Weather and Diabetes- The connection
Weather on a holiday or simply spending some outdoor time in the sun, heat and humidity have an influence on people with long term illnesses such as diabetes. This is partly because of an increase in bodily activity during hot weather.
The major difficulties during extreme heat and humidity:
Dehydration can be a major issue during hot weather, and if you have high blood glucose levels, diabetes care becomes even more difficult.
People who have a diabetic condition may need to increase their fluids in the hot weather, this they must do through regular water consumption.
- Sunburn: This can be trouble for the skin but also lead to a raise in blood sugar, leading to heat exhaustion.
- Difficulty in activity: Heat causes us to become more lethargic and decrease physical activity. Movement is important for diabetics and not doing so can hamper diabetes management.
Risk factor associated with hot weather in diabetes management
- Stress on the body: Extreme heat can release hormones in some diabetics that can lead to a rise in blood sugar levels.
- Dehydration: During extreme heat the body starts to sweat to cool it off which can sometimes lead to dehydration leading to difficulty in execution of steps to control diabetes.
- Fluctuating sugar levels: Another concern could be the risk of blood sugar levels fluctuation (rise or fall) leading to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
- Weight gain: Usually people with diabetes become less active during summers leading to less calorie burn. Not using up the calories and gaining weight is a direct risk in management of diabetes.
Tips to control diabetes related symptoms in hot weather:
- Stay hydrated: Doing this is the best you can do to your body. Drinking fluids like water helps but you can switch it with some non-caffeinated beverage at times as well.
- Manage your necessities: Diabetics need to pay close attention to insulin, strips and their blood glucose meter as the effectiveness may wear out during extreme temperatures.
- Cover your feet: Extreme heat can tempt you to wear flip flops or sandals but it is important that you protect your feet during summers. You could opt for diabetic socks even if wearing sandals as they will protect your feet from any wounds or cuts. Make sure you check your feet for any cuts or wounds daily. You could also wear comfortable shoes that help avoid blisters.
- Stay away from heat as much as possible: If you find that the heat is causing you to feel uneasy, find some shade and cool yourself down.
During extreme summers you need to test your blood sugar levels more often. Extreme heat can cause medications to breakdown and not be as effective as they should be, complicating your diabetes management plan.
Keep a glucometer handy so that you can monitor sugar levels whenever need be. It can also help identify rise or fall in sugar levels sooner leading to better management. You could also opt for a glucometer than gets connected to a diabetes management app on your smartphone. This way you can instantly share results with your doctor or family whenever you feel it is a concern.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, and the information provided has been verified by a health expert.