it over to another place to get dressed and what not. As patient as I am, I swear the next person who tries to get dressed standing in the security line, I’m going to push them down and fling their stuff across the concourse (sorry, my rant about flying).

It's a hassle, but can be done if you're willing to accept your numbers are going to be off, and testing/injecting condition might be less than ideal or readily available.

Jan8 2012-12-26 12:35:00 -0600 Report

Thanks for the reply Nick, All I know is that it better be a great trip for me to go through all that hassle and thanks for all the tips. I def will use all your tips. I just wanna have fun !!!

Nick1962 2012-12-26 13:23:08 -0600 Report

You'll manage. Only real trouble I had was when I was first diagnosed, I got held up at security outside the country on a small commuter flight. They had never seen a glucometer before.

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