The summer heat can be tough on anyone, but it is especially tough on those with diabetes. Many people are not even aware of the many challenges that diabetics face with the changing seasons; there are even some diabetics who are unaware of how much care they need to take in the heat. In order to stay healthy in the hotter weather, here are some important tips:
Watch out for dehydration. It is important for anyone to stay hydrated throughout the summer season, but it is especially important for those with diabetes. Dehydration can actually be caused by both the heat and high blood sugar, so ensuring the body is well hydrated is key.
Stay cool. Wearing clothing that is light and easy for the skin to breathe through is a good way to help stay cool in the heat. The diabetic body has trouble keeping itself at a safe temperature, so becoming overheated quickly is a risk. Stay in the shade during extreme heat, take advantage of air conditioning and do not work the body too much during the hottest hours of the day.
Stay away from alcohol. Diabetes makes it difficult for the body to maintain a proper temperature, as does alcohol. Combining the two during the summer heat has the potential for disaster.
Wear sunscreen. Summer days are expected to be hot, but that does not mean that every day is going to be intolerable. When spending time outdoors and in the sun is feasible, wearing sunscreen is very important. Sun burns can increase the body temperature and can also increase the levels of blood glucose.
Monitor blood sugar regularly. Anyone can take all of the necessary precautions and still be at risk, so it is essential that the blood sugar is checked on a regular basis to ensure the body is doing well. Seeing there is a potential problem is much better than suffering the damaging after effects later.
Protect diabetes testing equipment. Test strips do not provide accurate results when they are exposed to extreme heat and/or direct sunlight. Ensure that the test strips are properly protected to obtain the best and most accurate results.
Summer can be a fun and relaxing time for everyone, even those with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. Taking the proper precautions ensure that everyone stays safe, healthy and happy all summer long.