Time Change Concern for Diabetics

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As we Spring forward this weekend, you'll be waking up to darker mornings.

Dr. Saleh Aldasouqi says this time change can be a serious problem for those with diabetes who rely on insulin pumps.

"Rather than patients injecting themselves with insulin by the needles or pens, they use this device," explained Dr. Aldasouqi. "This insulin pumps gives the patients insulin around the clock."

But unlike clocks on our phones...

"The clock inside the pump do not adjust automatically," said Dr. Aldasouqi.

Which could affect the amount of insulin diabetes patients get.

"That can result in either low sugar hypoglycemia or high sugar hyperglycemia, and both can be harmful," he explained.

It's up to the patient to make sure the pump's internal clock is on schedule.

"We need the sugar or glucose as a fuel," he said. "The brain needs it and pretty much every other cell in the body needs it."

That's not the only problem associated with daylight savings time.

Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that there was a 25 percent jump in the number of heart attacks that happen the monday after we Spring forward compared to other Mondays.

When we fall back, there's a 21 percent drop in the number of heart attacks on Tuesday.

Dr. Amneet Sandhu says there's a number of factors to look at, but sudden shifts in sleep that come with daylight saving can affect your health if you have diabetes or a risk of heart disease.

"This kind of change may create some problems because there's a biological clock in our bodies which works according to the day and night," said Dr. Aldasouqi.

He hopes to complete more studies to look at how big of a problem this is.

Dr. Aldasouqi also recommends patients and physicians to check and make sure insulin pumps are on the right time, especially when traveling to different time zones.

He says education and awareness can help patients prevent themselves from running into this problem.

There are talks about putting a GPS device in insulin pumps to help with tracking time zones or daylight saving time, but that could lead to privacy issues because of the medical data within the pumps.