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Insulin storage tropical temperatures

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Graham Devon, Jan 20, 2021.

  1. Graham Devon

    Graham Devon Type 1 · Member

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    Fairly recently diagnosed type 1 here using Tuveo and novarapid. I was wondering what effect tropical temperatures will have on my insulin. I've just booked a month in Sri Lanka for December and have purchased a 6 pen extra large Frio wallet. Will it harm my insulin if it is out of the fridge for 16 hours (unopened pens) this will be the duration of the flight and transfers. I will be carrying it in hand luggage as am aware that hold baggage can drop below freezing. Anyone having experience of using frio wallets in the tropics I would welcome advice.
     
  2. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi Graham,

    Been to a few hot places using the Frio. You should be fine.
    Allow the wallet to breath if you keep it in a bag. (It works vie water evaporation?) Preferably with a secure mesh bag pocket in something like a "day pack?" Keep insulin with you on the flight in the cabin.

    Have fun!
     
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  3. Graham Devon

    Graham Devon Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks, sort of puts my mind to rest. I was envisioning a situation where my insulin went bad and trying to source fresh stuff out there.
     
  4. In Response

    In Response Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have kept insulin in Frio for about 3 weeks in hot climates with no problems.
    Never had the chance to take the whole week off work ... and work doesn't send me anywhere as exciting as Sri Lanka.

    I would recommend looking to re-fillable pens if you are not using them now.
    The cartridges take up a lot less space so you could take more spares with you.
     
  5. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    I tend to keep the bulk my supply stuff in the accommodation's fridge when I get "there."
    Then use the wallet for the pen in use whilst out & about exploring. :cool:
     
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  6. Graham Devon

    Graham Devon Type 1 · Member

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    I'll ask my gp about re-fillable pens, I'm pretty new to this so been going along with diabetes clinic advise, they started me on lantus then switched to tuveo which seems to work well for me. One thing in my favour is that I seem to tolerate rice quite well but spuds put a rocket booster under my blood sugar.
     
  7. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    My exprerience, (long time since diagnosis.) is bolusing for rice, I fair quite well.
    Spuds have always been my nemesis.. (I just don't do them any more.)
    Try celeriac? You may be pleasantly surprised as a potato alternative.
    I personally prefer the taste.
     
  8. floml123

    floml123 Type 1 · Member

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    Hi Graham,

    Most insulin is fine out of fridge for up to 30 days, so 16 hours will be fine. I've traveled around Asia a lot as a type 1 diabetic often carrying lots of insulin supplies for multiple months of continuous travel. Couple of tips if you need them:

    - Hotel mini fridges can be temperamental (much more so than normal sized fridges) so be aware when storing your supplies in them. I usually turn the temp right down, and use a water bottle to check nothing is freezing in there. Frozen and then unfrozen insulin will not work / be a lot less effective.

    - If you can get them from your doc, get an insulin info card for each of your insulins (think they call them insulin passports but not 100% sure). These are small info cards (size/feel of credit card) which detail exactly which insulin you use, if you were to get in to a situation where you needed to get more while you're away.

    - I found I need a lot less insulin in tropical climates, due to the heat/exploring etc., so be careful of big doses and always carry glucose tablets, or whatever you use for low blood sugar situations!

    Enjoy your trip! My favourite paces in Sri Lanka were Tangalle, Ella and Hikkaduwa!
     
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  9. Graham Devon

    Graham Devon Type 1 · Member

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    Good point on the mini fridges. I intend to create a laminated card detailing my medical issue with one side in English and the other in Sinhala. Will be based in Beruwala but travelling around by motorcycle (I know but being an ex London courier the traffic holds no fear for me) I'll likely leave the bulk of my insulin in Beruwala and carry 1 pen of each with me.I have a couple of good friends who are local so have got support if things go pear shaped.
     
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  10. Glucobabu

    Glucobabu Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I carry my supplies in a small insulated cool bag with ice packs wrapped in a microfibre cloth and put it in my hand luggage. It will remain cool for about 20 hours. I keep the pen in use, glucose tablets etc in a small zip up bag with me on the flight. Once there I put all my bulk supplies in the fridge. If the mini fridge looks frozen solid I request the kitchen staff to put it in their fridge ensuring they understand it must not be frozen. So far everywhere I have been they have been happy to oblige. Out and about on day trips use Frio bag keeping it moist with bottled water. Remember to refreeze the ice packs before long journeys by car, train and return flight. I have travelled all over the world over the last 40 years with no major mishap. Always ensure you have glucose, biscuits etc with you while on the move and in your hotel room. With experience things get easier to manage. Enjoy!
     
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  11. Graham Devon

    Graham Devon Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. Very useful information and very much appreciated. Quick update which may be useful to travellers.
    I have just sorted out the travel insurance which covers both myself and the other half. It is through the nationwide building society and you must have a flexaccount or flexiaccount.
    The Mrs has copd, she has had lung cancer which cost her a lung lobe and is on steroid inhaler and brumophine patches for pain control. She is now in 5 year plus remission from the cancer.
    I have high blood pressure and type 1 diabetes which was diagnosed in october last year. Blood pressure contolled by 2 medications, diabetes controlled by 2 medications tuveo and novorapid.

    Nationwide gave us two options. No cover for my diabetes condition would cost us £48 plus £24 totalling £72 for us both.
    Full cover for my diabetes, high blood pressure 2 mediacations for both totalled £156.

    I paid the 156 right away before they find anything else wrong with us.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
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