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Insulin In Hot Weather

Tracking Insulin's Health In The Summer Heat

Tracking Insulin's Health In The Summer Heat

Sunscreen: check. Water bottle: check. Beach ball: check. Insulin cooler....? Yep. For those of us who use insulin, summer heat creates an extra level of complexity and worry. The real question we all ask ourselves in the heat of the summer is whether our fun-in-the-sun will cook our insulin and leave us having-not-so-much-fun in an air conditioned ICU unit? There's a whole industry of solutions dedicated to helping us keep our insulin cool, ranging from cooling packs such as the ReliOn and others, to portable fridges, to high tech cooling crystals. Hell, we're even running a Giveaway contest this week in which our readers can win some of these products! With much of the U.S. suffering under a stifling drought-baked summer, the question of just how hot insulin can get is on all our minds. But you have to wonder if these products are serving an important need or just preying on our fears. To find out, we asked the manufacturers themselves, some leading insulin experts, and the American Diabetes Association — and guess what? The answer isn't as clear as you might like. Not Your Grandma's Insulin First, a bit of history: Didn't grandma keep her insulin in the fridge all the time? Well, only if she read the label. The original pork and beef insulin formulations were supposed to be kept cold all the time. As cold insulin stings like hell to inject, the move to being able to keep the newer human insulin and later analogs at room temperature was a great victory (!) for those of us who are human pin cushions. But wait a minute... whose room temperature are we talking about? My father used to get annoyed with me when I'd shovel ice cubes into my glass of red wine. "Wine is supposed to be consumed at room temperature," he'd huff. "Yeah, in the frickin' French Alps,where room te Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Summer: How To Beat The Heat

Diabetes And Summer: How To Beat The Heat

Diabetes and summer: How to beat the heat You're smart to be thinking ahead. If you have diabetes, you're at greater risk of heat exhaustion, which occurs when you're exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time and don't replace the fluids you lose. Follow these tips to stay safe in hot weather: Prevent dehydration. Both hot weather and high blood sugar can cause dehydration. So it's doubly important that you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Water is best. Avoid alcohol, sugary beverages and sports drinks. Protect yourself from the sun. The heat index can be up to 15 F (9 C) higher in full sunlight. Stay in the shade as much as possible when you're outside. Wear a hat and sunscreen too. Wear light, loose-fitting clothes. When humidity is high, your sweat can't evaporate as well. Wear clothing that allows sweat to evaporate easily. Plan outdoor activities to avoid the heat. Schedule outdoor activities during the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Alternatively, consider walking in a shopping mall or department store. Check your blood sugar. When you're out in the heat, consider testing your blood sugar more often. Peggy Moreland (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 11, 2018. Managing diabetes in the heat. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed April 11, 2018. Continue reading >>

Diabetes In The Sun – Staying Safe In Hot Weather

Diabetes In The Sun – Staying Safe In Hot Weather

Dehydration is a major issue in hot weather, and higher blood glucose levels can further increase this risk. People with diabetes need to increase their intake of fluids in hot weather, drinking regularly during the day and focusing on drinking water. The body’s metabolism is higher in hot and humid weather, which can lead to an increased chance of LOW blood glucose levels, especially for those on blood glucose lowering medication. Insulin will also be absorbed more quickly, which can also increase the risk of hypoglycaemia. Long periods of inactivity in the sun can also affect diabetes control, and the risk of HIGH blood glucose levels, which could lead to hyperglycemia. Hypoglycaemia – Don’t disregard the symptoms Heat exhaustion can develop when the body finds it difficult to keep cool. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, muscle cramps, stomach cramps and pale skin. As some of these could also be due to unstable blood glucose levels, it’s important to test regularly. Hypos may be slightly harder to spot in hot weather so take care not to disregard symptoms such as sweating and tiredness, as these can easily be overlooked as potential symptoms of hypoglycemia. To prevent hypos, be prepared to test your blood glucose more often, particularly if taking part in physical activity. Take extra care when driving and test your blood sugar before and after each journey. Try to stop regularly to check your blood sugar if taking longer journeys. Insulin You may need to adjust your insulin levels during changes in temperature. If you are experiencing higher or lower blood sugar levels and need advice about adjusting your insulin levels, speak with your healthcare team. If your levels are consistently higher than expected, it is worth con Continue reading >>

Hot Countries And Insulin???

Hot Countries And Insulin???

