What Should I Know About Heat and Blood Sugar?
Were you aware that those who have diabetes, both type 1 and 2, are more sensitive to the heat than people who don’t have diabetes? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lay out some facts related to diabetes and high temperature and what it can do to the body.
- When someone has diabetes, there are oftentimes complications that can lead to issues like damaged blood vessels and nerves. These complications can affect the sweat glands in the body making it difficult for the body to cool correctly. This affect on diabetes and body temperature can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke which are both medical emergencies.
- Diabetes and body temperature in regards to high heat is also reflected in dehydration. Those who have diabetes are more easily dehydrated which can lead to various complications. These complications from diabetes and high temperatures revolve around elevated blood sugar. This can cause someone to frequently need to use the bathroom which in turn can lead to more dehydration.
- Diabetes and high temperatures can also change how the boy uses insulin. This is a direct result of heat and blood sugar changes because your levels may not be what they normally are when there isn’t high heat. Those who have diabetes will need to monitor their blood sugar levels more often and also adjust insulin doses accordingly.
The CDC has a checklist that diabetics should refer to that can help with issues related to heat and blood sugar levels. This checklist includes:
- Keeping yourself hydrated – drink a lot of water
- Avoid certain drinks – when in the heat stay away from alcohol and caffeine
- Monitoring blood sugar levels – test blood sugar often
- Take care of your medication – make sure to keep medicine, supplies and other things out of the heat
- Take advantage of AC – stay inside when it’s the hottest part of the day, enjoy the AC
- Wear specific clothing – wear light loose clothing
- Sunscreen + protection – make sure to keep sunscreen and a hat on you when you’re outside
- Shoes – keep your feet covered when you’re outside, even at the beach
- When in doubt, call a doctor – if you experience a medical emergency, get help
- Back up plan – if you are to loose power during the heat of the summer, have a back up plan
- Be ready to move – have an emergency bag ready in case of an emergency
What about heat and blood sugar and humidity?
If you live in a place like south Florida, it is hot almost all year round and extremely humid. It’s important to remember that even though it may not seem like it’s going to be a hot day, the combination of moderate heat and humidity can take its toll on someone with diabetes. Diabetes and body temperature in regards to humidity can affect your sweat. It’s hard to cool yourself off in a humid environment because your sweat doesn’t evaporate as easily as just on a hot day.
It’s understandable that it may be difficult to follow all of the steps and tips when it comes to heat and blood sugar but remember that your health is the most important part. Keep these pieces of information in mind anytime you’re out of a hot day or on vacation at the beach. A warm day can easily turn into a a disastrous day for someone with diabetes and high temperature. Make sure that your friends and family are also aware of some of these tips so that they can help you along the way and are knowledge about what to do if you are having a medical emergency.