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How To Travel With Insulin

How Long Can You Use Room Temperature Insulin

How to Keep Insulin Cold (When Traveling, at the Beach, or Pool)

Most insulin manufacturers recommend that you use opened insulin within 28 days. Its important to pay attention to your medications expiration date. While you can typically assume your medication will last for around a year after you receive it, its still important to ensure you know when its safe to use or not.

Keeping insulin at room temperature longer than 28 days can cause the insulin to degrade . Most insulin loses around 1% of its potency when kept at room temperature for up to 30 days. This loss of potency continues the longer the insulin is left out, and the higher the temperatures its left in.

Talk With Your Doctor

  • Make appointment to have vaccinations .
  • Make appointment with your doctor or credentialled diabetes educator to discuss travel plans, time zones, and other travel tablets required.
  • List and buy any special clothing items required, for example comfortable, well fitting shoes.

At least two months before leaving, talk to your doctor about your travel plans. It is important to discuss your medication/insulin adjustments, Glucagon and testing for ketones during the trip. This is also a good time to arrange the papers you will need to comply with airline regulations.

If your planned trip has different time zones, discuss this too. What you do will depend on your medications and/or your type of insulin. Your doctor may advise you to follow your normal routine until you stop travelling, have a long sleep and then start from scratch when you wake up. On the other hand, you may be given specific information about any medication or insulin changes you may need.

During long haul flights, a support hose can help to prevent swelling and may reduce the risk of clotting in the veins of the legs. Check with your diabetes team first to see if this is okay for you. For some people with reduced circulation, due to conditions such as peripheral neuropathy , they may not be suitable.

Do I Always Need To Refrigerate Insulin When Traveling

It depends. If youre traveling with insulin for less than a month, you do not need to refrigerate your insulin. Insulin can stay unrefrigerated for about a month before it risks going bad. All you have to do is protect your in-use available insulin pens and insulin vials against high heat so they stay at room temperatures at all times . If youre traveling to a hot weather destination, or if you stay outside in summer times, get an insulin travel cooler to be sure your insulin is safe.

If youre traveling with insulin for more than a month, you need to find an insulin cooler that is performant enough to keep your stocks of insulin at fridge temperature.

Also Check: Can Stress Raise Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetes

Do I Need A Doctor’s Note To Fly With Insulin

It’s not a mandatory item. But it makes life easier. When storing your medication in your hand luggage you might get questions from the airport security why you are traveling with insulin vials or insulin pens and needles. Instead of explaining you can show the note from your doctor.

When I traveled to Australia I had to transit to Thailand. Airport security checked my bags and requested an explanation why I was traveling with that many vials, needles, insulin pens, and insulin pump material. I showed my doctor’s note, gave them some info about my condition, type 1 diabetes, and that I need these medications to survive. They understood and let me continue on my travels. When I embarked on the plane I talked to the cabin crew, and they put my insulin in a cooler box with ice packs.

How Do You Keep Insulin Cold While Camping

Tips for Traveling With an Insulin Pump  The Blonde Abroad

Torres del Paine goes from sunny, to windy, to cold too…if you are lucky..snow! So, naturally insulin stops working at a certain temperature and even freezes- this was a definite possibility with -4 temperatures, so it was my trusted Frio that helped regulate the temperate of my insulin here and it worked, no insulin died!

Be aware, I have been using these Frio bags on all my trips away. That’s 7 months in total for South America and Asia. NONE of my insulin has died ever, and that’s even when it’s been out of the fridge over the recommended amount of time. That is a true testament to their ability to succeed in keeping your insulin working- and giving you one less thing to worry about when on an adventure!

I brought 25 bottles of insulin with me to both South America and Asia and I typically overestimated on purpose. Remember insulin companies state that insulin dies when out of the fridge after 28 days- well Frio has completely stopped that from happening, as I have not a single issue with dead insulin yet.

I donât like having to fuss around my type one diabetes I like to get what needs doing sorted, and enjoy my adventures. Knowing I havenât had to worry about my insulin, terrified if itâs not in a fridge it will die, has completely taken the stress out of that aspect of this trip.

I have been using insulin coolers for when I travel ever since my first trip away to Paris then to Bangladesh, to Thailand, & Rome.

Also Check: What Is The Best Treatment For Diabetes

Does Flying Affect Blood Sugar

When traveling with diabetes, many things can affect your blood sugar levels. Stress, change of habits, dehydration, lack of sleep, altitude, etc. During the flight, you may experience higher levels of blood glucose than usual. Limit your carbohydrate intake and adjust your insulin dosage. On the contrary, you may experience hypoglycemic episodes you’re not used to. Always have some fast-acting sugar snacks close to you in case it happens.

Rest assured that this is only temporary, and everything should go back to normal a few hours only after arrival at your destination.

