Does altitude affect your BG numbers?

By T1mama Latest Reply 2012-09-09 18:38:23 -0500
Started 2012-09-09 14:09:30 -0500

Since my diagnosis of T1 diabetes a couple of years ago i have traveled on a plane a few times. Each time my sugar drops dramatically so I ALWAYS have to keep some orange juice with me. Then, a few months ago, I went up north for a couple of days and my sugar was constantly dropping the entire weekend. I have asked my doctor and he said that altitude shouldnt affect my BS at all but I can tell that it does. On one of my plane rides my sugar dropped all the way down to 38 which is the lowest it has ever been. I thought I was going to pass out. Does altitude affect anyone else's sugars?

2 replies

Nick1962 2012-09-09 18:38:23 -0500 Report

Mays may be onto something. I don't think altitude does it, but thde stress. I have no problems with flying, but somewhat experience the same thing. It's also happened on a cruise (I'm not a strong swimmer, and still a bit apprehensive of open water). Even though I feel calm, the brain must be working overtime behind my back.

MAYS 2012-09-09 14:41:18 -0500 Report

Possibly…Let me explain why.

Flying, and high altitudes can have an effect on other blood related issues that may have an indirect function on one's blood glucose level in this way, STRESS!
Stress can raise blood glucose levels, if you are nervous about flying (for whatever reason) that could raise your blood pressure causing stress and your body will compensate for this by raising your blood glucose level by releasing stored glucose into the blood stream.

If someone has Sickle Cell trait, they may suffer pain and stress due to living in cities with high altitdes (such as Denver, Colorado) flying as well as high altitudes makes their condition worst, add to this the fact that the individual has diabetes can make it tougher than one can ever suspect.

There is very little to say that diabetes is affected by high altitudes or flying.

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