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 prevent diabetes-related problems caused by summer heat.

Drink plenty of liquids

Dehydration occurs when you lose a lot of fluid from your body. It can be a problem for anyone in hot weather. But if your blood sugar is high, your body loses more fluid in urine. This means you’re more likely to become dehydrated. Stay away from drinks with alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar. They can lead to more fluid loss. Some diabetes medicines can also raise your risk. So can water pills used for high blood pressure.

Beware of heat exhaustion

People with diabetes are at risk of overheating. This is especially true when you work or exercise outdoors. Signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy sweating

  • Cold or clammy skin

  • Muscle cramps

  • Tiredness

  • Weakness

  • Dizziness

  • Headache

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • 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. But be sure not to let the insulin freeze.

To make your insulin shots less painful, some providers suggest that insulin be kept at room temperature. At room temperature, insulin will stay good for about a month. If you buy multiple insulin bottles at one time, store the extra bottles in the refrigerator.

Keep your glucose testing strips at room temperature. Keep the cap on the container. This will help you get the best results.Keep them in the refrigerator if your room temperature is high.

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