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Will hypoglycemia cost me my medical


Something I've been wanting to know, but 'were too afraid to ask'. Will hypoglycemia be a reason to withdraw my medical qualification as a GA Pilot?

What is 'hypoglycemia'? I have 'reactive hypoglycemia', which means that my body reacts on (wrong) food by making too much insulin. The result: a too low bloud sugar (glucose) level, which is called a 'hypo'. Which in turn means: shakiness, loss of concentration, the inability to drive a car or fly an aircraft for that matter.

The difference between diabetes and hypoglycemia is that: a) diabetes can be treated with insuline (a hypo will vanish by eating sugar, e.g. a bottle of Coke) b) diabetes means one lacks insulin; in my case on the other hand, I have sometimes too much of it in my blood causing a hypo.

Is it dangerous to fly with such a condition? Yes, very. But not if it is under control. Meaning: staying away from carbonhydrates (everything containing sugar, potatoes). Follow a diet which prevents from being too high or too low in bloud sugar levels. Eating on a regular basis.

I have this condition for most of my life. It is a rare disease. Thought it wise not to mention it to my medical examiner.


I would see another medical examiner and ask about it. He's bound to confidentiality and you're not seeking a medical from him.

Insulin related issues are tough because they are dangerous. We have a one eyed FI and examiner at our airfield so a lot is possible but that is a stable condition whereas blood sugar related things could be unpredictable. Recently a Premier League football player from my region had a terrible car accident because of hypoglycemia.

Within the past year or so, I have been told by two UK AMEs that nothing you say to them can be regarded as off the record, which I interpret as meaning that anything you tell them can go to the CAA.

It suprised me.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I guess that might be true as part of the process of your medical examination for the CAA (they work for the CAA, at least that's how it's over here). However, in case they are also GPs, you can just consult them and ask them for their opinion in your case should you seek a medical from them. That has to be confidential.

This year I used Frank Voeten, who is also used by several others I know on various forums. He is a pilot, and from my brief meeting with him I would be confident that you could talk to him firstly about whether there is true patient confidentiality, and secondly (if you get the right answer) about the specific medical issue.

I would have thought that if you were consulting with any doctor n a private basis , i.e. not for the purpose of the issue of a medical certificate, then the issues are between doctor and patient.

I don't know if Frank is on here, but he certainly posts on Flyer.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)
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