Beating the Heat with Diabetes
With this year’s summer temperatures reaching extreme heights, the heat is taking a toll on most people. This is especially true for individuals with diabetes. Therefore, it is so important that you be careful through these summer months if you or someone you know has diabetes.
Mixing extreme heat with diabetes can be dangerous. Heat and moderate to high physical activity can cause profuse sweating and people with diabetes may become dehydrated, which leads to a rise in glucose levels. Individuals with both type 1 and 2 diabetes are usually more sensitive to heat than people who do not have diabetes. The following are reasons why:
- Diabetes can cause complications, such as damage to blood vessels and nerves, which in turn affects your sweat glands so the body cannot cool down effectively. Medical emergencies like heat exhaustion and heatstroke may follow.
- In high heat, people with diabetes are prone to getting dehydrated more quickly. Not consuming enough liquids can cause blood glucose to rise, and high blood glucose makes you urinate more, causing dehydration.
- High temperatures can affect the way your body uses insulin. This may require you to test your blood glucose more often, adjust your insulin dose, and be more mindful of what you eat and drink.
Whether you have diabetes or not, there are some basic tips that you should employ during the summer to ensure that you are able to enjoy the heat safely.
- Drink lots of water so you do not get dehydrated.
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. They lead to water loss and spike blood sugar levels.
- Before, during, and after physical activity, check your blood sugar. There may need to be a change in the amount of insulin you use.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Wear sunscreen when outside. Sunburn may raise your blood sugar levels.
- Try to stay in air-conditioned buildings and rooms.
Protect Your Equipment
While you take care of yourself during the heatwave, be aware that your diabetes medications, supplies, and equipment require attention too.
- Do not store insulin or oral diabetes medicine in direct sunlight or a hot car. Check the package information to determine how high temperatures can affect insulin or other medications.
- Keep insulin and other medicines in a cooler while traveling. You do not want to put insulin directly on ice or a gel pack.
- Heat can cause damage to your blood sugar monitor, insulin pump, and other diabetes equipment. Avoid leaving them in a hot car, by a pool, in direct sunlight, etc. Keep the same caution with supplies such as test strips.
We hope this information on having diabetes in the summer heat is helpful to you.
Empower Brokerage is dedicated to helping you educate your clients on the insurance they need and staying on top of their health. Whether it’s through webinar training, one-on-one calls, seminars, or marketing plans. We want you to be successful. Give us a call at 888-539-1633 you have any questions.
Kayla is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the marketing team at Empower Brokerage in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile