Bring your diabetes supplies when travelling overseas.

Managing Diabetes When You’re Unwell

Blood glucose levels usually rise when you are ill, even if you are not eating. Thirst, tiredness, and frequent urination may also occur.

If you are sick, remember

  • See a doctor early
  • Always take your medication or insulin even when you are sick
  • Take smaller, more frequent meals if you have a poor appetite
  • Drink plenty of plain water
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink sweetened drinks, juices or liquid supplements if you cannot eat a regular meal
  • Test your glucose level more often
  • Consult your doctor immediately if:
    • You are vomiting and unable to eat any food, liquid or take your diabetes medications
    • You are drowsy or confused (inform your family member or caregiver to take you to the doctor)

Related: Beat the Flu When You Have Diabetes

Managing Diabetes When You’re Fasting

If you need to fast, you should check with your doctor at least three to four months ahead whether you can fast and what is the best way to manage this. If you are fasting during Ramadan, avoid a very heavy meal when you break your fast.

You may fast only if you observe these precautions

  • Discuss with your doctor before fasting​
  • Adjust your diet
  • Test your blood glucose more frequently
  • Adjust your medication or insulin medication dosage
  • See your doctor if your blood glucose is abnormal
  • Carry sweets with you in case you have low blood glucose

Fasting is not advised if you

  • Have frequent hypoglycaemia
  • Have poorly controlled diabetes​
  • Have not been following advice on diet, medication and daily physical activities
  • Have serious complications such as nerve disorders, heart disease, heart problems or uncontrolled hypertension
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

Managing Diabetes When You’re Travelling

People with diabetes can travel. You can enjoy your holidays as much as anyone else, but you should go prepared. You must plan and prepare for a safe and relaxed trip. Consult your doctor at least one month before travelling.

Steps to observe when planning your travel

  • Go for your medical check-up before your trip
  • Take the necessary vaccinations before you travel
  • Notify the airline in advance for special meal plans
  • Bring extra diabetes supplies such as medication or insulin
  • Bring medical supplies and medication for diarrhoea and motion sickness
  • Keep diabetes medication in your carry-on baggage, not checked-in luggage
  • Bring a blood glucose meter to check your levels
  • Carry a medical identification card
  • Bring extra sweets and biscuits
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Wear protective and comfortable shoes

Related: Travelling with Diabetes

Living Well With Diabetes

Remember, you are not alone. There are many other people out there like you who are living well with diabetes. If you take good care of your condition in the long-term, you can prevent and reduce your chances of having complications.

Inspirational Quotes​ From People with Diabetes

  • If I can do it, you can do it too!
  • Having diabetes has opened my eyes to new things. Now, I am doing things I have never done before!
  • I am in control of my diabetes, and I am proud of what I have done.
  • When I found out I had diabetes, I had to change a lot of things on how I lived my life. Now I am exercising and have more energy. I really feel better about myself.

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