Diabetes has become a part and parcel of many of us, just like our eyes or nose. It is essential to keep it under control in many tasking situations-when you are sick, at school, at work, during emergency or natural disaster situations, when pregnant or when planning for a baby.
Under the Influence of the Flu
Cold, flu or an infection can elevate blood glucose levels. Any physical damage to the health, in this case cold, keeps the body under stress and the body in turn releases hormones to deal with this stress and combat sickness. Very high hormone levels can increase blood glucose levels and it is recommended to talk with your health care team regarding:
- Your eating and drinking habits
- Ketone levels in blood and urine
- The frequency in which blood glucose levels must be monitored
- Changes in diabetes medications
Sick people often feel like not eating anything and filling their tummies with carbohydrate-rich drinks or snacks can help the individual avoid low blood sugar levels. Even when you don’t feel like eating anything, drink at least 1 cup of water every hour while you’re awake. Consume milk, yogurt, ice pops, soda, gelatin, juice, soup, dry toast and broth to avoid yourself from succumbing to low blood sugar levels.
All Work & No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
School or work, it is our duty to take care of our body:
- Stick to a healthy eating plan.
- Continue medication and keep check on your blood glucose levels.
- Inform teachers, friends, peers or coworkers on your diabetes condition and teach them about your signs of low blood glucose as you might need their assistance if blood glucose level drops too low.
- Carry snacks with you anywhere you go.
- It is recommended to wear or carry an identification tag or card that indicates that you suffer from diabetes.
Away from Home
When you are away from home, you can try to incorporate these things for better health:
- Get yourself immunized and vaccinated before you travel.
- Try to eat healthy as much as possible and carry a snack always.
- Restrict alcohol and munch on something to prevent low blood glucose.
- Individuals with increased blood glucose levels are recommended to check their glucose readings every two hours when going on long car rides.
- Keep your diabetes medications handy inside the car compartment to use it as and when needed.
- Vacation time calls for roaming around more and this implies walking more often. Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes and keep a small note of the emergency phone numbers and a first aid kit handy.
- It is better to ask your doctor for a written prescription for your medicines and also request him/her to recommend a doctor in the place you’re going to visit.
Aeroplane, Aeroplane Up in the Sky
While flying high:
- Seek advice from your healthcare team well in advance before travelling on how to adjust insulin intake when you travel between time zones.
- Get a letter from your doctor stating that you have diabetes listing down all the medications and medical supplies you require during your travel period. Ask your doctor to mention any devices, if any, that should not be screened through an x-ray machine.
- Always carry your medications and blood testing supplies with you and never put it in your checked baggage.
- Carry some food and snacks to eat during travel.
- During the flight journey, get up and walk whenever possible.
During Emergency/Natural Disaster
Anyone should be ready to handle emergency situations, especially people with health conditions such as diabetes. Keep a key disaster kit ready and add everything to keep diabetes under control, such as:
- Diabetes medicines
- Testing strips, lancets and a blood glucose meter
- Insulin, syringes and an insulated bag to keep the insulin cool.
- Glucose tablets and other foods or drinks to treat low blood glucose
- A prescription of the medical information which includes the list of your conditions, medicines and lab test results.
- Antibiotic cream or ointment
Women Planning for Pregnancy
Maintaining a normal blood glucose level helps protect both you and you baby. Even more, it is needed to keep blood glucose level under control even before becoming pregnant. Your physician can help you in either condition to bring blood glucose under control. If you are planning for a baby:
- Consume a healthy diet
- Stay away from alcohol, smoking, alcoholic beverages or harmful drugs
- Consult a doctor who is experienced to take care of pregnant women with diabetes
- Be with your physician to get your blood glucose levels close to normal ranges.
Keep check on your heart, eye, blood vessels, blood pressure and kidney levels as pregnancy can worsen health problems sometimes. In case of any health condition, it is recommended to meet a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com to plan a healthy eating plan for your medical conditions.