We all look forward to a long weekend over the Easter period. For many of us, it’s a time to catch up with family and friends, do a spot of DIY or even head to the coast. For those of us with a long term condition, such as asthma, diabetes, COPD or cardiovascular disease, a little preparation goes a long way.
Around 15 million people in England have a long-term condition which is managed with medication and other treatment. So if you’re planning a trip it’s important to make sure you have everything you need.
Dr Kevin Hill, GP and Chair of South Lincolnshire CCG said
"It’s best to talk to your local pharmacist if you’re on medication for a long term condition, such as asthma, diabetes or a heart condition to find out if you need a repeat prescription to take with you. You don’t want to run out while you’re away. If you haven’t already, talk to your GP practice about registering for their online services which allow you to request a repeat prescription, as well as make appointments online.
“It’s also important to take care of yourself and by following a few simple precautions can help to keep you well this bank holiday.”
Taking your medication. If you have COPD or asthma, it's important to take your medication or inhalers as prescribed, even if you feel better. Continuous medication can help to support your breathing in the summer heat.
Get support from family and friends. Make sure that whoever you’re with knows what to do should something happen to you while your away.
Plan your day. Plan your day in a way that allows you to stay out of direct heat, if possible. If you’re on the beach sit under an umbrella to keep shaded or head to a cool place where you can sit and have a cold drink. Remember, the hottest part of the day is between 11am and 3pm.
Stay hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day and eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit which contain water. This is particularly important if you have diabetes. Dehydration can make the blood glucose levels rise or fall which can cause hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. People with diabetes need to increase their intake of fluids in hot weather, drinking regularly during the day and focus on drinking water.
Keep cool. Splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly on your face and the back of your neck.
If you need medical advice over the bank holiday weekend visit your local pharmacy or call NHS111. NHS111 offers advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This service is really useful over bank holidays when pharmacies and GPs may be closed. All the caller has to do is dial 111 to talk to the NHS.