Staying cool and healthy in the Summer
Summer is here!
Time for family gatherings at the beach, pool, park or backyard. As the weather heats up, you need to monitor yourself more closely as research shows that people with diabetes are more sensitive to high temperatures and humidity.
People with diabetes can become dehydrated more quickly than people without diabetes. When dehydration is severe, you may develop rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, excessive thirst, and you may stop sweating. Your blood sugar level can become unsteady because the higher temps can change how your body uses insulin. People with diabetes are also more likely to get heat exhaustion – so staying in the cool shade with a large glass of water is recommended!
Hot temps and humidity together increase the challenge to staying cool because your sweat doesn’t evaporate as well in humid conditions. Keeping your diabetes managed in the summertime can be done!
- wear light-colored, lightweight clothing
- stay in the shade as much as possible
- drink plenty of water
- avoid alcoholic drinks
- check your blood sugar levels more often
- know your medication recommendations (some medications can make you more sun and heat sensitive).
Exercise in hot temperatures can be a challenge. We recommend staying in air- conditioned spaces to get the workouts in as you will be less vulnerable to humidity and heat. But if you really love being outdoors, aim to get the workout or cardio-walk done in the early morning hours when it is a little cooler.
Heat and humidity are hard on your body and also on your diabetes supplies including medications. Never leave your glucose meter, test strips, insulin pump or other diabetes supplies in direct sunlight or a hot car. All of your diabetes supplies should be kept in cool, dry location(s). When traveling, insulin can be stored in a cooler but not directly touching ice packs or icy water.