April 22, 2000
Question from Seattle, Washington, USA:
My 6-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 4 months ago. We are planning a trip to Mexico in 3 weeks. Besides issues with food, I am concerned about days spent at the beach. Will warm weather and extra activity in the water have an effect on his insulin absorption?
The increased activity will almost certainly reduce his insulin requirements. As a rough guide I would suggest reducing the dose of short and medium acting insulins by a third on the first day and doing enough blood sugars to gauge the effect. It could well be that he will need even less. But other influences may be his appetite for unusual food and the possibility of some enteric infection, which could suddenly end the honeymoon period if he is still in it. Make sure he drinks only approved water and see if the kitchen will produce familiar foods (Mexican hotels are usually very good at this) and don’t eat outside the hotel. Be sure to take adequate supplies in duplicate.