Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Health Guidance for Diabetic Travellers this Christmas Season

By Louie Alonso Belmonte

MANILA, Dec. 20 (PNA Features) -- With only a few days to go before Christmas, many people are now busy preparing for their holiday vacation.

But, wait! If you are suffering from diabetes mellitus, you may consider reading this before you pack your clothes and buy your trip tickets. Local health experts have shared some useful tips that can be life-saving and help you enjoy a healthy Christmas season.

In a publication of the Philippine Diabetes Association authored by Dr. Nemencio A. Nicodemus Jr. of the Manila Doctors Hospital, he said that diabetics should make sure that they bring their medications when traveling because blood glucose may go up.

The rise in blood glucose level may happen usually in times when snacks are shared during the trip and hearty meals are served.

Dr. Nicodemus added that diabetics who use insulin to control their blood sugar are especially prone to sudden increases in sugar levels even if they missed just one shot of their insulin.

He also advised diabetics to store some sweets in their pockets or bags when traveling because it might come in handy when they develop hypoglycemia, otherwise known as the lower than normal level of blood glucose.

Dr. Nicodemus advised diabetes sufferers not to wait until they reach their destination before eating something because hypoglycemia might become severe and could cause unconsciousness.

He likewise noted that diabetics should not be embarrassed to inform their travel mates of their condition because it could be life-saving. Once informed about your condition, your travel mates, the doctor added, may have an idea on how to help you if you develop hypoglycemia or even very high blood sugar (hyperglycemia).

Meanwhile, Dr. Roberto C. Mirasol of St. Luke’s Medical Center, also offered his advises at PDA official publication, citing that eating breakfast everyday and not skipping meals are helpful to diabetes sufferers.

Dr. Mirasol stressed that one should eat whole grains, vegetables and fruits to ensure that they get all of their daily nutrients.

Diabetics, he added, should also limit their daily intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar. High sugar foods are often high in calories and low in nutrients.

Another important tip that Dr. Mirasol shared is for the diabetics to watch their meal portions and exercise regularly.

Diabetes mellitus currently affects more than 246 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The number is expected to rise to 30 million by the year 2025. It is considered one of the top 10 killer diseases globally.

In the Philippines, diabetes is the ninth leading cause of mortality, with one in every 25 Filipinos being affected by the dreaded disease. (PNA)

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