Isolation tank + T1D

Hi! Weird question, but I'm going to throw it out there anyway. I was wondering if anyone out there (with Type 1) has ever used an isolation tank (sensory deprivation tank) with an insulin pump? If you've ever used one while on MDI I'd love to hear your thoughts too!

I have an Animas Ping (waterproof) and I've taken it swimming before with no problems. I can't seem to find any advice or research via Google/Google Scholar/library databases.


Hi Sarah. I came across your post because I'm wondering the exact same thing.

I got interested in floating (aka using an isolation tank) after hearing about it on the Joe Rogan podcast. But I'm a little nervous about taking my pump in there with the heavily salted water. It seems like 90 minutes is a good amount of time to spend in a tank, but that's quite long to be disconnected for, so it's a bit tricky. I also use a Dexcom CGM, and have some concerns there as well.

If anyone has any experience with this, it would be super helpful. Thanks!

I can't see the salt being a problem. Animas pumps are fine in the sea.

The key with any waterproof device in saltwater is to check your o-rings beforehand and give it a freshwater bath immediately afterwards. Saltwater is notorious for working its way into waterproof devices that are left with residue on them because the water never really "dries".

Of course, you want to make sure your basal rates are dialed in. Depending on the water temperature, you might want to consider leaving your pump on the edge of the tank, to protect the insulin in the cartridge from becoming overheated.

MarkR, I have done a fair amount of scuba diving where I disconnect the pump for 60+ minutes and then correct (if needed) when I am back on the dive boat.

Thanks for the response Mike.

Yeah, that makes sense. Even disconnecting for 90 minutes isn't horrible, but the whole point of an isolation tank is to let your mind completely relax. So I'm trying to avoid having to worry about highs or lows when I'm in there.

My experience comes from Scuba too. For me an extended disconnect is definitely not something I would ever do, but I'm talking about a disconnect here - no insulin at all. I don't see any problem with the Ping or, for that matter, the Omnipod that I use so long as the basal keeps being delivered (i.e. the pump isn't disconnected or turned off.)

On the other hand I can't disconnect for more than about 30 minutes without starting to see fairly bad BG highs after the disconnect. Insulet say that up to 60 minutes is OK with the Omnipod and, yes, I've done that (once) and it didn't kill me but it was just unpleasant (because of the temporary high BG) afterward.

YMMV; many diabetics who use pumps still produce insulin and removing the pump then isn't a big deal, it's just a matter of knowing what works for you.

If you have to disconnect for an extended period the basal can be replaced, or partially replaced, using long acting insulin. I have a Lantus prescription for precisely (and only) this purpose.

Thanks for all of your advice and encouraging words! So far I've taken my Ping into the tank with me twice with no issues - YAY! I have also worn my Dexcom sensor+transmitter in the tank with good results too (I've had it placed on the abdomen, it is not constantly submerged). I keep the receiver in a ziploc bag near the tank and my readings still show up.

That's great to hear. Thanks for the update!

I still haven't tried it. I live in NYC I looked into it a bit, but all the facilities were either super expensive ($150+ for 90 minutes) or didn't have good reviews. Need to do some more research

Given the VERY high salination of the water, you should likely disconnect.

No problems in/because of either tank I used. It was interesting, different. But nothing magical in any way.

Curious though, given the POINT of a sensory deprivation tank being to avoid exterior everything isn't it literally counter productive? No accusation, just wondering a technical point...

I feel like the point of the isolation tank it so have a positive physical/mental/emotional benefit. Being completely disconnected would not accomplish that. Letting my pump float by my side, I truly forget it is there, plus I have the peace of mind knowing that I am still receiving the insulin essential for my well being. However, I get what you're saying - if you can't resist looking at your pump or CGM through the process I suppose it would be quite counter productive.

Ouch! That is costly. Have you tried looking on Groupon? The place I go to in Calgary also offers a discount if you book with a friend (separate tanks, obviously).


I've done around 20 hours in isolation tanks in total, always about 90 mins at a time as they are expensive in the UK and you pay per hour unless you buy your own.

Typically I bolus before and remove the pump without issue.

However there were ledges in the tank I used, so I could have easily kept the pump out the water if I wanted.

I didn't spike taking it off and I didn't want to risk taking a pump into heavily salinated environment.

Takes me at least an hour to zone out and stop focusing on sensations and thoughts ha ha.

Bit over rated in my opinion, I think those who get the most out of them are high haha.

Cool things isolation thanks :)