Packing Insulin Syringes And Other Equipment

While the TSA allows diabetic travelers to pack all their necessary supplies in carry-on luggage, agents are required to thoroughly screen all of these items. That means all insulin, syringes and other supplies will have to come out of your bag at the checkpoint. Insulin must be clearly labeled, and syringes or other injectables should, of course, be capped and safely packed in a separate container. Travelers who require lancets for blood testing kits should pack them with the kits. Be sure to pack a labeled sharps container for safely disposing of syringes and lancets.

Pack all items in resealable plastic bags and stow them near the opening of the carry-on bag for quick retrieval. While the TSA allows travelers to pack insulin in checked bags, it may sustain damage there. Place all insulin in carry-on bags if possible.

Agents at international airports should also be prepared to screen and approve these supplies for passengers with diabetes, but there are always exceptions. Make sure all packages are clearly labeled, and factor in an additional 30 to 45 minutes in case of delays in the screening process.

Read Also: Foods For Type 2 Diabetics

How To Choose The Right Insulin Case

Insulin travel cases vary greatly in their designs, so you’ll want to take care when considering their features when you’re on the go. In addition to deciding whether you prefer a model with cooling fabric or removable freezer packs, you’ll need to decide how large the case needs to be to meet your needs. Some cases can hold multiple bottles of insulin, while others are more compact with just enough room for one bottle. The cases also differ in their color, giving you the freedom to choose a style that is visually appealing as well as functional.

*The total item count is approximate. The count will be inaccurate when sponsored products are displayed, when multiple sizes or colors of a product are grouped on a single product card, and when the in-stock filter is applied.

Other Big Tips: How To Make Your Trip Easier

Insulin Storage While Traveling

One of the biggest things you should know about traveling with insulin? Keep it by you whenever possible. Yes, you may have to hand over your insulin for inspection, but dont let it get much farther away from you than that. Basically, do NOT put your insulin in checked bags. First, if youve ever had an airline misplace your luggage, you can imagine what a stressful situation this will create with insulin. Not only can your luggage with insulin be misplaced, the cargo hold is also subject to completely unregulated temperatures. Always keep your insulin in your carry-on.

On that note, youre not excluded from this rule if youre driving to your destination. You still need to keep your diabetes supplies near you. That means no storing them in your trunk, and dont have them covered with other bags- if you need them or have an emergency you need to be able to access them as soon as possible. Also, if you keep them in the trunk or near the window on a hatchback, your ice packs can melt more quickly, making it difficult to control the temperature of your insulin.

Next, keep all your diabetes essentials with you, in your carry on. Consider modifying the idea of a diabetes emergency kit and making a just in case travel kit. That means keeping lancets, your meter, snacks, etc with you in case you have a blood sugar issue.

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  • Introduction To Travelling Abroad With Diabetes

    1. Introduction to Travelling Abroad with Diabetes2. Keeping Safe with Diabetes Abroad3. Tips for Travelling with Diabetes4. Useful Links & Further Information

    Diabetes affects around 3.5 million people in the UK 1% of whom have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. However, despite a diabetes diagnosis, travelling should not be restricted. Instead, people with diabetes should be able to travel the world without too many difficulties, as long as prior planning is considered.

    Despite this, there are factors that will come into play when travelling. These include your diet, the level of activity youll be undertaking and the climate. Each can have an effect on blood glucose levels and impact your health when overseas.

    Of course, youll also want to know what equipment and supplies can be taken abroad, whilst understanding the best precautions to take with either type of diabetes. Throughout this guide well address the important matters for travelling with diabetes, such as:

    • Crucial advice for planning your trip.
    • Maintaining health and controlling glucose levels.
    • The effect of different climates on your condition.

    Also Check: Medicare Requirements For Continuous Glucose Monitoring

    Going Through Airport Security

    If you use an insulin pump or a CGM or Flash GM device, they must not be removed even when going through airport security.

    Metal detectors are safe, but insulin pumps and CGM transmitters can be damaged by x-rays in security equipment. Ask airport security staff to physically check you and your luggage rather than using the x-ray equipment. Security staff are required to respond to such a request under government agency regulations.

    Can I Take My Insulin On The Plane With Me

    Learn how to prepare for travel when you are using an insulin pump ...

    Do you have diabetes and need to take insulin with you on a plane? The good news is that you can take your insulin on the plane with you. The bad news is that there are some important things you need to know in order to do so safely.

    The Transportation Security Administration has a policy that allows passengers to bring insulin and other medications with them on the plane. However, you will need to declare your medication to the TSA agent at the checkpoint. You will also need to show the agent your prescription or doctors note.

    In addition to bringing your insulin and other medications with you on the plane, you will also need to pack them in your carry-on luggage. This is because the TSA does not allow medications to be placed in checked luggage.

