With Diabetes, Beat the Heat
When the days get hotter, keeping close tabs on your diabetes becomes especially critical. These no-sweat tips can help you avoid diabetes-related problems caused by summer heat.
Drink plenty of liquids
Dehydration—losing a lot of fluid from your body—can be a problem for anyone in hot weather. If your blood glucose is high though, the body loses more fluid in urine. This means you’re more likely to become dehydrated. Avoid drinks that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar. They can lead to more fluid loss.
Beware of heat exhaustion
People with diabetes are vulnerable to overheating, especially when working or exercising outdoors. Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, cold or clammy skin, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and fainting. If you feel this way, stop what you are doing, move to a cooler spot, drink fluids, and seek medical care.
Store insulin carefully
Insulin can lose its strength when kept in very hot temperatures, such as in the glove box or trunk of a car. Use a travel case with an ice pack to keep insulin cool on hot days.
- Berry, Judith, PhD, APRN
- MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician