Diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a difficult disease to deal with and one that thousands live with daily. Type 2 diabetes causes progressive damage to various organ systems, like microvascular (retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy) and macrovascular (ischemic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular) complications.

Globally, an estimated 6.28% of the world’s population (462 million people) have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Over 1.6 million individuals die each year caused directly by diabetes.

Weight loss surgery, like gastric sleeve and RNY gastric bypass, is much more efficacious in weight loss and T2DM resolution than medical therapy. Thankfully, we have been able to help those who undergo bariatric surgery in Tijuana, Mexico, to overcome type 2 or the risk of becoming diabetic. But how do you prepare for travel to our Tijuana surgical center?

San Diego downtown aerial view - travel to Tijuana - Mexico Bariatric Center

Before You Leave for San Diego

When our patients travel to undergo weight loss surgery in Tijuana, Mexico, they travel to San Diego. Once in San Diego, our driver will meet with you to transport you to Mi Doctor Hospital in Tijuana. So here are some steps you can take before you travel to San Diego:

  • Schedule an appointment with your doctor to go over your travel plans
  • Acquire double the number of supplies you’d usually need. Take a letter from your doctor explaining you have diabetes
  • If you need vaccines, we recommend you get them 3 to 4 weeks in advance before traveling
  • Have a list of medical facilities en route to San Diego on hand in case it can come in handy

Diabetes Travel Kit

So what should you take with you beyond the above-listed items?

  • Keep your primary doctor’s name and phone number with you at all times in case of emergencies
  • Keep a list of medications you usually take on hand on your trip
  • Take all necessary supplies with you in your carry-on bag so you have it with you at all times
  • Take enough supplies to last beyond the time you will be staying in Tijuana, such as an extra week’s supply
  • Wear medical identification that tells people you have diabetes
  • Keep snacks, hard candy, and glucose gel or capsules with you in case your blood sugar drops low
  • Ask your doctor for special instructions on the insulin schedule if there is a timezone difference with your trip.

Let the airlines, drivers, and staff know in advance that you have diabetes when you meet them.

Steps to Take at the Airport

diabetes travel kit, airportNow that you have packed for your trip and have your diabetes travel kit all put together, it’s time to board your flight and head to San Diego. Here are some helpful steps to take once you arrive at the airport:

  • Inform the security that you have diabetes and the medical supplies you have on hand. Ensure the supplies have a prescription label on them when taking them through security checkpoints.
  • Ensure any supplies you pack have appropriate manufacturer labels to avoid issues.
  • Syringes can only be allowed by security when you have insulin with you. So be sure you have this taken care of before closing your travel bag and heading to the airport.
  • Insulin pumps can be worn on your trip, but you must inform security so they can inspect them properly. You are allowed to and definitely, should request that they not remove the pump.

On the Airplane

If you are boarded on the airplane, are in flight, and need an insulin shot, you want to be sure to do the shot with half the amount of insulin. The purpose is that the pressure in an airplane is different once it has taken off and is in flight.

You will want to change your injection schedule to meet the difference in time zones if it is for two or more hours. Your doctor can provide special instructions, as was mentioned in the steps, before you leave for San Diego.

Keep your insulin at a temperature between 33 F and 80 F and avoid freezing or exposing it to sunlight for prolonged periods of time.

diabetes travel kit, shoes

Helpful Tip to Keep Your Feet Comfy

Here are some steps you can take to ensure your feet are kept healthy during your trip:

  • Travel with one or more pairs of comfortable shoes that you can frequently change to avoid blisters and soreness. The same goes for socks.
  • Follow a good foot hygiene routine, such as foot powder, to help ensure your feet are well taken care of. This will be particularly useful with all the walking you need to do after surgery with us.

Out of Your Home Country Emergency

diabetes travel kit, ambulance

When you travel to undergo bariatric surgery in Tijuana, Mexico, there is the potential risk of a diabetes-related emergency. While you are under the care of our staff, they can assist you with issues that arise.

Mexico Bariatric Center® offers medical travel insurance (MTI) through GPS at a highly discounted cost. This insurance covers travel-related and surgery-related fall-outs and complications for up to $25,000.

But it can’t hurt to have some additional resourceful information on hand.

Contact details for the Red Cross, hospitals, or medical schools.

Available resources, if you speak English, would be the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT) at 716-754-4883

SOURCES: WebMD, American Diabetes Association

VIEW A USEFUL RESOURCE ABOUT TRAVELING WITH A MEDICAL CONDITION BEYOND JUST DIABETES HERE