General Health Friday August 7, 2015

How To Travel Safely If You Have A Health Condition

Just because you have a medical condition it doesn't mean you have to spend your holidays watching Jeremy Kyle. Here are some travelling tips.

Insurance

Insurance is important. Make sure your insurers are aware of your condition, or you may not be covered. Or to put it another way - you won't be covered. And if something goes wrong… it won't be good.

Speak to your GP

It's worth having a chat about your condition before you go away. Your GP may be able to prescribe medications to take with you in case of flare-ups.

Be organised

Think seriously about what medicine you need to take with you, a few months in advance of your trip.

Check local facilities

Wherever you are going, check out the local medical set up. It's no fun trying to translate when you are feeling ill.

Write it down

Keep your health details somewhere obvious if you don't have a medical alert bracelet. A good place is in your purse, or in your phone case. These are places medical professionals will check if you rock up at the hospital.

Here are some travelling tips for specific illnesses:

Asthma


  • See your asthma clinic before you travel to make sure your asthma hasn't worsened, and get a print out of your meds whilst you are there; just in case you need to replace them.

  • Be aware that changes in air pressure and temperature can trigger an asthma attack.

  • When flying you'll need your medication labelled, in its original packaging, with the dispensing pharmacy contact details available.

  • Take spare inhalers and then some more inhalers.

  • Beware of pillows. Some hotels use feathers, which you may be sensitive to.

Diabetes


  • Check with your doctor before travelling to make sure you are prepared and your diabetes hasn't worsened. Make sure you take enough treatment with you if you need it.

  • Take some snacks with you whilst travelling. Delays can mean no food.

  • Move about as much as possible when travelling.

  • Always have your diabetes alert with you, whether it's a card or jewellery.

  • Take a letter from your GP so you can show it on airlines. Always keep your insulin in your hand luggage as hold pressure can shatter glass and freeze insulin.

  • Be aware of time zones and how that might affect measuring your glucose levels.

Coeliac Disease


  • Take a handy bag of non-perishable snacks with you.

  • Book an airline/ferry gluten-free meal ahead of time, or at least enquire about the options.

  • Double check your travel insurance covers coeliac disease.

  • Tourist information offices are hives of knowledge. Ask them about restaurants and supermarkets that cater for your dietary needs.

Before you go - The No. 1 Top Tip

When you pack, put a complete set of meds in your partner's or travelling companion's bag - just in case yours goes astray. Yes, we're talking to you Ryan Air. If you are travelling alone take two bags and split your meds between them.

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