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Summer Management Tips for Diabetics

Posted Jul 29 2009 10:11pm

summerpicnic_Marco_Nunes_sm If you are diabetic, don’t let it stop you from having fun this summer season. You can still enjoy the season with just a few things to remember to remain healthy, looking great and most importantly, to keep your diabetes in control.

EmaxHealth shares with us the testing and nutrition tips for maintaining effective diabetes self-management during summer, when on travel, picnics and parties offered by Diabetic Care Services with the nutrition department of Kent State University.

Marc Wolf,  a registered pharmacist with more than 28 years of experience serving diabetic patients and founder and CEO of Diabetic Care Services offers the following tips.

Protecting Testing Supplies and Insulin

  • Keep meters, test strips and insulin out of direct sunlight. When outside or traveling, pack your supplies in a dark protective carrying case with a gel ice pack to prevent damage from extreme temperatures. Keep them dry too.
  • Always travel with an extra set of supplies stored in a separate carrying case so there is a backup if the first set is damaged. Never use test strips stored in cracked or damaged bottles.

Diabetes Management While Traveling

  • Always travel with snacks in pre-measured serving sizes just in case.
  • When traveling across time zones, carry a second watch or clock set to your home time for the first few days until you adjust to the new schedule.
  • Test more often when traveling because routines will inevitably be disrupted.
  • If an insulin injection will be needed on an airplane, ask your insulin manufacturer for any special instructions to accommodate the pressure inside the plane.
  • Bring several pairs of comfortable, closed-toe shoes and plenty of clean socks that you can change often to prevent soreness and blisters on feet if doing a lot of walking.
  • Always carry or wear medical identification that indicates you have diabetes.

Below are Nutritional Tips given by Jodie Luidhardt, a licensed and registered dietitian at Kent State University.

Navigating the Buffet Table

  • Choose colorful vegetables rather than white refined carbohydrates, like bread, chips, or pasta.
  • Avoid foods with heavy black charring from the grill because recent studies suggest those black marks may be carcinogenic.
  • Include more soy in your picnic diet, opt for veggie burgers, add edamame to salads or try making “egg” salad with tofu instead.
  • If you do not have access to a healthier option – compensate. For example, use a small plate when selecting dessert or opt for fresh fruit.
  • Take your time and socialize while you are eating to remove the focus from the food and allow you to get fuller faster and consume fewer calories.

Staying Hydrated

  • For people with diabetes, staying hydrated is particularly important because dehydration can cause false high readings. If you are perspiring from heat or exercise, be sure to drink extra water.
  • Drink only one diet soda per day.
  • If you are looking for a little more flavor, brew homemade drinks such as unsweetened iced tea and lemonade made from water, fresh squeezed lemons and mint and carry them in a thermos.
  • Drink alcohol with a meal. Women should have no more than one serving per day, and men should have no more than two servings per day.
Image by Marco Nunes.

Tags:diabetes, diabetic, health travel tips, Nutrition, summer

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