Changing time zones

In september we will be going to my hometown, which is two hours behind where I’m living now. How will this affect my son? Should I stay on the schedule we have now, or switch to the west coast time (we should be there a week or so)? He’s on shots if that makes a difference. Any other tips for travelling?

He’ll be fine, just make sure he drinks a lot of pure water after the flight. Flying puts high pressure variations on the body’s cells; water will help them do their job of life creation and waste management.

His internal clock will be mis-aligned and his circadian rhythms will be off, causing his melatonin/seratonin production to be early when you arrive and late when you return home. He will adjust after a few nights. Valerian root is a natural relaxing herb that helps immensely during the first few nights of time changes, helping the body to fall asleep and re-adjust. It is very safe and can be purchased at any health food store or pharmacy like Walgreens. Use 1/2 or 1/4 adult dosage for small children.

Most important, water is the key.

You should talk to your endo, but generally, when travelling in differing time zones, I’ve switched to the new schedule. Since he’ll be eating breakfast, lunch, dinner on that schedule and not your usual. Ask your doctor for prescriptions for all of your medications, syringes, and lancets - sometimes the TSA will ask about supplies. Carry on meds - and bring extras - 2 meters, extra bottles of insulin, extra syringes, lancets, strips. Store supplies in separate bags - so that if one is lost you have a back up. You’ll want to test more often during travel hours and as you’re adjusting to the new schedule… Hope this helps.

thanx! His CDE just told me yesterday to bundle everything together (she’s also t1), I guess the airports don’t like everything mixed up.

actually we use hylands calms forte :wink: I’ll have to see if there’s any carbs sneaking in that but it’s worked great prior to D. We huge on homeopathy here, my pantry looks like I robbed a hippy store lol.

I have been traveling cross country since I was 13 years old (when I was still on shots) and it’s really sounds a lot harder than it actually is. The first day is always a bit complicated, so I would just keep an eye on the blood sugars on travel day. They will probably be high because of flying (both because of the change in air pressure and also from sitting for so long). The next morning, just start taking the shots so they match the time of where you are. Do the same when you go home.

After you do this once or twice, you’ll figure out how to make it work better - whether you need to take less insulin, more insulin, change the time of the shots… Most of us can’t really predict this kind of thing. It’s one of the more annoying parts of diabetes!

As for travel in general, I travel multiple times a year and have not once been asked by TSA what my supplies are for. They saw my insulin bottle inside the package and immediately recognized it as insulin and that I was a diabetic. Most TSA officials know what this stuff is because they see it everyday. However, it never hurts, so you can bring prescriptions with you, just don’t be surprised if no one cares. I usually bring some supplies with me, and then the rest in the suitcase just because my carry-on bag usually is not big enough to carry all my supplies. Definitely bring twice as much as you need, though you are in America so if you forget anything, faxing over a prescription to a pharmacy is like the easiest thing in the world.

Make sure you test while on the plane. My blood sugars always go high, even if I’m just on a two hour flight, so testing is important.

If you have any other questions about traveling, feel free to email me at I’m actually getting ready for a trip to Chicago (from Newark, NJ) tomorrow. Luckily that’s just a 2 hour, 1-time zone change trip. Flying home for Christmas (in Oregon - 8 hrs, 3 time zones) is much trickier!

thanx! We’re flying to Oregon, that’s where my hometown is!

I’m from one of the PDX burbs… WL

I’m from Medford, it’s in southern oregon but I have relatives in PDX! I miss the weather there since I’ve moved to Texas!

We travel quite a bit with our son. We adjust the time on his pump gradually, an hour a day, for different time zones so it isn’t a shock on his body. His numbers are quite good using this method and it works well. If you are pumping, check your tubing for air bubbles. We always get bubbles from the pressurized cabin. His blood sugar tends to go low on flights as well so bring lots of supplies and snacks.

We bring all of his diabetes supplies in a carry-on suitcase and have never checked anything like that in. I’m not sure if I’d want to since the temperatures in the cargo area aren’t heated.

he’s not on the pump…yet! I don’t think we’re going to go now :frowning: Some kid broke my cars window and that on top of all the prescriptions is a lot of money this month! Maybe next year. But thanx for the tips!

I’ve been traveling between Cali and Europe the last few years and have had the most interesting experiences with timezones. Maybe its just me, maybe its just my diet in combination with where I’m traveling from. But when I go from one to the other (+/- 9-11 hours), for the first 3-7 days it is like I don’t have diabetes at all.

I know that sounds weird.

It is like no matter how much insulin I take, it is too much and I get to extreme lows. I almost have to take none at all for a few days. My endo can’t explain it. I’ll have to cut my doses by 75+% sometimes. I think its pretty cool actually, though very serious to watch at the same time.

Just thought I’d share my story :slight_smile: