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Diabetic in Thailand

  • Gusty79

    Joined Travelfish
    8th October, 2009
    Posts: 6

    Hi, this is my first post on this site. I have been reading alot on here and the info has been great. I am travelling to SE Asia for 6 months soon and have a query regarding my Diabetes. I need to store the insulin I need in a fridge otherwise it will go off...Do you think guesthouses/hostels without fridges in the room will allow me to use there own in house Fridge?? bearing in mind the quantity will be quite a few packs? Maybe I need to book accomodation with fridge in room ?

    Any advice on this issue would be appreciated, Thanks.

    #1 Posted: 8/10/2009 - 23:35

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  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6341
    Total reviews: 10

    Given the importance of maintaining a cool supply, I would get a room with a fridge if at all possible.

    Also, you might want to consider staying in locations where a supply can be found if something happens to your original supply. Just in case. I would ensure the countries you are traveling in have supply available AND that you won't get hassled bringing your insulin into country.

    #2 Posted: 9/10/2009 - 12:09

  • somtam2000

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    Joined Travelfish
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    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7061
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    As per MadMac, get a room with a fridge -- most mid range places have little bar fridges in the room.

    Note you can buy insulin in Thailand but it is very expensive -- better to BYO.

    #3 Posted: 9/10/2009 - 15:59

  • Gusty79

    Joined Travelfish
    8th October, 2009
    Posts: 6

    Thanks Madmac & Somtam, Yeah I guess i will have to budget quite a bit more for my trip unfortunatly. Also, does anyone know if Insulin is easy to buy in Thailand & approx cost?

    Thanks again.

    ps no idea what will happen in Laos/Cambodia etc..oh well!

    #4 Posted: 10/10/2009 - 02:34

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6341
    Total reviews: 10

    I can check on the cost for you, of course it will be a local, Thai, rural cost. Give me a couple of days. Room with a fridge shouldn't be all that much more unless you were really planning on staying in crappy rooms.

    #5 Posted: 10/10/2009 - 14:19

  • scottyheath-
    er

    Joined Travelfish
    30th March, 2008
    Posts: 89

    Hi there.

    I too am a diabetic - have been for 20 years and I also take insulin. You really don't need a fridge at all as insulin will keep for up to a month so long as it's not in full sun. If you keep it in your room in a dark(ish) place, it will be fine. Both my GP and the diabetic clinic confirm this and I know of other diabetics who do this.

    Now, you should also be able to get insulin on prescription from any hospital or doctor in the major cities of SE Asia and it doesn't cost too much either. That way, you don't have to have too much of a stock at any one time to become concerned about it going "off" after a month without refrigeration. I've had to get my meds/insulin in Bangkok before when I had all my possessions stolen and all the hospital required was that I took a blood test to confirm that I was actually a diabetic. From there, I got a prescription for my meds at very little cost (which was just as well cos I had no confirmation of my medical insurance as that was stolen too). The "People's Hospital" (can't remember its name but anyone from Bkk will know it) has no charge but you can give a donation if you prefer.

    As far as travelling with insulin in blistering heat, you can buy special packs which, when immersed in water, sets off a chemical reaction type thingie (technical term haha!!) so that it will keep insulin cool for up to 48 hours. I know in NZ we can buy them at the local diabetic centre for around NZ$35 and they last for ages. They form sort of a "chilly bin" type environment. Look online for them - you should be able to get them in your country - I don't see why not.

    Hope this has helped you - I always used to think that being on insulin would hinder my travels too but this year my husband and I are travelling overland through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and we aren't going to be anywhere with a fridge!

    If you need any more help, just ask.

    Hope you have a great time
    Heather

    #6 Posted: 14/11/2009 - 16:45

  • scottyheath-
    er

    Joined Travelfish
    30th March, 2008
    Posts: 89

    Hi again

    You might want to check out this link regarding price of insulin in Thailand. It's a little old, but according to various posts, 300ml for a pen refill is around 200 baht - not expensive.

    http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Insulin-t144639.html

    Cheers
    Heather

    #7 Posted: 14/11/2009 - 17:00

  • scottyheath-
    er

    Joined Travelfish
    30th March, 2008
    Posts: 89

    Oops - 300 unit, not 300ml......

    #8 Posted: 14/11/2009 - 17:02

  • ayla

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd September, 2010
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 4

    Hi All,

    another diabetic themed question -

    I am traveling round SEA with my Boyf this summer (nov-feb) and will ofcourse be attending the full moon parties and consuming many a bucket.
    So my question is - is it possible/easy to get my buckets with dietcoke ofr diet sprite (or anything sugar free really)? While i can get away with drinking rather sugary drinks (just loading upon insulin) its something id really rather not do as it can be a bithit and miss and generally can make me fall rather crap.

    Any help would be fab.

    xoxo - ayla

    #9 Posted: 8/10/2010 - 17:02

  • scottyheath-
    er

    Joined Travelfish
    30th March, 2008
    Posts: 89

    Hi Ayla
    You

    #10 Posted: 9/10/2010 - 05:54

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  • scottyheath-
    er

    Joined Travelfish
    30th March, 2008
    Posts: 89

    Oops - stupid computer
    Hi again Ayla
    I've usually managed to find diet coke in 7/11s in Bangkok and other larger cities but sometimes it's more difficult to find in smaller beach resorts. You might be able to find some in the small places but if I were you, I'd perhaps stock up on a couple of cans from the 7/11 in case you can't get it at the bars. Alternatively, you could use soda water - you can usually get that from most bars (though it doesn't disguise the taste of the gutrot you are drinking haha).....
    Hope that helps - have a great time

    #11 Posted: 9/10/2010 - 05:57

  • ayla

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd September, 2010
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 4

    Thanks scottyheather,

    hahah hopefully my liver and my blood sugars manage to make it through this trip! am getting very excited now!

    #12 Posted: 9/10/2010 - 06:15

  • scottyheath-
    er

    Joined Travelfish
    30th March, 2008
    Posts: 89

    Hi again
    Here's a thought - perhaps you could take some sugar-free Raro sachets with you from NZ so that if you get really really desperate for something sugar-free but with flavour, you could add it to soda water and make your own drink? Don't know if it works but I don't see why it wouldn't - better than risking getting normal coke in your bucket and then feeling crappy for the rest of the night! It would also save having to lug around your own cans of diet coke to full moon parties....... however, not sure if Raro's tropical fruit and passionfruit flavour would go with mekong whisky!
    Good luck with your liver! haha.....

    #13 Posted: 9/10/2010 - 07:21

  • pressdarling

    Joined Travelfish
    13th September, 2011
    Posts: 1

    Hi! First post, long time reader first time talker...

    Sorry to revive the zombie thread, but this is exactly the information that I'm looking for - I'm type 1, and travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia next June. Thank you for the info!

    Has anybody had any experiences with travel insurance companies covering pre-existing medical conditions? World Nomads (sadly) seem to exclude pre-existing, I see that CoverMore do accept certain pre-existing conditions include diabetes. Has anybody had to make a claim about a pre-existing medical condition, and if so how did you go?


    Thank you, and happy travels!

    #14 Posted: 22/12/2011 - 05:52

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