Strategies for Staying Healthy
Coping With Changes in Your Routine
Some circumstances call for taking even more precautions.
When you’re under the weather
Infections and other illnesses can have serious implications for people with diabetes. When trying to fight an infection, your body produces stress hormones that counteract insulin. Even though you may eat less when you’re ill, you may need more insulin to keep blood sugar levels down. People with type 2 diabetes who normally take oral medications may temporarily require insulin.
Not surprisingly, it’s especially important to monitor blood sugar levels frequently and to check for ketones in your urine while you’re sick. Prepare yourself by consulting with your medical team beforehand about how to handle sick days and what foods to eat when you aren’t hungry.
When you’re traveling
Travel also can throw a wrench into diabetes management. Make sure to pack enough oral drugs, insulin, and testing and injection supplies. It’s a good idea to take more than necessary because it’s not always easy to find supplies in a strange place.
If you’re flying, keep all your equipment with you in a carry-on bag. Include a monitoring device, insulin and syringes, sweets for treating hypoglycemia, and a glucagon kit (and a companion who knows how to use it) if you take insulin. Because insulin shouldn’t be kept too hot or too cold, you may want to invest in a carrier with special insulation for travel.
Lengthy trips across time zones can disrupt your regimen and require adjustments in eating and insulin schedules. To prevent hypoglycemia, carry snacks, especially because meals may be delayed or served at odd times. Seek advice from your medical team on how to alter your injection schedule, your insulin doses, and your meals to accommodate your travel plans.
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