Kilimanjaro Altitude and Insulin Resistance

Hi there T1N -

I am preparing to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro next month and want to cap off my research for managing my BS while I’m above 10,000ft, as the body’s release of certain hormones can impact insulin resistance. Has anyone here climbed a >15,000ft peak or know a T1D who has? Any advice for supplements, etc.?
I am bringing supplies (pens, etc.) in case my Slim X2 cannot operate near the summit.


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Hello @wdunnagan and welcome to Type One Nation. I went to 10,000 but wasn’t there long enough to feel it. Many people say they will get stubborn highs at high altitude. Of course blood oxygenation is the first thing that changes and at 15k it can be significant and you can get hypoxia and high altitude sickness. Google the CDC and high altitude. Good luck. :four_leaf_clover:


@wdunnagan , check Tandem’s USER GUIDE. The Tandem tSlim X2 has an altitude alarm set at 8,000 feet MSL. The UG doesn’t indicate how the alarm is triggered. Check the UG.

There is a research piece on insulin and temperature. The research was done in refugee camps in Africa. I am sharing the link in case there is helpful content.

Insulin - Heat - Africa study

Here’s a link to a Diabetes Self Management article on athletes with Type1 - one is a mountain climber. I don’t know if DSM can connect you or has any resources but it might be worthwhile reaching out to them.

All the best to you on your trek!

@wdunnagan I learn something new every day. @987jaj thanks I looked it up too - Apparently, Tslim just plain quits above 10K feet, not 8k, there is a pressure sensor in the cartridge and another in atmosphere, the alarm, if it comes in - Stops all deliveries. Kaput. You cant use a Tslim at 15K feet you are going to need syringes.

Fun fact. Anyone who travels in airplanes is regularly subjected to a pressure altitude of 8000 feet when the plane reaches cruise altitude (the cabin pressure varies with outside pressure, slowly dropping after takeoff and climb) but the cabin (pressure based) maximum altitude is 8,000 feet. At least for Boeing. cheers.

Hi again. All I know about climbing Kilamanjaro is what I’ve seen in the movies. I do wonder about health requirements for treks like that: obviously a person has to be very fit - this is not for your “weekend walker” and I’m not saying we cannot do it - kudos you in fact! But I would think there would be limitations due to medical conditions. If course I’m thinking of how things are done here in the US - they may be very different where you’re headed. Jusf trying to learn.
Also, how are you going to keep your insulin from freezing, or will it be warm enough during your time there that it will be okay?
Looking forward to hearing from you when you return from the summit!
BTW, if you’re going to take bottles of insulin I got one of these vial cases from Etsy dot com. Very sturdy, although a drop from my table to the floor is very different from what you might experience on a mountainside, but I thought you might want to check it out. It sounds like you’ll need to use pens though.