How to Survive Zombies When You Have Type 1 Diabetes – An Updated Guide

You may have read our guide for surviving the zombie apocalypse with Type 1 diabetes. Contributor Gary Scheiner, a certified diabetes educator with Integrated Diabetes Services, recently sent in his own ideas for how to outsmart zombies while keeping blood sugar levels in range.

Anyone who knows me knows my passion for diabetes care and treatment, but there’s something else I’m passionate about – The Walking Dead. In one episode, the writers/producers melded two of my top interests by dropping a character with Type 1 diabetes into a Walking Dead episode. Of course, she became a zombie snack about halfway through the episode.

I was inspired to create my own checklist for surviving the zombie apocalypse with Type 1 diabetes. Here is what you should do if you begin to hear reports of random acts of cannibalism:

1. Concentrated insulin (U200 Humalog, U500 Regular, U300 Toujeo) are good choices because they will last a whole lot longer, per vial/pen, than U100 versions.

2. Frio pouches, which use the principle of water evaporation, offer infinite cooling of insulin without the need for batteries or ice.

3. Horde meter batteries along with test strips. Or consider urine glucose testing, which ain’t perfect, but given the situation, you could do worse.

4. Infusion set tubing is ideal for tripping up walkers who are pursuing you. It’s tough, stretchable, and virtually invisible. It also makes a handy choking device, and can be used to tie up your enemies.

5. Since backpack space is going to be at a premium, be sure to carry rapid-acting carb sources in an ultra-concentrated form. On a per-volume basis, Fig Newtons may be the most potent food on the face of the earth. Figs and dates are a good substitute.

6. If (when) you are injured, and you suspect your blood sugar is high, save some of the blood to distract walkers. I’ve gotta believe zombies would be drawn to a cup of sweet blood.

7. If possible, make sure your basal insulin doses are set properly before society falls apart completely. You may have to go for long stretches without eating, so you want to make sure your blood sugar holds nice and steady between meals.

8. Speaking of basal insulin, be prepared to cut back on your doses. All the running, head-smashing, and missed meals are sure to cause some weight loss and improve your insulin sensitivity.

Photo credit:  Gene Page/AMC

Do you have more diabetes-related zombie apocalypse survival tips to add to this list? Email our editor at

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Gary Scheiner is an award-winning certified diabetes educator. He and his team of clinicians at Integrated Diabetes Services are available for individual consultations via phone and the internet.

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