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Maintaining Great Blood Sugars While Shopping: Insights from a #T1D Dietitian!

Mar 31, 2023

Traveling, even for a single day, can be an excellent way to broaden your horizons and create lasting memories.

Day trips provide an opportunity to escape the routine of everyday life and experience something new, whether you're walking at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, taking in the natural beauty of a national park, or simply relaxing at the beach.

Having diabetes should not stop you from having fun and visiting new places! It is entirely possible to have fun in the sun while managing your blood sugar in the safest and easy way possible.

Let me share with you some easy ways how to keep your blood sugar in the healthy range while being active on a trip: 

#1. Pay attention to active insulin going in.

Physical activity can lower blood sugar levels, so it may be necessary to adjust insulin dosing or adjust your meal to prevent getting low during or after physical activity. It is important to monitor blood sugar levels before, during, and after physical activity to determine the appropriate adjustments.

If you have an active insulin in your body before engaging in physical activity, you should consider reducing your insulin dose or consuming additional carbs to prevent low blood sugar.

If blood sugar levels are high before this activity, you may need to consider a less aggressive correction insulin dose to make sure your blood sugar comes down, but does not crash.

#2. Staying hydrated.

 Your blood sugar is high and you're dehydrated, your blood sugar may stay high for longer, which of course, we don't want. 

Simple fix? Carry a water bottle with you. 

#3. On-the-go snacks. 

These will help balance your blood sugar during the activity, so you don't have to stop and sit for a low blood sugar, or feel less than optimal since you’re running high. Bring something you can easily have so you don't have to stand in line while your blood sugar may be low.

Of course, be smart with how many carbs you have, especially if you are low, so you don't have a rebound high blood sugar right afterwards, leading you to the blood sugar rollercoaster.

You can bring something that has some carbs and maybe a little protein or fat to help stabilize blood sugars, like trail mix. think hiking snacks or portable on the go snacks. 

#4 Consider the temporary basal rate.

By being more active than normal, there is a good chance that your blood sugars may drop and there could be a higher risk of you having a low blood sugar. Some insulin pumps temporarily adjust your basal insulin or some require you to tweak them to better fit your daily activity and help prevent this.


While active, your sensitivity to insulin increases. Your body needs less insulin to keep your blood glucose levels right.

That means that when going out for a long walk in a mall or spending time chasing the children around the house, there is a chance your blood sugars will go down if you don’t tell your pump upfront to ease off a little.  

Diabetes can make everyday life and travel more challenging, but it doesn’t have to keep you close to home. The more you plan ahead, the more you’ll be able to relax and enjoy all the exciting experiences of your trip.

I hope you’ve found this guide useful and if you’ve got any questions, let us know!


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