A Guide for Blood Sugar Management When Travelling Across Time Zones

You can travel with diabetes by adjusting your insulin injection schedule to account for the irregularities travel causes. It is important to think about your schedule ahead of time and plan your meals and injections with a care team. If you are travelling within America, you may not need to make an adjustment unless the time change you experience is over three hours. You can take short-acting insulin shots, eat more food, or adjust the time you take your long-acting insulin shot to account for a longer day. If you are travelling from America to Europe and back, you will need to take your insulin shot two to three hours earlier than normal while travelling and during your first day in Europe, based on local time, before switching back to your normal time when you arrive. Take your insulin shot two to three hours later than usual before heading home and during your first day home, based on local time, before switching back to your normal insulin schedule. Making these adjustments will ensure that you retain healthy blood sugar levels while travelling. These guidelines don’t apply to everyone, but should be discussed with a health professional and adjusted to meet individual needs.

Key Points:

  • 1Be aware of the time change when traveling across time zones as it relates to your insulin needs.
  • 2Traveling west and gaining hours may mean you need to eat extra or take more insulin or change the time you take it.
  • 3Make sure to get adjusted to the new time zone as quickly as possible, stay hydrated, and keep snacks on you.

If you lose or gain more than two hours to a time change, you most likely will need to alter the time you take your long-acting insulin.

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