Proper insulin storage is important for diabetes management, and heat is the number one enemy for your insulin supply. It can be a problem if you routinely faced hot summer, or live in area that has hot climate. Storing insulin properly is important to prevent the supply from losing its potency, especially if you often have to go out under the scorching sun and bring insulin supply with you. Make sure you prepare well before facing the hottest months or long period of going out.
Diabetes Management for Summer Trip
Ideal place for insulin storage is in the refrigerator, and you should not use it once it goes past its expiration date (typically around 28 days after opened and punctured). The cap must always be tightly closed when the insulin is not used. The insulin must not be frozen or kept in humid place. This also applies with insulin meter and test strip, since it works best if you store and use it in room temperature. However, this applies only at home or anywhere with refrigerator and good storage place.
What if you need to go out or drive for a long time? Here are some storage tips for summer trip if you bring the insulin supply:
- Use an insulated case to bring your insulin supply and meter. You can use FRIO case that keeps the insulin cool. However, if you don’t have it, any insulated case with good lid and clean, non-leaking material is great.
- Do not leave the insulin, insulin meter and test strip under direct sunlight, especially if you put it inside the car. It can damage the potency and reduce the ability of insulin meter to give correct reading. Plus, the interior of a car can heat up really quickly, so don’t leave your insulin case in an open bag or glove compartment. It is better if you carry it in closed bag with you.
- If you must spend time outdoor, bring a small umbrella. Use this umbrella to shade you when you use the test strip, to make sure that it works properly and not exposed to light and heat. If the test strip becomes too hot, wait until it cools down before you use it. Or, find a place cool enough for you to use the test strip and apply the insulin.
- Check the strip and meter before you go out, to see if they work properly. When your temperature numbers look askew or outside the range of your normal numbers (despite you not eating anything full of carb or sugar), it is probably not in good condition.
When you store anything in your bag, desk, glass-paneled cabinet or other spots, make sure you avoid direct sunlight exposure to your insulin supply, insulin meter, and test strip. You probably won’t know how the sunlight will shine on certain spots inside your house until you see it.
When the summer comes and temperature rises, having good diabetes management method to store insulin is important to make sure that your important medication is still potent.