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2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
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people with diabetics
Hi Sil,
What a coïncidence! I've just been mailing with a Dutch expert in a current research program on diabetic walkers. I tried to enlist but didn't quite qualify. I've been looking some years now for information for that special category of diabetics type 2 who take tablets and insuline on a daily basis but without much checking blood sugar levels.

My situation is very stable now so normally I only check 4 times per year or as soon as I feel I should which has only happened once (touch wood) on my daily walk to the shore. Every season my checks and balances are (touch wood again) 'excellent' so we're now cutting on the insuline while I'm very slowly loosing weight.

So I would like to know how to handle adjusting these doses in a new situaton of sudden extra loss of weight in extreme temperatures and how to keep insuline cool over a longer period, e.g. on the meseta. Please keep us posted with new info for this group. Thanks!

Northern Light

New Member
Northern Light

Hi everyone ! And interesting to see this topic. I was diagnosed with diabetes type 1 seven years ago. Another mountain to climb it seemed but sometimes life switches the cards on our hand and we have to make the best of the ones we got.
I have learned to live with this and I always try to adapt to my circumstances as I travel throughout.
I take 4-5 insulininjections / a day and meassure my bloodsugar before to adjust my doses. I will probably take my insulindoses down a bit while walking , and also in consideration to weatherconditions (if it s warm my body most likely will work more and use more energy ).
There are special little coolingbags with microchrystals inside , you put them in water for 10 min. to activate them. Later when they interact with air they function as a fridge would and they last for about 3 days . I have used them before on journeys to store my insulin which is sensitive for temperatures. They are also easy to bring and dont take up a lot of space. I bought them from a swedish company called ROMALORE , they have a site to order from if anyone is interested .
Havent walked a camino with my diabetes yet , but found my ways through everything else ! So believe me I will !

Greetings from Marina


I have purchased a Frio, which is a gel type pocket to keep my insulin cool after opening, but It seems I will need another vial before I complete my journey, which will need to be refrigerated until opening. Is is possible to get a U.S. prescription filled at a farmacia in Spain? Is there another way to handle this?
I have diabetes and take insulin injections 5x a day and two pills twice a day.

I carefully planned for my diabetes issues before I left home and walked the Camino Frances in May 2008.

There are other posts from 2008 that will give details ( Sorry but I do not know how to put the link here, but a search will find them)

As I walked I had to cut way back on my rapid acting insulin...I reduced my long acting insulin dosage by about a third in the moring and did not take my long acting insulin at night for fear of having a night time low.

With these adjustments my blood sugar levels stayed within normal range...no highs of course with that much activity, and more importantly no lows. Every one's body will act differently depending on how sensitive your insulin levels are to exercise...mine are very sensitive.

When I returned home I joked that I had found a cure for diabetes....simply walk 25 klms each day and that would keep you blodd sugar levels normal!!

I carried my insulin, sufficient for 60 days as I travelled before and after the Camino, in two Frio packs, which are amazing and make life so easy when travelling with insulin as there is one less thing to worry about....carrying needles and glucose meters and test strips and the two Frio packs with insulin added almost 5 lbs to my pack weight!

When I was there I checked with the drug stores in Spain...and found that there is no need for a perscription for insulin!

This is the same as here in Canada....I have yet to understand why.....but I know that in the US a perscription is needed. Also the insulin prices in Spain for Novo Rapid and NPH insulin were similiar to Cdn pricing.

I hope this helps

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2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Apropos of another medical issue, it was suggested to a friend that she have her GP write up a protocol which she would then get translated by a professional medical translator, in case she needed to consult with Spanish medical staff. Another tip is to have your prescriptions pdf'd and then stored as an attachment to a draft in your email program-- if need be, a copy can be printed off for use by a pharmacist.

Having left some prescription eyedrops in Canada, I went to the Centro de Salud in Jaca to get a fresh prescription written up, only to have the doctor tell me that there was no need, "es no narcotico," and to get myself to the pharmacy around the corner and buy some. It was promptly filled (more cheaply than in Canada) with much discussion about how the doctor at the Centro looked a lot like George Clooney but with short legs. In due course, my insurance reimbursed me for the expenditure.
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Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
I have undertaken 8 Camino's of various lengths as an Insulin Dependent Diabetic.

The last two have been on an insulin pump.

When I read the CSJ article I was quite amazed as most of it seemed obvious, though James has done us a great service by putting it on paper. I decided that I had become blasé.

I wrote a follow up article which was publsihed in the Confraternity of Saint James Bulletin, Vol 110, June 2010, pp. 14-17, 2010. This contains some additional tips gleaned from experience.

The article is not on line but copies of the bulletin may be available via http://www.csj.org.uk

If anyone is really interested I hold the copyright and can put it on this board, though it is a bit longer than most comments.

In 2008 one of the refugios had a note up that a local pharmacy would not issue insulin without a prescription, so just bear that in mind.

Personally, I have never used a Frio bag as Insulin is usually stable enough to carry along the Camino for a month. (There is some debate as to how long insulin kept at room tempretature can be safely used) However, any unfridgerated, unused insulin should be thrown as soon as you return home.

However, if you can get a Frio bag it sounds like a good idea, especially if you are walking in the summer. If you can't, bury the insulin in the middle of your rucksack in a container that cannot be crushed.

I am sure that all you know enough not to put insulin in a bag that is travelling in an aircraft's hold where it will freeze.


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Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
methodist.pilgrim.98 said:
If anyone is really interested I hold the copyright and can put it on this board, though it is a bit longer than most comments.
Methodist.pilgrim.98, I have seen this question come up a few times, so I know some people are going to be really glad to read your article.
Another way of sharing it might be if interested people PMed you via the forum. If you were both willing then to share e-mail addresses, it would be possible to attach the article in a private e-mail.
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
If the PM is sent by the website to my email, that's fine. Would be happy to respond if sent an email address to respond to.

Note the article is on Microsoft Word.


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Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Methodist.pilgrim, the PM will go to your inbox here on the forum- and on your 'user control panel' at the top it will show there is a new message. If you have set up things so you get a notification, there will be a notification sent to your e-mail address that a PM has been sent to you.
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Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
Afternoon (here in UK) Margaret

I've checked my settings and it looks like PM's will be sent to my email address, so that is fine.



Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Morning (here in NZ) Philip!
Greetings- now off to work here for the new day! I am certain some people are going to find your info very helpful, and will be grateful you have spread it more widely.

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