An estimated 34 million Americans will be on the road during Labor Day weekend, many of them with type 2 diabetes. Road travel can interfere with blood sugar management and lead to low blood sugar, which can cause serious complications, such as loss of consciousness, if not treated quickly.
In fact, according to a recent survey by the American College of Endocrinology, 37 percent of people with type 2 diabets have experienced low blood sugar while driving or traveling. Here are some tips for safe travel:
1. Pack more snacks, drinks, and blood sugar testing supplies than you think you will need, so that you are prepared in the event of travel delays
2. If you take insulin, store it for the road trip in a cooler or insulated container
3. Be sure to wear your medical bracelet if you have one
4. If you are taking a long car trip, test your blood sugar before leaving. If it is 70 mg/dL or below, eat or drink something that will raise it quickly, and wait until your blood sugar is back to normal before getting behind the wheel
5. Research nearby restaurants and grocery stores in your travel destination so you know your healthy options for meals and snacks
6. You can also research emergency or urgent-care clinics along your travel route. If you belong to an HMO, ask what doctors and facilities along your travel route are affiliated with your plan.
7. Test yourself at regular intervals
8. Stop periodically to walk around, stretch your legs and give your body a break from sitting down
9. Follow your daily dosing routine at the regular times. If you always take a medicine at 10 a.m., do so in the car at the same time.
More tips: BloodSugarBasics.com
(Editor’s Note: Some of the statistics and advice in this article was provided to us through the American College of Endocrinology.)