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Travel advice in diabetes care

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Prior to considering travel abroad, it is recommended that diabetes is as well controlled as possible. People with diabetes should be able to travel abroad safely without any specific restriction in activities if appropriate preparation has taken place.1 This enables the risk of any potential problems to be minimised.

General advice

It is important to take out travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions such as diabetes. There are Diabetes UK Insurance Services available. If a patient is travelling to the European Union, he or she should be advised to obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in addition (available via www.ehic.org.uk).

Dietary recommendations for people with diabetes remain the same. Most holiday destinations would be happy to offer healthier options if not included on menus. In some cases, it may be worth advising a holiday destination in advance regarding specific dietary requests.

It is unnecessary to request a special 'diabetic meal' on flights, as these are often low in carbohydrates.2 However, on a long-haul flight, it is advisable to have additional snacks. This is important in case there is a delay in the journey.

Vaccinations may be required for some holidays. It is recommended that diabetes identification is carried.2 It is advisable to obtain a list of English-speaking doctors abroad.2 A local phrase book may also be helpful.


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