Diabetes is a pre-existing medical condition that can sometimes make traveling really difficult and buying travel insurance an even more difficult task. Normal travel insurance will never cover a diabetic, however, special insurance policies do exist that will cover a traveler suffering from any type of diabetes.
Planning to travel as a diabetic?
Before you decide to travel as a diabetic you should consider a few things. The most important thing for any trip is to plan ahead and if you are a diabetic you should take extra care during preparations for the trip. First of all you should always make sure your Diabetes is stable before traveling. Confirm with your GP before making any travel arrangements. Once you are cleared for travel make sure to prepare the necessary medication.
Medical treatment for diabetes while abroad can be very expensive. Travel insurance for diabetes is able to support the cost of such treatments if while traveling your diabetes spirals out of control. When buying travel insurance with pre-existing conditions it is very important to declare that you are a diabetic. Failing to declare any pre-existing medical conditions may lead to rejected insurance claims.
The most important thing to remember is to always have enough diabetes medication for the trip. In some cases even doubling the amount is considered as prudent. The amount you bring depends on the lengths of the trip but also on the conditions at the destination.
Before traveling with diabetes you should take a supporting letter from your GP and also make sure you have a list of your diabetes medication with generic and brand names as well as the appropriate dosage.
Tips for traveling as a diabetic:
Diabetes and changes in temperature:
One of the factors that can have an impact on your diabetes is temperature. A high temperature climate will lead to a higher rate of insulin absorption. To avoid hypoglycemia diabetics should keep a close eye on their blood sugar more frequently and should adjust the medication levels accordingly.
Diabetes can have other effects as well. For example some diabetics feel numbness in the feet. While sunbathing a diabetic may not feel the temperature of the sand and suffer mild burns. The same can happen in cold temperature with frost-bite. One of the most common complications for diabetics is foot-infections. Such an infection can rapidly spread through the whole body. Extra care is needed.
Diabetes and air travel:
Traveling to different time zones will require a diabetic to change his/hers medical regime. Before traveling by air a diabetic should always consult his GP and make the necessary medication adjustments. Needles used for insulin shots should be disposed of properly. You can dispose of needles in special sharp boxes if you ask the cabin crew for one.
An added precaution as a diabetic is to always carry your diabetes medication in a hand bag that you keep around at all time. This will prevent any problems in case your luggage is misplaced by the airline.
Diabetes and altitude or depth:
Altitude and depth can also have an impact on diabetics – especially on the medicine. High altitude may cause insulin to expand and contract. This can cause air pockets within the cartridge. Before the shot at high altitudes make sure to check the medication and remove the air with a few air shots. Mountain trips in cold climates can also freeze your diabetes medicine – make sure to keep it in a warmer place at all times.
Depth can also lead to complications for a diabetic. If your travels imply diving as one of the primary activities you should consult your GP before traveling.