Managing Type 1 Diabetes with CGMs and Pumps

Managing Type 1 Diabetes with CGMs and Pumps

Ah, summertime! The sun is shining, and the air is thick with the promise of adventure. But for those of us navigating the world with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), summer brings its own unique set of challenges. Fear not, for with a little

know-how and a dash of creativity, we can sail through the season while keeping our Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) and insulin pumps in tip-top shape.

Let's dive into some sunny solutions to keep our T1D tech cool and functional during the hottest months of the year.

1.  Stick it and Stay

One of the peskiest problems summer presents is the relentless peeling of adhesive. Sweat, humidity, and water activities can wreak havoc on the adhesive keeping our pumps and CGMs in place.

Sound familiar? Fear not, for I've mastered the art of adhesive reinforcement.

Whenever I'm gearing up for a workout or a day at the beach, I slap on some extra adhesive tape to ensure my devices stay put. Whether it's a fashionable patterned tape or a trusty medical-grade option, a little extra stickiness goes a long way in the battle against summer sweat.

1.  Keep it Cool

Just like us, our T1D tech isn't a fan of extreme heat. Exposing insulin pumps and CGMs to direct sunlight or high temperatures can damage the delicate components inside. So, when you're soaking up the rays poolside or lounging at a summer party, remember to keep your supplies in the shade or a cooler bag.

I've learned this lesson the hard way after accidentally leaving my pump baking in the sun during an outdoor event! Trust me; a melted pump is not the kind of hot accessory you want to sport this summer!

3.  Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Staying hydrated is crucial for everyone, but it's especially important for those of us managing T1D. Dehydration can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels and exacerbate the challenges of summer heat.

I make it a priority to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when I'm out and about in the sun. You can also opt for some 0 calorie drinks if you're feeling extra special!

4.  Dress for Success

Wearing an insulin pump and CGM in the summer heat can sometimes feel like a challenge, especially when it comes to finding the right clothing to pin your devices while staying comfortable. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that allow air circulation and minimize sweat buildup around your infusion sites and sensor sites. Consider wearing clothing with pockets or accessories like pump belts or adhesive patches to keep your devices secure while still allowing easy access for monitoring and insulin delivery.

5. Water Wizards

Swimming and water activities are summer staples, but they can pose unique challenges for insulin pump and CGM users. Waterproof cases and adhesive patches can help protect your devices from water damage during aquatic adventures, but it's essential to check manufacturer recommendations for water resistance and take extra precautions to ensure your devices stay secure and functional.

Additionally, keep in mind that prolonged exposure to water can affect adhesive strength, so be prepared to reinforce your infusion sets and sensor sites as needed to prevent displacement.

6. Plan Ahead

Last but certainly not least, planning ahead is key to a successful summer with T1D. Whether you're hitting the road for trip or simply spending a day at the beach, make sure you've got all the supplies you need to keep your T1D tech running smoothly.

I always pack a backup infusion set, extra CGM sensors, and plenty of insulin whenever I venture out during the summer months. It may seem like overkill, but trust me; you'll thank yourself when you're prepared for any T1D curveballs the season throws your way.

Now go forth enjoy the sun while you can and remember to stay cool and safe thorugh it all!

Signing off!

Jazz Geet Sethi is the Founder / Director of the Diabesties Foundation (

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