Very long trips
If you are on a very long trip, of more than thirty-six hours, divide the journey into “night” (sleeping time) and ‘day”, and have three meals and your usual between meal snacks during the ‘day’. Have a slightly reduced dose of your insulin as usual before the first meal after waking and before the last meal before sleeping. Check your blood glucose level before each meal and before bed and if it is high, top up with 2 to 4 units of fast-acting insulin. It is better to err towards 10 mmol/1 (180 mg/dl) than 4 mmol/1 (72 mg/dl) when travelling, to make sure that you avoid hypoglycemic attacks.
Funny foreign food
There is no reason why people with diabetes should not be adventurous in their eating. Avoid obviously sugary or very greasy foods. Fresh food (providing it is well washed or cooked) is usually all right. Fish is a good food for a diabetic diet. Pasta (sometimes the whole-wheat variety) and rice are available in most places, and many different countries use beans and legumes in their cooking. If a strange dish looks tempting, try it -the occasional naughty food is not a disaster. If the meals are larger than you are used to, have a little more rapid-acting insulin before them.
If the meal times are very different from those at home, do not worry. If you are on once-daily very long-acting and several rapid-acting doses of insulin, have your rapid-acting insulin before the meal, whenever it is. If you are on twice-daily medium-acting or long-acting with short-acting insulin, you can either take both the medium-acting or long-acting and short-acting insulin before the evening meal whenever that is, or, if this is going to create problems overnight, take your medium-acting or long-acting insulin at the usual time and have the rapid-acting insulin before the evening meal. Consider the interval between injections and try to ensure that the medium-acting and long-acting injections are spaced out, as they would be at home. Your changed eating habits are only for a limited period.
However, you should not forget to adjust your insulin dose and food intake to suit your level of activity. Lying in the sun uses up less energy than tramping around ancient monuments.
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