As the temperature climbs outside, it becomes more of a danger to stay in the heat without taking necessary precautions. If you have diabetes, the heat can affect you more than others, so it’s important to keep a few things in mind in order to help you properly manage your diabetes and stay safe outside.
How does the heat affect diabetes?
If you have diabetes, exposing yourself to hot temperatures can affect your blood sugar levels, especially if you’re dehydrated. Dehydration can cause a rise in glucose levels, which can lead to frequent urination and even further dehydration. If your treatment includes insulin and you’re dehydrated, your ability to absorb the insulin dosage is decreased.
Also, it’s important to remember that extreme heat can degrade medications and damage management supplies. If you need to take your medications in the heat, keep them in a cooler bag without direct contact with ice. Extreme heat or cold can affect your medications and supplies.
How to manage diabetes in the summer
- Stay well hydrated
- Ask your healthcare provider about insulin adjustments prior to exercise
- Test blood levels frequently
- Be proactive in protecting medication and management supplies from the heat
- Bring snacks with you to prevent drops in blood sugar levels
- Avoid sunburns
- Watch for signs of heat exhaustion: dizziness, excessive sweating, muscle cramps, headaches, rapid heartbeat, nausea, and fainting
- Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day
Although it may take a bit more planning and extra precaution, you can still enjoy summer activities while managing your diabetes.