Diabetes and Heat
On 28 June 2020 by Droobi
The combination of diabetes, heat and high humidity can be truly dangerous, as people who live with diabetes are more vulnerable to heat than other people.
High heat affects blood glucose levels. When combined with moderate to high activity, heat can make you sweat a lot and become dehydrated. This is even more impactful when people live with diabetes, leading to a rise in glucose levels.
Poorly managed diabetes can lead to complications such as damaging blood vessels and nerves, affecting sweat glands. When your body can’t cool as effectively, it can cause medical emergencies such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Also it is known that high blood sugars cause frequent urination. In high heat, people with diabetes get dehydrated more quickly as they do not drink enough liquids and urinate more, leading to increased blood glucose and dehydration.
High temperatures and heat can change how your body uses insulin, an important component of the body activity to regulate diabetes. You may need to test your blood glucose more often and adjust your insulin dose and what you eat and drink.
What are Droobi’s 10 advices for people who live with diabetes for this summer?
Test your blood glucose more often as high temperatures can cause blood sugar fluctuations.
Train yourself to drink enough water for your urine to be of clear colour. You can make sure to carry small water bottle with you at all times.
Avoid sugary drinks and food, they can be dehydrating.
Consult with your doctor about the need to adjust your medication dosage.
Wear light-weight and light-colored clothing, that allow you to cool when needed
Wear sunscreen and stand in the shade. Sunburn can raise your blood sugar levels!
Pay extra attention to protecting your feet wearing the most comfortable and cooling shoes. Don’t walk on hot sand, you will burn your feet without feeling it.
A fan might not be enough in very high heat ! Stay in air-conditioned places to stay cool.
Carry glucose tabs with you especially if you have frequent low blood sugar or had very low blood sugar previously, also you should have a glucagon kit available.
Protect your medication. You should store insulin and glucagon in the refrigerator when the weather is warm to avoid damaging it. Heat can make your medication lose its effect.
Even when it doesn’t seem very hot outside, the combination of heat and humidity can be dangerous.
Do whatever you need to stay cool even if it means asking for extra help from a family member, a friend or a stranger.