As most of you are aware, we are off to Uk to see my husbands parents. On the way there and back we are having a week in Hong Kong. We are starting to think about preparations since it is now not just a case of us packing and jumping on the plane! While in Hong Kong, we are going to be out and about as much as possible. The weather is going to be similar to what we are having here in NZ now - 25 degrees C with 80% humidity. What is the best way to carry the insulin pens that he will be using while walking around Hong Kong? All his spare insulin will be kept in the mini fridge at our hotel room but if we are out and about all day/night we will have to take the current insulin with us. We are thinking of frio bags. We assume that the fact they will be cool but not cold like a fridge means that the insulin won't get too cold. Mum to Samuel - non D but 13 and hormonal As most of you are aware, we are off to Uk to see my husbands parents. On the way there and back we are having a week in Hong Kong. We are starting to think about preparations since it is now not just a case of us packing and jumping on the plane! While in Hong Kong, we are going to be out and about as much as possible. The weather is going to be similar to what we are having here in NZ now - 25 degrees C with 80% humidity. What is the best way to carry the insulin pens that he will be using while walking around Hong Kong? All his spare insulin will be kept in the mini fridge at our hotel room but if we are out and about all day/night we will have to take the current insulin with us. We are thinking of frio bags. We assume that the fact they will be cool but not cold like a fridge means that the insulin won't get too cold. Be careful putting insulin into a hotel mini fridge. IF the insulin freezes, it's a gon Continue reading >>

Heat And Type 1 Diabetes

Heat And Type 1 Diabetes

Note: This article is part of our Daily Life library of resources. To learn more about the many things that affect your health and daily management of Type 1, visit here. Whether experiencing hot summer temperatures or a tropical vacation, it is important for everyone to beware of the heat – and the various effects that it can have on our bodies. Have you ever noticed your blood sugar either spiking or dropping rapidly in severe temperatures? Many people with Type 1 diabetes run into this issue and have been baffled as to why. Heat may have much more of an impact on your blood glucose levels than you realized! Keeping a close eye on your BG becomes even more important when in areas with higher temperatures. Here are some possible explanations to the heat’s role in blood sugar fluctuations, and some factors to keep in mind while enjoying your summer fun in the sun with Type 1! High blood sugar Heat can spike blood sugar levels easily if we are not properly hydrated. When the body is dehydrated, blood glucose becomes more concentrated due to the decrease in blood flow through the kidneys. This makes it much more difficult for the kidneys to remove any excess glucose from urine. How to fix it? Adjust insulin dosages as instructed by a medical professional, and most importantly drink plenty of water! Low blood sugar Blood glucose levels have been known to plummet in the heat – especially when combined with exercise. Why is this? Heat can cause the body’s blood vessels to expand, which in turn can speed up insulin absorption and potentially lead to hypoglycemia. This can be made worse when exercising due to the increased blood flow to certain areas, especially if insulin is injected in the legs. Also consider that hot tubs/jacuzzis or hot showers/baths can have the s Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Hot Weather - Staying Safe In The Heat

Diabetes And Hot Weather - Staying Safe In The Heat

Diabetes and Hot Weather - Staying Safe in the Heat There are hypo and hyper risks in hot weather Whether you are going on holiday or simply spending some time outdoors in the heat, high temperatures and the close humidity currently sweeping the UK do have an influence for people with long term conditions such as diabetes. This may partly be explained by increased activity in hot weather, but there is no doubt that the heat does affect some people with diabetes in other ways. What problems can hot weather cause for people with diabetes? Dehydration can be an issue in hot weather, and higher blood glucose levels can further increase this risk. People with diabetes may need to increase their intake of fluids in hot weather, drinking water regularly through the day. One of the major concerns regarding diabetes and hot weather is the risk of blood sugar levels rising or falling and causing hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia . What are the hypo risks from hot weather? Hot weather can increase the risk of hypoglycemia for those on blood glucose lowering medication. The Joslin Diabetes Centre notes that the bodys metabolism is higher in hot and humid weather which can lead to an increased chance of hypoglycemia. Hypos may be slightly harder to spot in hot weather. Dont be tempted to disregard hypo symptoms , such as sweating and tiredness, as a result of hot weather as it could be a sign of hypoglycemia. Take extra care when driving and test your blood sugar before and after each journey and stop regularly to check your blood sugar if taking longer journeys. To prevent hypos, be prepared to test your blood glucose more often, particularly if taking part in physical activity in hot weather. Keep a source of fasting carbohydrate, such as glucose tablets, to hand. To help treat hypos Continue reading >>

