Currently, most of the United States is engulfed in a summer heatwave. Many meteorologists expect the summer of 2022 to be one of the hottest on record. When the temperatures outdoors reach triple digits, people with diabetes have to think about the risks involved in spending time outside in summer.
While physical activity is a great idea for diabetes sufferers, spending long periods of time in the heat can be hazardous to their health. Most people fail to realize that extreme temperatures can affect a diabetic’s ability to control their blood sugar. If you want to make managing your diabetes easier during the dog days of summer, then consider the useful information below.
How Summer Heat Can Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
One of the main things a diabetic has to focus on is managing their blood sugar levels. While most diabetics are well aware of the effect that certain foods can have on their blood sugar levels, many are unaware of how hazardous extreme heat can be for their health. The more time you spend in the heat, the more you will sweat.
This increases your chances of becoming dehydrated. If you become dehydrated, your blood glucose levels will rise substantially. When these glucose levels rise, you will urinate more frequently. This will lead to further dehydration. Rather than making your diabetes worse, you need to focus on devising a plan to stay safe in the summer heat.
Heat Can Damage Your Diabetes Medication
Generally, insulin is able to withstand temperatures of up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If this medication is exposed to temperatures higher than this, it will start to break down. When this breakdown occurs, the insulin will be ineffective. Extreme heat can also damage other diabetes management equipment like monitoring devices and test strips. This is why you need to keep these items out of the summer heat.
Insulin Adjustments Might Be Needed
Most people exercise more when the weather outside is sunny and warm. Daily exercise can effectively lower blood sugar levels, which can reduce a diabetic’s need for insulin. Most doctors recommend that diabetics adjust insulin dosage just prior to participating in physical activities.
The main thing you need to do when spending time outside is to check your blood glucose levels frequently. By doing this, you can get a better sense of how the heat is affecting your body.
Stay Hydrated and Bring Along Healthy Snacks
If you want to give your body what it needs to thrive in warm weather, then you need to realize the importance of staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will allow you to rehydrate your body after sweating in the summer heat. You also need to take along some healthy snacks if you are spending time outdoors this summer.
There are a number of snacks that can act as a meal replacement. These snacks will allow a diabetic to prevent low blood sugar episodes. If you are not sure what type of snacks you need to be consuming, consulting with a knowledgeable dietician is a wise move.
By following these tips, you can stay healthy this summer.