Diabetes Management on the Airplane

If food will not be served on your flight, take food and fast-acting carbohydrate with you. If it is a long flight with a meal (and keep in mind that in-flight meals are rare these days), it is not necessary to order a special meal on the plane, but it is a good idea to have some food with you (two to three snacks) in case the meal is delayed. Inject your insulin dose after your meal arrives. Since the pressure in an airplane is different than the pressure on the ground, do not inject air into the vial before drawing up your insulin into the syringe. Check your blood glucose frequently during the flight. You may need a little more insulin because you are inactive. If you are traveling alone and are concerned that you might experience hypoglycemia, tell the flight attendants that you have diabetes so they can keep an eye on you.

Drink plenty of fluids during the flight. Wear loose-fitting shoes because your feet might swell, and walk around the airplane when possible and do some leg-stretching exercises to avoid blood clots.

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