It’s this time of the year again: time to float in the pool, make your grills sizzle or just relax in the sunshine. Summer really is the perfect time for playing outdoors, but along with all the fun comes high temperatures and humidity. People with chronic conditions have to take precautions in the heat, especially individuals with diabetes.
- Drink plenty of caffeine-free fluids and keep hydrated. Dehydration can easily lead to heat exhaustion, and may ultimately result in heat stroke. Diabetic patients are particularly susceptible to overheating on tough summer days when blood glucose runs out of control. While drinking a small amount of caffeinated beverages is fine, over consumption can have an impact on blood glucose levels.
- Wear appropriate clothing for the summer, such as lightweight cotton, wide brimmed hats and sandal-style diabetic shoes.
- Find a safe way to store and transport insulin. Diabetic patients should carry insulin with them wherever they go, but this can pose a problem on summer days. Insulin shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight or extremely high temperatures. Keep your insulin in a cooler or refrigerator in your car so that your medication kit can stay cool when it’s baking outside.
- Check your blood glucose level at least four times a day. Closely monitor your blood glucose, especially when you are not feeling well.
- Avoid doing strenuous activities in direct sunlight. Whether you are working out or engaging in other outdoor activities that require a lot of energy, try to schedule it on early mornings or late evenings when the heat is less intense.
- Watch out for symptoms of trouble: if you feel dizzy, nauseous, have cool or clammy skin, or sweat excessively, be extra careful because these are indications for heat exhaustion. It is advisable to move to a cool place and drink more fluids until the symptoms abate.
Staying well in the summer heat poses challenges for people with diabetes, but as long as you are on the lookout for dangerous signs and take actions immediately, you can enjoy summer as everyone else does!
About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality back brace, including a high quality lumbar brace, please visit mmarmedical.com.