Hot Weather Concerns For Pumpers

Hot Weather Concerns For Pumpers

The temperatures are climbing; does thismean trouble for you and your insulinpump? Will your insulins potency beaffected? Will your glucose levels climb ordrop in the warmer weather? Any activity that increases perspiration canloosen the infusion set. If perspiration is aproblem, try using a spray of antiperspiranton the insertion site after your usual skin-preparationroutine. A small cotton ball heldover the intended insertion point, followed byan antiperspirant and allowed to dry beforeinsertion, works for some pump users. Othershave success with a skin-barrier preparation,such as Mastisol, Skin-Tac H or compoundtincture of benzoin applied to the skin that willbe under the transparent occlusive dressingapplied over the insertion set. The pump housing provides some insulationfrom the heat. Many pump users who live inwarmer areas experience very few problemswith insulin degradation. Using a protectivepouch, such as a Frio wallet, or a leather-likefanny pack with a small, cold gel pack placedinside the pouch, are two ways you can protectyour insulin from the effects of heat. If you are spending an extended amount oftime in the sun, cover the pump with a towelto protect it from prolonged direct sunlight.Disconnecting your pump for up to an hour isanother option, but if it is disconnected for alonger time, you will need to bolus for missedhourly basal doses. Heat and physical activity can affect insulinabsorption rates, so check your blood glucoselevels more often. Consider a temporarybasal reduction or an alternate basal profileprogram, if your pump has this feature. Changethe insulin in the reservoir or cartridge moreoftenevery two days, if you would normallychange it every three or four days. If the insulindeteriorates, you can expect high bloodglucose levels. If you d Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Hot Weather — 12 Things To Know

Diabetes In Hot Weather — 12 Things To Know

To date, 2016 has been the hottest year ever, and it’s getting hotter. From now on, coping with heat will be an important part of managing diabetes. Some knowledge that might help you: 1. High body temperatures can lower blood sugar. Mayo Clinic writers Nancy Klobassa Davidson, RN, and Peggy Moreland, RN, CDE, say you should check your sugars more often in the hot weather. 2. Sunburn can raise blood sugar. The Mayo Clinic advises wearing a good sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat while out in the sun. 3. Warm skin absorbs insulin faster, while dehydrated skin absorbs insulin more slowly. The closer you can keep your injection site to normal temperature and hydration, the better. 4. Dehydration from sweating can raise blood sugar and can lead to heat exhaustion. According to the Cleveland Clinic, people with diabetes are more likely than others to be admitted to hospitals for dehydration and heat exhaustion, and to die from it. High glucose levels lead to urinating more, which increases risk for dehydration. This may be especially true if you’re on an SGLT-2 inhibitor drug. Keep drinking water with a bit of salt if you are blessed to live in an area where water is available. Have a bottle with you and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Learn to check yourself for dehydration by pinching up some skin on your arm and letting it go. It should snap right back into place. If it goes more slowly, you are getting dehydrated. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine in super-hot weather, as they are dehydrating. 5. Heat can damage insulin, other medications, and test strips. The Joslin Clinic advises people to keep their insulin cool, but not on ice. If you take medicines with you while you’re away from home, get a cooler bag to keep your medicines and test strips in. Ext Continue reading >>

How Heat And Humidity May Affect Blood Sugar

How Heat And Humidity May Affect Blood Sugar

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat and humidity influence how much and how fast we move, how much we perspire, blood circulation, the foods we want to eat, and the activities we choose to enjoy. Any of these factors, or a combination, might contribute to the experience of dehydration and blood sugar fluctuations. Six Steamy-Weather Influences We know when it is sizzling outside that we will sweat, and as the air wicks moisture from our skin the body cools. This cooling system works wonderfully as long as our body remains hydrated. If our body is low on fluids, the kidneys receive less blood flow and work less effectively. This might cause blood glucose concentrations to rise. If someone’s blood sugar is already running high in the heat, not only will they lose water through sweat but they might urinate more frequently too, depleting their body’s fluids even more. When the weather is tropical - hot and humid - the sweat on our skin cannot readily evaporate into the already soggy air. Our innate cooling system is less effective and the risk of heat exhaustion increases. Having poorly controlled or difficult-to-control blood sugar can inhibit some people’s ability to sweat. Without this effective natural cooling process, they are at higher risk for overheating—even when the humidity is not too high. While many diabetics notice higher blood sugar in hot weather, some individuals need less insulin when the weather turns significantly warmer. Although science has not figured out why this occurs, it may be owed to the dilation or widening of small blood vessels in hot temps. As these tiny blood vessels dilate, the body’s delivery system becomes more efficie Continue reading >>

