Julie Widdowson, 27th July 2017

For our July meeting we welcomed back another of our favourite speakers Julie Widdowson, who is the Diabetes Educator/Practitioner Service Lead  for Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust. Her subject for this meeting was Diabetes Sick Day Rules and Travel.

When taking out travel Insurance you shouldn’t be refused or charged an excessive rate just because you have diabetes. Contact Diabetes UK or check out their web site to source suitable cover.

Always consult your nurse well in advance of your holiday to find out if vaccinations are necessary for your destination. Surgeries will make a charge for some of these vaccinations.

Take double of all your equipment and medication and a copy of your repeat prescription in case of loss or breakages. If travelling with a partner split your medication between both sets of hand luggage insulin should not go in the hold. You can carry medication in your hand luggage but you need a signed letter from your Doctor confirming your condition if carrying sharps. You may have to pay for this letter but can use it whenever you travel. Keep your EHIC card with you at all times.

If you are on insulin or Sulfonylurea tablets always carry dextrose tablets or jelly babies and snacks in case of a hypo, especially if crossing time zones or in case of delays.

Always wear shoes or sandals, especially on the beach to avoid getting burnt from the hot sand or standing on something sharp such as broken shells.

Drink alcohol sensible as this can cause your blood glucose levels to drop especially in hot weather. Always have something to eat when drinking and check your glucose levels more frequently, adjusting insulin doses accordingly.

Julie also talked about what to do when you are ill. These details are available on the Diabetes UK web site or a leaflet can be obtained from TREND-UK. The leaflet is entitled “Diabetes. What to do when you are ill”. Trend has other leaflets available on various subjects.

Julie also informed us of a new blood glucose sensor called Freestyle Libre these are not yet available on the NHS but can be purchased from the company direct on-line. They are especially helpful for Children and people with Type 1 diabetes.