Touring with diabetes - any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Chuckanut, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    213
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    I was recently diagnosed with Type II diabetes and am planning a 3 week trip through the SW in May and I'm wondering how any other diabetics deal with the disease?

    I've got it well managed but still take Levimir each night and pills in the morning. I guess what I'm most concerned about is not letting my b/s drop too far while riding and not noticing it. I've been doing some 200+ mile rides when the weather permits and find myself pushing it to far because I'm not feeling the drop until I stop. And I'm not drinking enough while riding.

    I'll be bringing my large Camelback for fluids - just water or add something to it? What sort of snacks and travel foods have you found to be good? I work at a natural foods grocery so I'm used to just snacking as needed from the store, but this is definitely going to require some planning.

    BTW, I'm planning on staying on pavement and motelling it each night, that should simplify things a bit, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Tom
    #1
  2. Bear Rider

    Bear Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Northern Nevada Rural PairADice
    One thing that you can do is find a hard candy THAT YOU DON'T LIKE, and keep one or two in a pocket where you can get at them if you need to. As you gain experience, you will know when you need them.

    If you don't like them, you won't be tempted, and they're a good bit cheaper than those sucrose tablets.

    As an aside, if you are using the Levimir pen, you may find keeping it cool without freezing to be a problem. I use a Stanley Thermos that belonged to my dad. A small piece of ice enclosed in a ziplock or a small waterproof plastic tube will keep the interior of a Stanley in the proper zone for more than a day. As a worst case scenario, you can refresh the ice by bying a soft drink with lunch. I assume that if the pens get damaged inside the Stanley, I have just been in an accident severe enough that they are the least of my problems. :D
    #2
  3. liceyscrub

    liceyscrub ADV rider(mostly solo)

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Greenacres...no really.
    My wife has Type I and we have not had any issues. We have gone to AZ over thanksgiving and nor worries. She is now on the pump and it is even easier. My advice is pay close attention to you blood sugar, but don't worry to much. If you really are worried or want to keep track of it get a continuous gluclose monitor and that will really let you know what is going on.
    #3
  4. RabidRover

    RabidRover Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I have type II as well and have ridden some long distances (+1500 km's in one day). It sounds like you are keeping hydrated which is important and you are making sure you are getting a good night sleep which is equally as important. You want to try to keep your glucose levels at a consistent level as possible (no spikes or dips). I eat smaller meals but more frequently. Make sure you include protein with each meal (I keep jerky in the tank bag). Test frequently and listen to your body. Don't set unrealistic riding goals for the day - the long day riding I mentioned above not only endangered myself but those around me and I will not do it again. Also make sure you have a window if you need to take some time to get your numbers back in line. Be smart about it and don't let the 'betis win :thumb
    #4
  5. rxcoop

    rxcoop persnickety curmedgeon

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,671
    Location:
    cultural mecca of mid-atlantic
    there is a thread on this in "the perfect line and other riding myths"....do a search there and you will see a myriad of tips. one i always forget about is care of my feet,,,,i,e, dry socks, powder, etc.

    c'mon over....[​IMG]
    #5
  6. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    You are confusing issues related with Type I diabetes vs. Type II. Type I is a genetic disorder whereby insulin is not produced. Type I diabetics suffer from hypoglycemia mainly from improper insulin injections, but also because without insulin the body doesn't store glycogen which can be released over a longer period of time.

    Type II diabetics usually have a consistent high blood glucose level and rarely experience ketoacidosis (which results from low blood sugar and the body then uses fats and amino acids for energy). I would be surprised that you will ever experience low blood sugar even with the medication you're taking, unless you take the medication on an empty stomach or something like that. Your diet and fluid intakes seem to be taken from Wikipedia rather than sound medical advice.

    But let me blunt. Why the hell are you asking this group about your concerns about Type II diabetes? I have a graduate degree in endocrinology, and I wouldn't spend a nanosecond giving you advice, because I don't have access to your medical records and it would be highly unethical for me to tell you what to do. I would give you tons of advice, because I think you're doing some very wrong things, but that's not my job, and it's not my responsibility.

    And though there are a lot of smart people around these parts, they cannot possibly understand the level of your disease, the causes, and your medication. Talk to an endocrinologist (who's not me) in person. He will advise you correctly.
    #6
  7. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    Type I and II diabetes are really two different diseases. Some physicians and scientists are trying to change the terminology, because people confuse them all the time.

    In some senses, Type I is "easier" to manage, because it is truly one pathophysiology, no insulin.

    Type II has numerous causes and numerous pathologies. Your advice is outstanding for Type I.
    #7
  8. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    Keeping hydrated is not a treatment for Type II diabetes. IN fact, if you're drinking a lot (and subsequently urinating a lot), then the metabolic disease is somewhat out of control.

