For the average person, the heat and humidity of summer can be tough; but for patients with diabetes type 1 or 2, it’s even tougher.
One of the complications of diabetes is the impaired ability of the body to adjust to rises in temperature. As a result, instead of cooling down, the body causes a dangerous increase in body temperature.
If you are dealing with diabetes, here are several tips to keep you safe and help you manage the trials of summer.
Plan outdoor activities strategically. The more time spent in the shade, whether relaxing or exercises, the safer you’ll be. While everyone loves to take their workout programs outside the gym, summertime’s the time to take your exercise regimen indoors, preferably in your favorite air-conditioned gym. If you prefer outdoor jogging, try to avoid the noontime sun, when heat is the strongest. Instead, jog early in the morning or late evening, when the sun’s rays don’t hurt.
Stay cool. If you’re not in an air-conditioned area, always have cooling items with you. Shades, sunglasses, paper fans are only a few things you should take with you. Dress appropriately, too. When humidity is high, wear clothes that allows your sweat to evaporate easily. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing.
Drink up. Dehydration can happen to anyone during summer. If you have diabetes, dehydration can also occur when your blood sugar level is high. The remedy? Don’t wait until you get thirsty, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Avoid sugary beverages, coffee, and sports drinks. Alcohol can disrupt your body’s ability to regulate body temperature. Water is the best option.
Check glucose levels regularly. Test your blood glucose levels at least four times per day, especially when you’re not feeling well. Heat can cause the levels to fluctuate and may cause a problem.
Care for your equipment. Store your blood glucose meter, insulin, and strips in a cool, dry place. If traveling, care the items with you. Never store them in extreme temperatures like in the freezer or in the car’s glove compartment. If these things overheat, replace them.
Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion. Diabetics are at greater risk to overheating. Make sure you know what to look out for. The common signs are: excessive sweating, feeling dizzy, weak, rapid pulse, cool, moist skin, low blood pressure upon standing, muscle cramps, and nausea. If you experience any of these, move to a cooler environment, elevate your legs, drink plenty of cool fluids, and adjust your clothing, If you don’t feel better after an hour, seek immediate medical attention.
Visit your doctor. It doesn’t hurt to go to your physician for a checkup, especially with summer coming up quickly. However, if you find seeing the doctor quite expensive, especially with your diabetes, try getting health insurance for pre-existing conditions. Always choose the insurance plan that works best for you.
Avoid the painful symptoms and cultivate a sense of control over your condition with the tips mentioned above. Do have any other tips to share?