What You Need To Know About Hot Weather And Your Insulin | Healthcentral

What You Need To Know About Hot Weather And Your Insulin | Healthcentral

Insulin is considered the most powerful hormone in the body but its also quite sensitive to bright lights and extreme temperatures, especially the kind of insulin thats man-made in a lab, not by your pancreas. Knowing how to prevent your insulin from getting too hot during day-to-day activity is a must if your day-to-day life depends on each dose. Heres what you need to know: Insulin is a protein, and it can very easily spoil under the wrong temperature conditions Insulin prefers to be kept between 36 to 46F. When an insulin vial or pen is opened, it will retain its potency to help you manage your blood sugar for up to 28 days before it starts to break down. Using insulin that has broken down due to time or temperature results in higher blood sugars because your usual dose doesnt contain its usual strength and efficacy. All unopened insulin should be kept in the refrigerator It typically has an expiration date of 1 year from the date of purchase. But dont store your insulin in the back of the fridge (where its often colder), and be sure your fridge is at a normal setting of 35F to 40F. (35 F is just on the cusp of being too cold, so be careful!) And double-check the setting when you store insulin temporarily in a friends fridge or at a hotel. Insulin is safe at room temperature, after its been opened, for about a month Insulin is fine at room temperature but will start to degrade and lose its potency after 28 days. Ideally, if you dont use enough insulin to use up a vial within a month, then you can ask for insulin pens which contain less insulin, and you can draw from it to get insulin into your pump, or if you prefer syringes over pen-needles. The inside of a car can easily be 20 degrees hotter when its closed up while youre at work or getting groceries. Leaving your Continue reading >>

Insulin Pumps And Extreme Temperature

Insulin Pumps And Extreme Temperature

A change of scenery is always nice, and this summer my travel agenda has taken me to Arizona, South Carolina, and Minnesota so far. I first prepared for my trips by checking the weather forecast and learned I would be experiencing triple-digit weather, talk about change! I did research to learn about heat and insulin pumps and I would like to follow up on the insulin storage blog I wrote last fall. Here’s the deal: you have to remember that the pump is a system. It isn’t just a medical device but it also holds medicine, in this case it is insulin. So, although our user guide says to avoid exposure over 108 F, it also says that you need to be careful with insulin in extreme temperatures. The stability of your insulin is most important because the extra heat shouldn’t cause any harm to the pump itself, but it could make your insulin weaker than it normally would be. (Note that most insulin companies advise not to store it in temperatures over 86 F, but check the label on the insulin you use.) You can live an active lifestyle during the summer and enjoy those rays just as I have done, but keep these things in mind for added protection: Talk to your healthcare team about changing your infusion set more often or using extra tape to keep the set in place during the summer. Some people make it a point to put less insulin in their reservoir than normal so they can change out their set more often in hotter scenarios, like beach days. Try not to expose your pump and insulin to direct sunlight; this may be a scenario where instead of wearing it in an external case or belt clip, you may want to slip it into your pocket so it is covered. If you wear your pump under your clothes where it is touching your skin, know that this can expose it to moisture when you sweat. Keep the bu Continue reading >>

Managing Diabetes In The Heat

Managing Diabetes In The Heat

How to keep your cool during the hottest time of year. Did you know that people who have diabetes—both type 1 and type 2—feel the heat more than people who don’t have diabetes? Some reasons why: Certain diabetes complications, such as damage to blood vessels and nerves, can affect your sweat glands so your body can’t cool as effectively. That can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. People with diabetes get dehydrated (lose too much water from their bodies) more quickly. Not drinking enough liquids can raise blood sugar, and high blood sugar can make you urinate more, causing dehydration. Some commonly used medicines like diuretics (“water pills” to treat high blood pressure) can dehydrate you, too. High temperatures can change how your body uses insulin. You may need to test your blood sugar more often and adjust your insulin dose and what you eat and drink. Drink plenty of water. Test your blood sugar often. Keep medicines, supplies, and equipment out of the heat. Stay inside in air-conditioning when it’s hottest. Wear loose, light clothing. Make a plan in case you lose power. Have a go-bag ready for emergencies. It’s the Heat and the Humidity Even when it doesn’t seem very hot outside, the combination of heat and humidity (moisture in the air) can be dangerous. When sweat evaporates (dries) on your skin, it removes heat and cools you. It’s harder to stay cool in high humidity because sweat can’t evaporate as well. Whether you’re working out or just hanging out, it’s a good idea to check the heat index—a measurement that combines temperature and humidity. Take steps to stay cool (see sidebar) when it reaches 80°F in the shade with 40% humidity or above. Important to know: The heat index can be up to 15°F Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Hot Weather: Be Extra Careful