    When packing your insulin and other medications, it is important to keep them in their original containers. This will help the TSA agent to quickly and easily identify them. You should also pack a copy of your prescription or doctors note in your carry-on bag.

    If you are traveling internationally, it is important to know that the rules for bringing medications may be different in different countries. It is always a good idea to check with the local embassy or consulate to find out what the rules are.

    It is also important to keep your insulin and other medications cool while you are traveling. This can be done by packing them in a cooler or by using an ice pack.

    Also Check: Does Low Glucose Mean Diabetes

    What To Pack In Your Hand Luggage

    • Face masks or coverings can be disposable or reusable. Remember, you need to wash reusable face masks after each use.
    • Hand sanitiser 100ml for hand luggage.
    • Diabetes supplies, ID and meds keep these in your hand luggage if youre flying, along with a letter from your doctor, in case your hold luggage gets lost. Split them between separate bags if you can, for example, give some to a partner or friend that you’re travelling with.
    • Extra snacks in case of delays.

    In some countries, blood glucose is measured in milligrams per 100 millilitres and not in millimoles per litre . Take a look at our blood glucose conversion chart before you go.

    Can You Bring Insulin Needles On A Plane

    Yes, you can bring insulin needles on a plane. The transportation security administration has special rules and a security screening process for travelers with diabetes who need to travel with syringes or other sharp objects. You can find more information below in this article, or if you need more details, you can check the TSA guidelines.

    A list of most medical devices and medical supplies diabetics travel within their luggage, and their carry-on bag is

    • Needles and syringes

    • Glucose tablets

    Also Check: What Insulin Pumps Are Covered By Medicare

    Adjusting Insulin For Time Zone Changes

    • It is a good idea to speak with your doctor or diabetes educator prior to making changes to your medication schedule or dosage.
    • When travelling east, your travel day will be shorter. If you lose more than two hours, you may need to take fewer units of intermediate or long-acting insulin.
    • When travelling west, your travel day will be longer. If you gain more than two hours, you may need to take extra units of short-acting insulin and more food.
    • If you are crossing time zones, you should discuss your meal and insulin schedule with your doctor or diabetes educator.

    What To Take With You On Your Trip

    How to Keep Insulin Cold While Travelling | 4AllFamily Insulin Cooler Review

    When you’re packing for your trip, make sure to pack all of the diabetes supplies that you’ll need to manage your diabetes. This includes your insulin, syringes, needles, glucose tablets, an insulin pump, continuous blood glucose monitors, and any other supplies that you usually use. It would be best if you also packed extra supplies in case of emergencies. For example, if you’re flying, it’s a good idea to bring along an extra vial or two of insulin in your carry-on luggage in case your luggage gets lost or delayed. Make sure that you store insulin safe and keep your insulin cool at all times.

    One of the first steps is to check with the airline to see if there are any restrictions on carrying your diabetes supplies or medical supplies like insulin, needles, or other medical supplies on the plane. Each airline has different rules on carrying medical supplies and medical devices, so it’s crucial to find out what those are before you travel. Nowadays, all airlines allow you to take insulin and other medical supplies on board, but you may need to get a doctor’s note or declare the items at security.

    It would be best if you also packed extra supplies in a carry-on bag if your luggage got lost during the trip. And be sure to pack extra clothes too, just in case!

    Once you know the airline’s policies, you can start packing your supplies.

    Read Also: How To Calculate Insulin Dose

    Travelling Abroad With An Insulin Pump Cgm Or Freestyle Libre

    If you treat your diabetes with a pump or use a continuous glucose monitor or Freestyle Libre, make sure you contact your airline before you travel, if possible do this a few weeks before you fly.

    The Civil Aviation Authoritys Advisory Health Unit recommends that people with diabetes should always contact their airline before travelling to discuss medical devices they need to take on board an aircraft.

    Some airlines will require you to notify them of your medical equipment before the flight and fill in additional paperwork. If you don’t do this, you might, in some cases, not be allowed to board the aircraft with your pump, CGM.or Freestyle Libre.

    You should also speak to your diabetes team before you go. They can give your more advice about travelling with diabetes on planes. And should you need to remove your pump for any reason, they can provide you with any extra equipment like insulin pens and help plan your doses throughout your journey.

    Caution around insulin pumps and CGM onboard aircraft is because of wireless functionality. This might interfere with aircraft communication and navigation systems. If your pump or CGM cannot function without a wireless signal, then you may need to be prepared to remove your CGM and pump and treat your diabetes with an insulin pen while you’re in the air. You’ll also need to test your blood glucose levels manually with a standard blood glucose meter.

    See guidance on travelling with a Freestyle Libre on the Abbott website.

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