Traveling With a Pump or CGM Device? Call Your Doctor First

Traveling by plane over the holidays? Do you use an insulin pump or a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device? You may want to talk to your doctor before heading to the airport.

Airport Security Scanners and Pressurized Cabins

According to an editorial appearing in the journal Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, the full-body / X-ray scanners used in airport security to screen us have the potential to cause these devices to malfunction.

Andrew Cornish, B.A., and H. Peter Chase, MD, a pair of researchers from the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado, Denver, co-wrote the editorial, entitled "Navigating Airport Security with an Insulin Pump and/or Sensor," arguing that despite a dearth of peer-reviewed research on the possible impact, the electromagnetic aspect of those airport security scanners pose a significant threat to the proper function of the motors in insulin delivery pumps and glucose monitoring devices.

They also noted that the pressured cabins of airplanes can cause these devices to boost insulin delivery by a slight percentage – a reality few are aware of.

A Note from Your Doctor

One possible way to avoid any problems with the electromagnetic qualities of airport scanners is to obtain a letter from your doctor, as the authors detail:

We currently provide all patients with a standard travel letter, which details the medical supplies travelers must keep on their person during flights and can be presented to security officials in the event they have questions during the screening process. Among other things, the letter states, 'This patient's insulin infusion pump should not be exposed to magnetic X-ray equipment, including a full body scanner. Please ensure that this device be hand-checked by TSA personnel.'

In the face of the potential consequences of a malfunctioning pump, it's a smart idea that requires very little effort. TSA personnel may be taken aback by it at first, but they'll figure it out.

You can read and download the editorial here.

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...