Diabetes And Hot Weather: Be Extra Careful

For people with diabetes, particularly those taking medications and/or insulin, the Center for Disease Control’s Division of Diabetes Translation has prepared a list of precautions during hot weather: Heat can affect your blood glucose (sugar) levels and also increase the absorption of some fast-acting insulin, meaning you will need to test your blood glucose more often and perhaps adjust your intake of insulin, food, and liquids. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to avoid dehydration. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages such as sweet tea and sodas. If your doctor has limited how much liquid you can drink, ask what to do during times of high heat. Check package inserts with medications to learn when high temperatures can affect them. Take medications with you if you will need to take them while you’re away from home, and protect them from the heat. If you’re traveling with insulin, don’t store it in direct sunlight or in a hot car. Keep it in a cooler, but do not place it directly on ice or on a gel pack. Check glucose meter and test strip packages for information on use during times of high heat and humidity. Do not leave them in a hot car, by a pool, or on the beach. Heat can damage insulin pumps and other equipment. Do not leave the disconnected pump or supplies in the direct sun. Get physical activity in air-conditioned areas, or exercise outside early or late in the day, during cooler temperatures. Use your air conditioner or go to air-conditioned buildings in your community. A beautiful sunny day is the ultimate motivation to go outside and play, but the summer heat and exercise can be a risky combination. Get 12 Tips For Summer Exercise Take life to the next level, and be all that you can be. That's what a vacation at Pritikin is all about. Live bette Continue reading >>

How To Manage Your Diabetes In Extreme Summer Heat

How To Manage Your Diabetes In Extreme Summer Heat

We often look forward to changes of season, but if you have diabetes , you need to be extra careful when temperatures climb dramatically. Extreme heat can affect your blood sugar control. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy If you use insulin or if your treatment of blood sugars is inadequate, this can put you at higher risk. Often, worsening blood sugar control is the main concern. Depending on the situation and your level of physical activity, low blood sugars are also possible. Extreme temperatures can also damage your medications and testing equipment. I always remind my patients to take precautions to protect themselves and their supplies during both winter and summer. If a patient’s blood sugars are mostly higher than 250 mg/dl, I recommend improving blood sugar control before engaging in heavy physical activity — regardless of the climate and the temperature, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association. The extreme heat of summer affects blood sugar levels. How the heat affects your levels depends on what you’ve eaten, whether you’re well-hydrated and your activity level. If the heat and your activity make you sweat profusely, you may become dehydrated, leading to a rise in glucose levels. If you become dehydrated, your blood glucose levels will rise. This can lead to frequent urination, which then leads to further dehydration and even higher blood sugar levels — a kind of vicious cycle. Further, if the treatment includes insulin, dehydration reduces blood supply to the skin and, therefore, less absorption of injected insulin dosage. Most types of insulin can tolerate temperatures from 93 degrees F to 95 d Continue reading >>

Ask The Expert: Summer Heat And Diabetes Control

Ask The Expert: Summer Heat And Diabetes Control

Question: How can the summer heat affect diabetes control? Heat, especially extreme heat, is hard for anyone to tolerate. It’s especially hard on people with diabetes. When your body is exposed to heat, you lose more water through sweat, which can dehydrate you. Dehydration increases blood sugar levels. High blood sugar will make you urinate more often, which can dehydrate you even more. To stay hydrated, drink more fluids. You can tell when you’re drinking enough because your urine will be lighter-colored. Heat can affect the way your body absorbs insulin. In hot weather, more blood flows to your skin. When you’re dehydrated, the opposite happens -- less blood flows to the skin. Most types of insulin, especially short-acting insulin, don’t work as well when blood flow is decreased. The heat can affect your medicines. If you leave insulin in a hot car, it will start to degrade. Bring along a cooler to keep insulin at room temperature or below. Heat can also damage test strips, leading to false readings. That’s going to affect your blood sugar management and how much insulin you take. Be careful when you exercise in the heat. Watch for both high and low blood sugar. Your blood sugar can drop if you are on a medication that could cause low blood sugar. Being outside in hot weather and exercising produce similar symptoms, such as sweating and a fast heart rate, so it’s easy to overlook the early symptoms of low blood sugar. That’s why you need to check your blood sugar every hour or two while you exercise. Bring juice, glucose tablets, or glucose gel along for your workout, in case your blood sugar dips. If you take insulin, ask your [doctor] how to adjust your dosage when exercising. