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Nathan has had Type 1 Diabetes since well before I knew him. When we first met, I had pretty much zero idea of what it was. I was pretty sure he had to take insulin, but beyond that – clueless.
It took a bit of time for me to really get a handle on everything. As much as it looks like you just need to take a couple of shots, eat the right food, and make sure to exercise – there's SO much more involved. It's not nearly as easy as it looks on the outside and it gets even harder when you're changing up your routine like when you travel.
We absolutely love to travel though so for us, it was crucial to figure out ways to improve diabetes management when we're on the go. Nathan definitely didn't want it to hold him back so we worked together to come up with a plan for traveling smarter with diabetes.
Bring The Right Food
Bringing the right food is one of the biggest things we changed. We still have all the fun road trip food, but we're smarter about it now.
One of our favorite items to bring? Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes, especially the chocolate ones. They have 15 grams of protein, 25 vitamins and minerals, and CARBSTEADY® which includes slowly digestible carbohydrates designed to help minimize blood sugar spikes. Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes have 50% more protein than the leading weight loss shakes and 66% less sugar, making them a smart choice for managing hunger while on the go. Please use Glucerna® Hunger Smart™ Shakes under medical supervision.
We bring a variety of other snacks with us as well. We like to bring beef jerky, pre-cut vegetables, and other low carb snacks to limit blood sugar spikes as well as the need to take insulin. We also like to bring balanced snacks such as granola bars that help him stay full longer.
Make Sure You Have Plenty of Supplies
A good rule of thumb is to pack twice as many supplies as you think you'll need. This includes:
- Pump Supplies
- Glucagon Kits
- Glucose Tablets
- Medical ID or bracelet
Or anything else that you use to manage your diabetes. We've been in the situation numerous times where something broke, our travel plans change, or something happens where more supplies are needed. It saves a lot of headache by just planning ahead!
Also, always make sure you bring your medication packaging that has the prescription written on it. This makes it much easier to get new supplies while traveling if you lose your medication or run out. Having the prescription with you can also help avoid delays with the TSA when flying. Nathan has never had an issue, but we've heard from others that some TSA agents will hold you up if you don't have the proper documentation for your medication. Always be sure to inform the TSA screeners beforehand that you are traveling with diabetes supplies to limit delays.
Time Your Eating and Exercising
When you exercise more than normal, your blood sugar can easily drop. This isn't a big deal when we're at home and he can eat right away, but traveling tends to throw off our routine quite a bit. We eat at different times and tend to get a lot more exercise.
If you know you're going to move around a lot more when traveling, consider eating a bit more to account for low blood sugar. Your health care provider may provide other recommendations for insulin adjustments or food options as well. At a minimum, always have glucose tablets, juice, candy, or other fast acting sugar to correct low blood sugar. There are some places you may visit while traveling such as museums, stadiums, or other places that don't allow outside food or beverages so you may need to explain to someone at the venue that you are diabetic. They should allow you to carry the necessary supplies with you.
How do you travel smarter, with or without diabetes? What are your go-to snacks for the road? If you're looking to manage blood sugar spikes, be sure to check out this Glucerna bundle offer at Walmart where you can get up to $3 off any 2 large packs!