Diabetes; Lifestyle Tips

Diabetes; Lifestyle Tips

When traveling by car:

Schedule a pre-travel checkup with your health care professional about four to six weeks before your trip, for any kind of travel. Check your glucose just before leaving, and don’t leave before dealing with it and re-checking if it is below normal. Bring snacks and drinks with you, and if you’re on a long trip, a meal just in case. Put insulin under the seat in a cooler or thermal bag, but not in the trunk, on the dashboard or on ice. Plan stops for checking glucose and stretching, and pull over at the first signs of hypoglycemia.

When traveling by air:

Call your airline to find out how to bring syringes and lancets through security checkpoints. Keep the outside boxes of your insulin and/or glucagon, so the prescription labels can be shown to security, bring a medical letter documenting your diabetes, and speak to the security guard in advance. Carry snacks in case your meal doesn’t arrive soon enough. Don’t pack insulin in your checked luggage; it will be damaged by extreme temperatures in the cargo hold. Keep your diabetes supplies nearby, not in the overhead compartment, so they’re accessible at all times. Drink bottled water to stay hydrated.

Cut down the costs of diabetes

Check your health insurance to know exactly what it covers. Be sure to comparison-shop when buying supplies. Blood glucose meters may be available for free if you buy 100 test strips, but pay attention to quality and meter features. Buy only the amount of test strips you can use before they expire. Don’t split your test strips or re-use lancets. You can re-use syringes, although after about five uses the needle begins to get dull. Instead of alcohol wipes, use soap and water to clean your skin at the injection site, then dry it to avoid diluting the blood drop.

More cost-cutting tips for managing diabetes

Instead of expensive, packaged “dietetic” foods, shop for healthy basic foods. Begin collecting free make-ahead or no-time healthy recipes from diabetes associations and other sources. Clip coupons and look for weekly specials. If you’re given a brand prescription, ask if a generic would work, and if free samples are available. Ask your pharmacy about discounts and rebates. Check out free offers from diabetes associations and manufacturers of diabetes drugs or equipment. Know the insurance laws in your state or learn more about Medicare coverage. If necessary, find out if you qualify for state or drug manufacturer patient assistance programs.

When you’re having a sick day

Stick to your usual medication, including injections; you may need it more than usual. The only exception is if your health care professional advises you to change it. Check blood glucose every three to four hours around the clock. Write these results down so you can communicate them over the phone if necessary. Drink fluids that are sugar-free, but if you can’t eat, alternate them with fluids containing sugar, such as juice or regular soda. Rest and call your health care professional if you are vomiting or have diarrhea, excessively high blood sugar or any questions or concerns.

Helping your child manage diabetes

Talk to your health care professional about keeping your child’s routine as simple and straightforward as possible, to make success more likely. Involve your child in as many aspects of self-care as possible, for better self-esteem. Keep a diary with your child, using colors and pictures for younger children. Set clear food, exercise and monitoring goals for your child and involve him or her in the planning. Recognize your child’s positive efforts, not just what he or she doesn’t do. Be realistic about what can be controlled and what can’t, stay positive and find outlets for your frustration and your child’s.

Organizers you can use

Diabetes management software allows you to analyze trends in your blood glucose levels, and some programs allow direct downloads from your meter. Try commercial or free programs, but check their compatibility with your meter and (for Web-based software) privacy policies. The MedPort Organizers are zippered soft cases in different sizes that carry your supplies and have a cool side for insulin. For women, the Hope Handbag is designed with pockets for supplies. The Diabetes Day-to-Day Calendar provides helpful information and inspiring words about diabetes management. A vibrating alarm watch, available from many manufacturers, can serve as a non-disruptive reminder system.

Caring for your feet

Wash your feet with soap and warm (not hot) water every day, and pat dry carefully, including between the toes. Use lotion, especially over your heels. Check your feet daily. Use a mirror if necessary to see the soles of your feet. Ask your health care professional how to self-treat corns, calluses, bunions or cracks in the skin of your heel. Call your health care professional if you see swelling, redness, or feel numbness or tingling in either foot. Don’t go barefoot. Wear well-fitting shoes and seamless socks, and don’t let your feet get too hot or cold.

References

2004 Clinical Practice Recommendations. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“National Diabetes Statistics.” National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, NIDDK, NIH. NIH publication 04-3892. April 2004. http://www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“Statistics Related to Overweight and Obesity.” Weight -Control Information Network. NIDDK. NIH. http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov. Accessed December 1, 2004.

“The Prevention or Delay of Type 2 Diabetes.” American Diabetes Association. http://care.diabetesjournals.org. Accessed December 1, 2004.

