7 steps to help you handle summer’s steamy days
You may enjoy the warm temperatures and bright sunshine, but if you’re diabetic, summer heat can be dangerous. If you have diabetes, the heat can increase or decrease your blood sugar dramatically. Pay attention to how you’re feeling when temperatures climb, and take these seven steps to keep your blood sugar where it should be:
Monitor blood glucose levels. Check your blood sugar at least four times each day—more often if you are not feeling well.
Keep your insulin cool. Insulin pens and vials need protection in extreme temperatures, hot or cold. So if you are spending a day at the beach, keep your glucose meter, insulin and any injectable drugs in a cooler, not in your car, where temperatures can exceed 120 degrees on a hot day.
Cover your insulin pump. Insulin pumps can malfunction when temperatures rise above triple digits. Keep yours covered or use a cooling device.
Exercise in air conditioning. If the thermometer rises above 85 degrees, exercise inside. Sweating and dehydration can be more dangerous if you are diabetic, especially if you take insulin. If you still want to get your workout in outside, do it earlier in the day or later in the evening, when temperatures are cooler.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. If you choose electrolyte-balanced fluids, such as sports drinks, be sure to take the sugar content into account.
Watch for signs of heat exhaustion. If you start sweating excessively, feel dizzy or faint, or if you develop cold or clammy skin, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat or nausea, go someplace cooler, drink clear fluids and seek medical attention.
Use common sense. Apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses.