Insulin pumps and extreme temperature

Thermometer on a hot day

A change of scenery is always nice, and this summer my travel agenda has taken me to Arizona, South Carolina, and Minnesota so far. I first prepared for my trips by checking the weather forecast and learned I would be experiencing triple-digit weather, talk about change! 

I did research to learn about heat and insulin pumps and I would like to follow up on the insulin storage blog I wrote last fall. Here's the deal: you have to remember that the pump is a system. It isn't just a medical device but it also holds medicine, in this case it is insulin. So, although our user guide says to avoid exposure over 108° F, it also says that you need to be careful with insulin in extreme temperatures. The stability of your insulin is most important because the extra heat shouldn't cause any harm to the pump itself, but it could make your insulin weaker than it normally would be. (Note that most insulin companies advise not to store it in temperatures over 86° F, but check the label on the insulin you use.) 

You can live an active lifestyle during the summer and enjoy those rays just as I have done, but keep these things in mind for added protection:

  • Talk to your healthcare team about changing your infusion set more often or using extra tape to keep the set in place during the summer. Some people make it a point to put less insulin in their reservoir than normal so they can change out their set more often in hotter scenarios, like beach days.
  • Try not to expose your pump and insulin to direct sunlight; this may be a scenario where instead of wearing it in an external case or belt clip, you may want to slip it into your pocket so it is covered.
  • If you wear your pump under your clothes where it is touching your skin, know that this can expose it to moisture when you sweat. Keep the buttons facing away from your skin and, to keep it more protected, try a soft cotton pouch or a baby sock like we've heard some customers have done.
  • When I travel I use the Frio protective case to store my insulin, and I have heard that some pumpers actually wear their pump inside the Frio case on hot days. If you try this, just make sure your pump doesn't get wet while doing so. (Note: Medtronic has never officially tested this product so we can't guarantee its performance, so, keep a close eye on both your pump and insulin.)

If you have exposed your pump to high temperatures in the past, no need to worry but make sure to utilize these tips moving forward to keep your summer and diabetes management moving along as smoothly as possible. What is your favorite tip you may have learned along the way with hot summer heat? My personal thought on the best way to stay cool? Go shopping!


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Submitted by Joyce Fuller (not verified) on

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I am a golfer and I have noticed on very hot days that the pump will not work, it has to cool down to check your blood, it doesn't hurt the pump. I wear it attached to bra or waist. I have a soft pouch that attaches to the belt and it works great.. i have been a diabetic for over 48 yrs and have not changed my lifestyle at all. In fact, I started playing golf 6 yrs after being diagnosed and have had my 5th son as a diabetic, I had gestational diabetic with 4th son and it didn't go away..........

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Joyce Fuller (not verified)

Joyce, I’m sorry you’re experiencing this problem with your pump. If you email me at with additional contact information, I can have someone contact you to try to help.

Submitted by Diane Holber (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Loved reading this article. It just reassured me that I was handling my pump and insulin in the proper manner.

Submitted by Deanna (not verified) on

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My tip is to be aware of the tape/adhesive on the set. When you get sweaty, the tape can pull away from the skin and it can pull the cannula out with it. You may want to use a different type or a stronger type of skin prep wipe that will add a little more stickiness for the tape. You also may want to use a liquid skin adhesive to get the tape to stick better.

Submitted by Felicia (not verified) on

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Yes keeping the insulin cool is a high priority!

Submitted by Gary Barber (not verified) on

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58 yo male. Have a Minimed 723 for 2 yrs now and it's great! I always keep it in a soft pouch around my neck anyway. The kind like a passport pouch. Have several pouches to change out when I sweat, and I keep my insulin vial in a small cool diabetes carrying case, or slip it back in the fridge for the 3 days til next change. Also apply an IV 3000 Infusion patch after insertion to help hold in place. Has worked so far. And remember, this is an unusual season, at least in Illinois.

Submitted by Linda Donan (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I once noticed that my minimed was uncomfortably hot against bare skin, but figured out that I had a bad cold and fever and had heated it up with my own body need to be careful about that, too!

Submitted by naomi.kingery@… on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Thanks for sharing, everyone!

Submitted by Scott K. Johnson (not verified) on

In reply to by naomi.kingery@…

Naomi! Next time you're in MN give me a call!

Submitted by naomi.kingery@… on

In reply to by Scott K. Johnson (not verified)

Will do, Scott!

Submitted by Dani (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I have been following Medtronic's advice of prepping my site with non-scented anti-perspirant. I love in an extremely hot and humid city, and this works wonders!

Submitted by PAT & DAVI… (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

David has hax a pump for 32 yr. it has bee. lice saving for him. he is very peticular about how it is handled & make sure all the kinkz are correo cted immedintly. This machine has kept him alive. He follows instruction to a t. one off the thinvs he does deal with is scar tizsue after 32 yr of use.

