Hi!  I am travelling to the US - San Francisco to be precise and I was wondering if there was anyone else who has been out there who could give me some idea as to how to prepare for such a time difference - eight hours behind us in the UK and how to deal with jet lag!?


I will be going to see my Diabetic Nurse again before I go but I am just worrying about it as I have never travelled so far while being diabetic.  I am going on my own and wonder if I need to adjust my insulin/eating regime BEFORE I go away and what to do when I get there.

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Hi there latvianchick,

I've travelled this trip many times and it is difficult to adjust. I used to live in the UK but now live out here and have to travel to and from here when I visit relatives. However, I usually try and take my medication a little later than usual a week or two before I leave. It's much easier to adjust to the time difference then. Try and get a sleep on the plane and if at all possible take a short sleep when you arrive just a couple of hours will make all the difference. Set your phone alarm so that you remember to take your medication at a regular interval.

How long will you be here for, remember that you will have to adjust again when you get home. After being here for a day or two you should be able to move to a more regular routine to match the one that you already have in the UK, remember, you may really only have to adjust one time of medication, the others should drop into place. Make sure you book a diabetic meal on the plane too.
Hi Thanks Denise. Did you fly British Airways? What were the meals like on the plane and was there a big hoo hah about juice or water?
I usually travel on Virgin, they're very accommodating. You usually get fed first if you order a special meal. They usually offer either juice or water and are very good about you going to the kitchen to get extra water when you need it. I've never gone with BA.

I have two forms of medication, Insulin and pills.. so DannyBoy is right, what works for me, may not work for you.. it's trial and error.. Just try and stay as close to your routine as you can get it.. if it's just a short visit here, then try to keep it as close to your UK routine as possible, if you are staying a while, try to adjust slowly.. and test often is the way to go. :-)
Thanks. My brother-in-law booked my ticket with British Airways - beggars cannot be choosers! I am sure it will be okay.
I have just never travelled through such a time change. 2 hours max! 8 hours is a bit more serious!
I too am on two forms of insulin - Hypurine Porcine Isophane and Hypurine Porcine Neutral and I guess you and Dannyboy are right when you say that what works for one, does not always work for the other!

I wish you well!
Hey Latvianchick,

There is a Phrase in Maori - Kia KaHa which means - be strong!! Travelling with diabetes is a bit of a pain in the rear but its very do able... one tip i could give you - TEST, OFTEN!! As the other response says to juggle things around in the few weeks before, i would have to disagree im affraid to say, last thing you want to do is confuse yourself and upset your control before going on a flight, depending on what your insulin is, it will simply be a case of taking something at a new/different time - easy.

Your diabetes nurse will be able to go through 'time travel' with you, dont worry, trust them. You'll need a letter to allow you to carry sharps and fluid on the plane, youll want to keep all your insulin in your hand luggage as a less likely to lose and b less risk of 'freezing' in the hold. Carry your hypo treatments with you everywhere - obviously, and as for a diabetes friendly meal on the plane!!!! this essentially is a low fat meal and it is geared more towards type 2 patients - there is roughly about 70g of carbs in main meals on aeroplanes so you prob wont need to highlight your 'condition' to the company! (why make your self stand out).

happy travels!!

ooo... sounds fun. I myself went to Barbados not long ago which has the same or similar time difference. I slept when I wanted to and my sugars tended to be raised a little bit although I put this down to the heat. Dont worry about changing too much. I stayed up two or three hours later each night to get used to the time difference. I am sure you will be fine. I was still on novorapid and lantus at that point so I just kept my lantus at 9 o clock UK time. I kept one watch UK time for all my diabetes and one watch for barbadian time and you will find out that with many finger prick tests, you shall be great and have a brilliant time.

Did this trip, although I guess I took the easy approach and kept on UK time :P Worked wonders though and wasn't a problem once over there...

I actually was quiet fortunate on the flight out though, was on American Airlines who I must admit where fantastic for it. Basically had a hypo on the plane (this was a few years back when they were on serious over kill about carrying food on to a plane on the whole terrorist kick). Also partially caused by my boss deciding to "help" and putting me down for a diabetic meal. Think I was almost out cold thanks to the stick of carrot and slice of lettuce they gave me :( Was lucky the stewardess noticed, so she went and got me a very nice meal from first class. She was a total star and after I was back together again we had a good chat and turned out her hubby was T1 also which is how she noticed...think my free first class meal kind of aggravated the other passengers hehe. But the stewardess was brilliant and good on AA for having her or things could of been really messy :)




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