Insulin: Coming in from the Cold

Categories: Wellness

Depending on the climate you live in, it may be important to keep a close eye on where you store your insulin.  The effectiveness of insulin can change when it is exposed to either extremely cold or extremely hot temperatures.  In general, manufacturers require that insulin be stored in between temperatures of 44˚F to 86˚F. What this means is that if you are a person who needs to keep insulin with you at all times, beware of accidentally leaving it in your car or any other non-temperature controlled area.

What can happen?

Insulin that has been left out in extreme temperatures can breakdown and lose its effectiveness.  It may no longer work when it is supposed to transport the glucose to your cells – this means despite taking your insulin, your blood sugar could still rise.  So if you are insulin dependent, be sure to keep your insulin within the range it needs to be in else risk going into diabetic ketoacidosis – which is not fun at all!  If your body is receiving ineffective insulin you could easily end up in the hospital from complications such as this.

What can I do?

  • Keep your insulin pump against your body instead of outside of your apparel at all to ensure your body temperature can keep it from getting too cold when outdoors.
  • Don’t leave insulin in a coat pocket
  • Don’t leave insulin in the car no matter how soon you think you will be back
  • Keep insulin in its insulated nylon case or purchase an insulating container to store it in.

Thanks for reading – be sure to stay healthy and safe this holiday season!

By: DiabeticCare editorial team; Published: 11-7-2013, 2:00 PM

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