The Practical Aspects of Insulin at High Altitude

With the increasing prevalence of diabetes and current social philosophy of enablement, many more diabetics are travelling to high altitude where the rate of AMS in Type 1 diabetic mountaineers is no different than nondiabetics. Numerous effects of exercise, both degree and duration, dietary change, illness, stress, mountain sickness, counter-regulatory hormones, and altitude increased sympathetic output, and catecholamines have led to conflicting accounts of insulin requirement increasing or decreasing at altitude. Overall, it would appear that the effects of diet and exercise outweigh those of altitude. Good control requires continual insulin dose adjustment with frequent feedback from blood sugar testing, but glucometers can over- or under-read at altitude. Additionally, heat or cold exposure can degrade insulin efficacy; strategies for storing insulin are described.
Autor / Fonte:Paul Richards and David Hillebrandt. High Altitude Medicine & Biology. September 2013, 14(3): 197-204. doi:10.1089/ham.2013.1020.