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July 26, 2001


Question from London, England:

I have booked to travel to Thailand and Cambodia for nine weeks, and I have type 1 diabetes. I have received the amount of insulin I need for nine weeks but have been told that the insulin will only last for a month. Can I get insulin in Thailand? If not, and I look after my insulin well enough, will it last? Reading through the many pages on diabetes travel. I cant find anyone who has gone away for more that 1 month. Have I made a mistake in booking to go for so long?


From: DTeam Staff

One can go away for as long as one can get or take supplies. You should be able to get insulin supplies in the big cities of Thailand and Cambodia, but why not just carry supplies for your entire trip. If you are going with someone else it would be prudent to take more supplies so that some can be lost or stolen and you still have sufficient to get through. Most any hospital emergency facility would have insulin if you are stuck, of course. (The Boy Scout motto = be prepared! )

Also remember that in such hot climates you will need to have some ice packs that you might cool down each evening in a refrigerator so that the insulin does not spoil from extreme temperatures. If you are really roughing it, you can keep the insulin supplies relatively stable temperature by digging a hole in the camp site each evening and then retrieving the supplies the next morning. A mobile telephone would also be a worthwhile investment if you do not have one that works in Southeast Asia so that you can call for help in a medical emergency.

Discuss what you are planning to do and how you are planning to do it with your diabetes health care team so that they can give you more specific advice. The more you check blood glucose levels, the better, so that there will be no surprises for you.