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View Full Version : Diabetes


Beechnut
07-02-2017, 07:28 AM
Due to my family history, this is a subject that interests me. Is anyone involved with or know of any on going information about getting a 1st Class Medical while being insulin dependent or resistant?

I do a google search every once and awhile, but I'm looking for more of an active, ongoing source of information about FAA Medical reform, more inline with what the Canadians and British are doing.

Thanks.


rickair7777
07-02-2017, 08:41 AM
I've heard there is some liberalization, but frankly there are many things you can do to avoid T2 diabetes in the first place.

A family history does not mean you're going to get it, it may mean you're more pre-disposed to it. You should spend your energy researching lifestyle and health issues for at-risk or pre-diabetic people. If you eat right, exercise, and don't drink to excess you'll probably be just fine. Body weight is the biggest factor...you want to be thinner than the average American of your height. There are guidelines published for that, your ideal healthy weight is lower than you (and most Americans) would think.

I would not plan on a long-term career as an insulin dependent pilot...any waiver policies for that could vanish overnight, all it would take would be a crash or even incapacitation event involving an insulin-dependent airline pilot to shift the political winds. Remember waivers are exactly that...the FAA does not require any due process to revoke such a policy.

SonicFlyer
07-02-2017, 08:27 PM
It is my understanding that you cannot be insulin dependent and still posses a class II or I medical cert.


It is also my understanding that type 1 diabetes is not allowed but type 2 is allowed so long as it isn't controlled by insulin. And I believe that you get type 1 when you are young, but type 2 is when you are older.


Beechnut
07-02-2017, 09:41 PM
Before the thread creeps away from my original question, I'd ask you to go back and re read it.

I didn't ask what I can do to avoid it. I didn't ask what the difference is between the two or if I can fly with it.

I'm looking for current pursuits to keep pilots flying if they develop or have the diseases.

Thanks.

powers
07-03-2017, 11:19 AM
I don't think you can get a 1st class taking insulin. There are a lot of other meds you can take before you get to that point example Medformin. You just have to get your AiC checked every 12 months.It has to be below 7.0. I hope that answers your question

742Dash
07-04-2017, 05:50 AM
General FAA guidance for diabetes, pre-diabetes and so forth:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/ame/guide/app_process/exam_tech/item48/amd/diabetes/


FAA guidelines alphabetical order, with the big three variations of diabetes treatment (diet, oral meds and insulin):

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/ame/guide/dec_cons/disease_prot/


Best of luck.

lbfowlerjrmd
07-11-2017, 01:51 PM
yes. 1st and 2nd class medicals on a case by case basis.

AirBear
12-14-2017, 09:08 PM
A bit late to this thread, just rejoined the forum recently after over a decade away from it.

I've been flying with diabetes since 2004 . 6 months ago my pancreas waived the white flag and I finally had to go on meds I can't fly with. I've been there, done that so can answer questions anyone has about flying with diabetes. I've worked with AMAS (Aviation Medical Advisory Service) quite a bit too.

As of about 4 months ago the FAA is not giving Class 1 medicals to insulin dependent diabetics. This is info from AMAS. The FAA is under a lot of pressure to change this, but nothing has happened. Senator McCain is trying to get an Arizona Pilot approved but even he hasn't been able to get a decision out of the medical bureaucrats at the FAA.

A study done by the American Diabetic Assoc in 2015 recommended approval, with a long list of restrictions. But again, no action so far.
Canada has had insulin dependent diabetic pilots flying airliners since the 1990's due to their version of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

With waivers you can be on up to 4 different diabetic meds and still get a Class 1. There's an allowable med combo chart on the FAA website. Over the years I have been or still am on meds like Metformin, Januvia, Actos, Victoza, Trulicity, and even Glipizide which was just approved in late 2015. The latter is very powerful and knocked my sugar levels almost below the diabetic threshold. But it has a side effect of weight gain in some people, and I was one of those. Sugar levels went back up and I had to start taking non-allowed meds since there was nothing left on the approved list that I hadn't been on already. After getting off the Glipizide I dropped 25lbs in just 2 months. Then I lost another 6lbs over the next few months but my sugar levels actually went up 10%, that's how my Doctor knew my pancreas was flamed out :(

Again, I'll do my best to answer any questions since unfortunately I've become a bit of an expert on this.

AirBear

USMCFLYR
12-15-2017, 04:38 AM
A bit late to this thread, just rejoined the forum recently after over a decade away from it.

I've been flying with diabetes since 2004 . 6 months ago my pancreas waived the white flag and I finally had to go on meds I can't fly with. I've been there, done that so can answer questions anyone has about flying with diabetes. I've worked with AMAS (Aviation Medical Advisory Service) quite a bit too.

As of about 4 months ago the FAA is not giving Class 1 medicals to insulin dependent diabetics. This is info from AMAS. The FAA is under a lot of pressure to change this, but nothing has happened. Senator McCain is trying to get an Arizona Pilot approved but even he hasn't been able to get a decision out of the medical bureaucrats at the FAA.

A study done by the American Diabetic Assoc in 2015 recommended approval, with a long list of restrictions. But again, no action so far.
Canada has had insulin dependent diabetic pilots flying airliners since the 1990's due to their version of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

With waivers you can be on up to 4 different diabetic meds and still get a Class 1. There's an allowable med combo chart on the FAA website. Over the years I have been or still am on meds like Metformin, Januvia, Actos, Victoza, Trulicity, and even Glipizide which was just approved in late 2015. The latter is very powerful and knocked my sugar levels almost below the diabetic threshold. But it has a side effect of weight gain in some people, and I was one of those. Sugar levels went back up and I had to start taking non-allowed meds since there was nothing left on the approved list that I hadn't been on already. After getting off the Glipizide I dropped 25lbs in just 2 months. Then I lost another 6lbs over the next few months but my sugar levels actually went up 10%, that's how my Doctor knew my pancreas was flamed out :(

Again, I'll do my best to answer any questions since unfortunately I've become a bit of an expert on this.

AirBear
Thanks for that detailed and current information AirBear.

Sorry to hear about your medical problems.

I hope things are working out for you one way or another.

AirBear
12-15-2017, 01:36 PM
Thanks for that detailed and current information AirBear.

Sorry to hear about your medical problems.

I hope things are working out for you one way or another.

Thanks. I've got Harvey Watt and my company's plan. I'm actually a bit better off staying out in the long run assuming age 65 retirement. My Harvey Watt kicks in in a couple of years and pays me until age 68.5. That's the reason better off in the long term.
Just saw my 1st paycheck totally based on the Long Term vs. Short term disability pay. Ouch. Gonna be a lean 2.5 years until the HW plan kicks in. But other than the pay I like being medically retired. I average having to set a wake up alarm about once every two months :D



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