Weather

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Although mild climates often make for desirable vacation destinations, most experienced travelers have encountered their fair share of hot days or cold nights while on the road. For an individual with diabetes, this brings about important questions regarding medical supplies and storage. Below are considerations to help you understand the effects of temperature on your diabetes management supplies.

Cold

As commonly noted, insulin should never be frozen nor used if it has been frozen in the past. Any insulin that has been stored in temperatures below 36°F (2°C) should be discarded. When insulin is exposed to low temperatures, it can affect the insulin’s potency and it might not work properly!

Top Tips

  • Wear your insulin pump as close to your body as possible
  • Cover your insulin pump with clothing in order to insulate it

Heat

Insulin should not be used if it has been exposed to conditions of 86°F (30°C) or higher. Past this point, the insulin will again stop working properly. Also, don’t forget to think about your pump. Insulin pumps should not be exposed to temperatures greater than 108°F (42°C), as it may affect the pump’s ability to function.

Top tips

  • Use a cooling pack that is designed to protect insulin and other diabetes supplies from extreme outdoor conditions.
  • Make sure that insulin pump tubing is not unnecessarily exposed to light or heat that could affect insulin quality.
Note: Many devices have what is known as a temperature lock out feature. When the device is outside of its suggested range of operating temperature and cannot give an accurate reading, it will instead display an error signal due to the current temperature (in order to avoid reporting an inaccurate reading).