“Weight Loss Matters.” American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org. Accessed December 1, 2004.

“What Do I Need to Know About Insulin?” Medicines for People with Diabetes. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. NIH. NIH publication 03-4222. December 2002. http://www.diabetes.niddk.gov. Accessed December 2004.

National Diabetes Fact Sheets. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org. Accessed December 1, 2004.

“When You Travel.” American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org. Accessed December 1, 2004.

Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results From the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002 Jul 17;288(3):321-33.

FDA Orders Warning on all Estrogen Labels. New York Times. Jan. 9, 2003.

FDA Approves new Labels for Estrogen and Estrogen with Progestin Therapies for Postmenopausal Women Following Review of Women’s Health Initiative Data. FDA Talk Paper. Jan. 8, 2003.

Grady D, Herrington D, Bittner V, et al, for the HERS Research Group. Heart and estrogen/progestin replacement study follow-up (HERS II): Part 1. Cardiovascular outcomes during 6.8 years of hormone therapy. JAMA 2002;288:49-57.

Hulley S, Furberg C, Barrett-Connor E, et al, for the HERS Research Group. Heart and estrogen/progestin replacement study follow-up (HERS II): Part 2. Non-cardiovascular outcomes during 6.8 years of hormone therapy. JAMA 2002;288:58-66.

“The Evidence Base for Tight Blood Pressure Control in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.” Annals of Internal Medicine Clinical Guidelines. Vol. 138, Issue 7, pgs 587-592. April 1, 2003. http://www.annals.org. Accessed November 23, 2004.

Writing Group for the Women’s Health Initiative Investigators. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the Women’s Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2002; 288:321-333.

“Women’s Health Initiative,” National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy Questioned For Some Women: A Preliminary Response from The North American Menopause Society.” http://www.menopause.org. Accessed November 23, 2004.

Lacey, James V., et al. “Menopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy and Risk of Ovarian Cancer.” JAMA 2002. Vol. 288:334-341.368-369.

Marchbanks, P.A, et al. “Oral Contraceptives and the Risk of Breast Cancer” NEJM 2002. Vol. 346:2025-2032, No. 26

American Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Recommendations, Diabetes Care 25 (Suppl.1): S33 – S49, 2002

Gu K, Cowie CC, Harris MI: Diabetes and decline in heart disease mortality in US adults, JAMA 1999. Vol. 281:1291-1297.

Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Aug. 2001.http://www.preventdiabetes.com. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“Oral Agents in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus” American Family Physician. Volume 63, Number 9, May 1, 2001.http://www.aafp.org. Accessed November 23, 2004.

Veritas Medicine Center on Diabetes: Diabetes. http://www.veritasmedicine.com. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“Nutrition and Recipes.” American Diabetes Association. http://journal.diabetes.org. Accessed November 23, 2004.

ACE Consensus Conferences: 1. Inpatient Diabetes and Metabolic Control. 2. Diabetes Consensus Conference. 3. Insulin Resistance Consensus Conference. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. http://www.aace.com. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“All About Diabetes.” American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“Third Report of the NCEP Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults.” Executive Summary. JAMA, May 16, 2001.

“National Diabetes Fact Sheet.” Diabetes Public Health Resource. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reviewed July 12, 2004. http://www.cdc.gov. Acessed November 23, 2004.

” Gestational Diabetes?” American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“Diabetes A-Z List.” National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“Officials Step Up Efforts to Identify Those with ‘Pre-Diabetes’ To Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic.” Joslin Diabetes Center. April 2002. http://www.joslin.harvard.edu. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“What Is Pre-Diabetes?” American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org. Accessed November 23, 2004.

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Medical Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes Mellitus: The AACE System of Intensive Diabetes Self-Management-2002 Update. http://www.aace.com. Accessed November 23, 2004.

Ryu, S, et al. “Reversal of established autoimmune diabetes by restoration of endogenous [beta] cell function” J. Clin. Invest. 2001 108: 63-72. http://www.jci.org. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“GlucoWatch G2 Biographer” US Food and Drug Administration, Center for Devices and Radiological Health Consumer Information. Updated Sept. 2002. http://www.fda.gov. Accessed November 23, 2004.

“First wireless insulin pump system designed to simplify and improve diabetes management receives FDA clearance.” Medtronic MiniMed Press Release. July 7, 2003. http://www.minimed.com. Accessed November 23, 2004.

Keywords: diabetes, insulin, travel, traveling, child, feet

COPYRIGHT 2006 National Women’s Health Resource Center

COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group