Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

By James D. Lakin PhD MD FACP CFI
FAA Senior Aviation Medical Examiner 

You Can Fly With Insulin-Dependent Diabetes


December 1, 2021

There was a time when the diagnosis of diabetes was the prelude to a short life. Then insulin came along in 1922, which gave diabetic patients a reprieve from the immediate effects of a deficiency of that vital hormone.

However, as time passed it become apparent that longstanding diabetes, if not well controlled, caused degeneration of the eyes, kidneys, heart and blood vessels. Also, not all diabetics could control their blood sugars well.

Episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) would cause unconsciousness and brain damage if prolonged. Likewise, high blood sugars (hyperglycemia) led...

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