    Most clinical studies show that testing blood sugar in Type II diabetics has no positive outcome for patients. Complicated reasons for the poor results, but Type II diabetics need a long term control of their blood sugar.
    #8
  9. Chuckanut

    Chuckanut Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    213
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    Yikes, chill out, dude. I wasn't asking for treatment information, I have my doctor, my endocrinologist, and my nutritionist for that, and I've been successfully gotten things under control over the last 6 months.

    What I was asking was about practical aspects of diabetes and motorcycle trips. The comment about keeping my Levemir pen cold was just the sort of thing I was hoping for - here in the Northwet that's never a problem and I wouldn't have ever thought of it, but now I know it's something to prepare for.

    As someone relatively new to the disease and new to long motorcycle tours, I just want to be prepared. And this forum is a great place for practical advice. Medical advice I go elsewhere for.

    Tom
    #9
  10. RabidRover

    RabidRover Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    "Most clinical studies show that testing blood sugar in Type II diabetics has no positive outcome for patients. Complicated reasons for the poor results, but Type II diabetics need a long term control of their blood sugar."

    I agree with your sound advise on getting professional medical consultation (although it was interpreted by some as being a bit strong) but being a type II diabetic for almost 2 years has me concerned with your comment about the value of testing blood sugar. How else are you supposed to determine if changes to diet and exercise are having a positive effect? Wait every 3 months for your A1C test??? As for being hydrated, I consider that part of eating a balanced diet and general good health ...
    #10
  11. Yakima

    Yakima NC 700

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    537
    Location:
    Central Washington State
    I've traveled with an English product called "Frio." It's a pouch, in various sizes, with a liner containing water absorbent crystals, much like some cooling vests for riders, and bandannas for same.
    Insulin stays cool as long as the humidity isn't too high. I've traveled a lot with it, and it works. I know there are American versions too; don't know the name.
    #11
  12. FlySniper

    FlySniper Bleh...

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,664
    Location:
    Here
    Always, always, always keep some backup syringes on hand! Never rely on the pump 100% because it will eventually leave her high and dry. I HAD an Animas 1250 that failed multiple times (5 returns in 3 years). If you have a syringe handy you can draw insulin from the pump until you can get her taken care of properly. In a pinch, Walmart sells their own brand of R and N that can be had without a script (needles too!)(scripts are not required by law for R and N, but the pharmacy itself might not dispense w/out one.. Walmart will), which could be very handy if you're 1000 miles from home and the pump quits. Just talk to her doc to find out how to dose with alternate forms of insulin. (Hopefully you guys are ahead of me on this, but if not then maybe I can save you some greif.)
    #12
  13. rxcoop

    rxcoop persnickety curmedgeon

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,671
    Location:
    cultural mecca of mid-atlantic
    just an fyi....until last year pharmacists in PA could sell insulin without a prescription, but could NOT sell syringes with out one. "here's your insulin sir. syringes ? oh, i'm sorry, i can't sell those to you." :deal an added caveat, always check the laws where you are traveling or be 'self-contained'......

    also, i thought those california folks (i.e. leftcoastman) were supposed to be laid back. he writes like he's from jersey...
    #13
  14. markcap

    markcap Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    375
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley
    Thanks Doc, for making it clear. I'm a Type 1 and clearly understand what you are saying. I've been dealing with Type 1 since 1975 and it certainly gets in the way at times but I have successfully taking many trips by car & bike. Just keep with out of the choppy water! BTW, I am on the pump.

    To the dude with the initial question, my advice, get in shape and eat smart. And be prepared for the outdoors away from home.
    #14
  15. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    I'll PM you tomorrow about the studies. If I don't, just ping me by PM and I'll give you some detailed info.
    #15
  16. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    I don't chill out about bad medicine.
    #16
  17. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    Lived too long in NY, I suppose.

    Syringe "prescriptions" are strict in most states. Here in California, the State Board of Pharmacy considers syringes no different than Class 2 drugs.
    #17
  18. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    Well, if you're going to say that, let me say: :clap

    Type I diabetes is a physiological condition that is not caused by a lifestyle. It's just bad genes or something. Type II diabetes results from bad living, and is completely reversible (mostly).
    #18
  19. rxcoop

    rxcoop persnickety curmedgeon

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,671
    Location:
    cultural mecca of mid-atlantic
    glad you added "mostly".....mine is subsequent to a kidney transplant almost 15 yrs ago. there isnt' anything i can do other than to take care of myself as long as possible in order to stay off insulin (am at the oral plus byetta stage now)....:evil
    #19
  20. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    488
    Location:
    Motorcycling State of California
    I should have stated that Type II is "mostly" a result of bad lifestyle choices.

    There are so many "easy" lifestyle choices you can make to help your condition. Good, long, hard cardiovascular exercise every day. Eat high fiber carbs, like brown rice, whole wheat. No beer (sorry, that would be hard). Ok, not so easy!

    Anyways, you've done a good job for 15 years. You probably will live to 97! :clap
    #20