Submitted by Daniel Penner (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

The main thing I noticed is that my screen starts turning black, or gets spotches of black in the screen. I am assuming that the dark splotches are from the heat. Sometimes it goes away, sometimes not. Also, my trainer told me to take the pump off while doing really hot work, but the downside of that is I could be away from my pump for extended time periods, and I dont always have ttime to stop and give myself a little extra insulin., I did it several times and one time I forgot about it, and my BGs went over the cliff. Wont ever do that again, especially now that I found out about the Temp Basal setting, what a life saver. Yall are really cool, thanks for all the info.

Submitted by Monica (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I am a nurse and was out camping with my friend and it was cold. Her pump stopped working, We got emergency help, but I would like to know if the extremely cold weather affect the function of the delivery pump?

Submitted by Sara Tilleskjor (not verified) on

In reply to by Monica (not verified)

I’m sorry to hear your friend’s pump stopped working while camping, Monica. It looks like you are in the UK. We're the US team, but please have your friend check here,, for local contacts who would be happy to help her out.

Submitted by Ruth (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I am concerned about wearing my pump in hot temperatures as in the past I have experienced extremely high blood sugars. This summer I am moving from the UK to France where temperatures will exceed 30C (86F) and am not sure how to cope. I wear my pump in an underclothing travel/money purse, so that it is positioned below my waist - it is pretty much invisible this way and doesn't interfere with clothing. I have tried a Frio case, but found my pump didn't quite fit and am not sure how it would be wearing the pump in a cold case. Any ideas?

Submitted by Sara Tilleskjor (not verified) on

In reply to by Ruth (not verified)

Hi Ruth, we're the US team. Due to regulations I’m not able to provide you direct support but if you fill out the form using the following link then someone from your local Medtronic team should be able to reach out and help answer your questions -

Submitted by Doug Mossop (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I enjoyed reading your article. I have also found that the extreme temperatures can cause insulin blockages in the line and the infusion sets can come off. To .help with the infusion sets I use a product called Skin Tac Wipes

Submitted by naomi.kingery@… on

In reply to by Doug Mossop (not verified)

Doug, I’m glad you enjoyed reading the article, and have found what works best for you. Please let us know if you ever run into any issues with your infusion sets in extreme temperatures, and we’ll be happy to try and help as best we can.

Submitted by Larryandnellie… (not verified) on

In reply to by naomi.kingery@…

What is the Temp Basal? I've never heard til just now. I'm having very high sugar readings in this extremely hot weather here on the farm. I'm researching for a solution. Have been type 1 diabetic for 52 years. OnMedtronic pumps for 20 plus years.

Submitted by Corina Collins (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I've noticed that my pump battery becomes weak in hot weather. This is something to keep a close eye on. Be sure to carry extra batteries.

Submitted by George Emmerich (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I am a police officer and wear a bullet resistant vest over my site. I sweat profusely under the vest in hot weather. Using a skin tac wipe keeps my site secure even sweating on it for 3 days. I also am pretty hairy and have not had to save using the skin tac

Submitted by Kat (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I live in NY and today was a record high temperature amongst a current heat wave. My pump was exposed to moisture (my daggone sweat!) and now I can’t get it to work. I know it’s out of warranty (long story) and I don’t know what to do!!

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Kat (not verified)

I'm very sorry to hear this, Kat. If you haven't already, please reach out to our 24-Hour HelpLine to discuss your options. You can reach them at 800.646.4633, option 1.

I stood outside on playground duty for 30 minutes in 100° weather. My pump was very warm to the touch. The next day my readings were way higher than normal. I changed the site and set and my #s were good again. I told my boss I cannot do playground duty if the temperature is over 85° to preserve the integrity of my insulin. They reassigned me to inside duty. Would you say I am correct in thinking the excess heat affected my insulin?

Hi, Kristine! It is certainly possible the heat had an effect on your insulin. I recommend checking with your healthcare team to discuss maximum temperature limits for your particular insulin. In the meantime, I hope you're feeling ok after your site change and if there is anything we can do to help, please give us a call at 800.646.4633, option 1.

Submitted by Leona (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I am traveling in November from Minnesota, Where we have already had some winter,To Pennsylvania.I am wondering if I need to keep the box of XXXXXXX XXXX from getting too cold in the car overnight, or protecting them from sun shine through the car window?

Leona, are you using Medtronic infusion sets or products from a different manufacturer?

Submitted by Donna (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I am on an omnipod5 pump- live where temps get over 90- since it is attached to my body, I can’t use a cooling pouch. Any knowledge on this to keep my insulin viable?

Submitted by sabrina.hudasanchez on

In reply to by Donna (not verified)

Hi Donna, please reach out to Omnipod for pump-related questions.

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