Travelling across time zones

By VoyageMD Latest Reply 2011-06-12 09:33:11 -0500
Started 2011-06-02 13:45:24 -0500

I am especially interested in helping travellers with diabetes. For this I am collecting comments about what to do about crossing time zones. I would value comments based on the following situations and I will post them on my website to help others:

1. Flying from San Francisco leaving at 8pm arriving 1pm UK time. What advice would you give for someone using multiple daily injections of mealtime rapid acting insulin such as Novolog and before bed Lantus? What if the person was taking twice daily mixed insulin? Is it much easier for insulin pump users?

2. What about advice for the return journey leaving the UK at 1130 am arriving in San Francisco at 2:30 pm local time?

Thanks for your help from VoyageMD

6 replies

VoyageMD 2011-06-12 09:33:11 -0500 Report

Also Would there be interest in a blood glucose monitoring system that alerts family and relatives if their loved ones levels become too high or too low whilst on holiday or overseas on business? I am trying to gauge interest in working with technology companies to create this

sunshine247 2011-06-05 00:50:51 -0500 Report

I have an alarm set on my phone to take my Lantus every night. I don't think you should change the time just because you go to a different time zone. Just set an alarm.

VoyageMD 2011-06-04 11:24:12 -0500 Report

Also do travellers with diabetes ever store spare insulin in an aircraft hold? If so have you expereinced any problems? Same question for Byetta and Victoza?

kdroberts 2011-06-02 14:59:10 -0500 Report

For both, with MDI of rapid insulin, just take it when you eat as normal.

The lantus is both tricky and easy. One way is take it as normal but adjust for the time zone, which may mean getting up in the middle of the night. If you take it in the AM you won't have much of a problem doing that. The other way, and what I do since I take mine at 9PM, is in the week or so leading up to the trip, move the time you take it up by an hour each day so the day before your trip you are taking it at the same time you would normally do but adjusted to your destination time. For example, I'm 5 hours behind UK time and take lantus at 9PM so I start 6 days before leaving and move it up an hour each day. The day before I leave I'm taking it at 4PM my time, and that works out well for flying since it's usually a night flight, which is 9PM UK time. Then a day or so before leaving I push back an hour each day and then continue to do so when I land until I'm back to 9PM my time.

It is easier for pump users I think since they use rapid acting all the time so just need to change the time on their pump and they should be fine. I may be simplifying that a little.

No idea about pre-mixed insulin, that makes my head hurt at the best of times.