Traveling to a different time zone...What to do?

Hey everyone!
So I am traveling from Virginia to Las Vegas for a work conference this week (leaving Wednesday night) and have just realized that this will be the first time I have ever traveled across time zones with a pump (been pumping for 16 years)! I am curious to find out what you guys suggest I do in regards to the time settings on my pump. Should I leave it as is or change it to Pacific time? I will only be in Vegas for 3 full days, most of which I will be in training (sitting down). I have seen some people don’t change anything on their pump and are fine, while others change the time settings when they land in their destination. Since my eating schedule will be totally different from my “normal” schedule anyway, I’m wondering if changing the time on my pump will have a major effect on my blood sugars.

I only have 4 basal rates within a 24 hour period (midnight to 6AM, 6AM to 11AM, 11AM to 8PM and 8PM to midnight). I am on the Animas Vibe and a DexCom G4 with share if that helps. Any help or suggestion welcome :slight_smile:

I change the time at my arrival and then test more the first 2 days. Works pretty good but I tend to run low at first because my basal rates are higher at night. This is more of a problem when I am more than 6 hours out of my regular time zone. The CGM may be helpful for this as you can watch what’s happening a lot closer.

good luck enjoy the trip.

Hi Libby,

First off, being a Navy wife, how have you NOT traveled to a different time zone during the 16 years you’ve been pumping? :slight_smile:

My suggestions based on what I have successfully done several times; depending on the time of day you are traveling and the basal rate [you have only four basal rates] is to change the time on your pump before you leave. Weigh this suggestion with the fact that you will be extending your departure day [traveling East to West], possibly adding an extra lunch-time and if during your departure time your basal rate is for mostly a sedentary activity. Naturally, if your departure time is during your customary “high activity” setting, you may want to delay doing the time change until mid-flight or landing.

Whatever you decide to do, monitor your CGM a bit more closely and do finger-stick tests. No matter what advice you receive ahead of time, and your body’s reaction to change in routine [stress??], stay alert. During flights, I sometimes, but not always, go “low BG” - there is conjecture that change in air pressure could change flow rates of insulin, and then at conventions and continual eating-out need correction bolus.

The same theory should be used on your return - and depending on the clock, you may be skipping a usual meal-time. Good luck!

Hi Dennis. My husband has only been in the Navy for 6 years (we’ve only been married for 5) and we have been “lucky” in that we have been stationed in the same area the entire time thus far. He has deployed twice and is now on shore duty. Hopefully, we will be able to go to Europe at some point. I have done a lot of traveling since we moved to VA, but it’s always been up and down the east coast.

Thanks for the tips. I don’t typically go low on flights, but then again, I typically don’t spend more than 2 hours on a plane at a time. This trip will have a lot of firsts for me. I do plan to keep close tabs on my CGM. I’m also going to be spending some time explaining low symptoms to my traveling partner (she knows a little about diabetes but doesn’t have a T1 in her family). I have prepared my carry on with juice bottles and lots of snacks.

Hi Joe. Thanks for the suggestions. You brought up a good point about the overnight lows. Overnight is typically when I go low, so I will have to stay vigilant regardless. When I was packing my “snack bag” earlier, I thought I was overdoing it, but it’s always better to have too much than not enough.