DiPasquale, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes
educator, leads the nonprofit hospital’s free support group for
people with diabetes. The group will meet at 11 a.m. Friday, July
15, at the Oasis Senior Center, 2810 Woodlawn Road, Lincoln. For
more information, call 217-605-5535 or send an email to ALMHdiabetes@mhsil.com.
When you’re on the road, finding healthy and affordable food options
are a challenge, DiPasquale said.
“Carry fresh foods with you, even through airport screening,” she
said. “Many people don’t think you can, but you are allowed. The
Transportation Security Administration website is a great resource
for how to bring food on a plane.”
Other tips, DiPasquale said, include asking for vegetables and
vegetarian options at restaurants, leaving off salad toppings and
condiments that add unneeded extra calories and sugar, keeping
snacks on hand if you have an unexpected meal delay at a restaurant,
and being careful if you splurge to avoid an upset stomach from
high-fat or fried foods.
If you’re traveling abroad, DiPasquale offered a few additional
tips: If English is not widely spoken at your destination, learn
several health-related words in the local language, such as sugar,
doctor and hospital.
“You should also take plenty of supplies including insulin,” she
said. “Even if you can buy supplies, they may not be the same as
what you have at home. You may be able to get insulin, for example,
but it may not be the same strength.”
And check with your health insurance provider to see if it
participates in Global Assist, she said, which is a service that can
help you find a physician or pharmacy wherever you are in the world.
Whether you’re taking the plane or driving the car, you’re often
sitting still for hours at a time. And people with diabetes are more
prone to develop blood clots in their legs than others, DiPasquale
said. Flights or drives of eight hours or more pose the highest risk
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“Try to move whenever you can when you have to be seated for several
hours,” she said. “Get up and walk around the cabin once every few
hours if it’s safe to do so. Even small movements keep the blood
pumping and burn calories. If you can’t move about the cabin, you
can draw the alphabet with your foot or change seating positions.”
Other tips: avoid alcohol the day before and day of travel, drink plenty of
water, extend your legs as straight as possible while seated and wear
For people with diabetes who take insulin, you may need to take your insulin in
a cooler if you’re going somewhere on a warm day. Some destinations – amusement
parks, water parks and sports arenas – may have rules about coolers.
Check ahead to see if coolers are allowed, DiPasquale said. If they’re
prohibited, call your destination to find out how to safely transport your
insulin into the facility.
“When you’re flying, never check a bag with insulin in it because insulin gets
too cold in the belly of the plane where the luggage is stored,” she said. “And
there’s always the risk of lost luggage. Always keep your diabetes supplies,
including snacks and quick-acting carbohydrates, stowed underneath the seat
before you for easy access."
Your supplies should always be clearly labeled, DiPasquale said. For information
about how to prepare your supplies to go through security checkpoints, visit the
American Diabetes Association website.
[Micheal Leathers, MHS Public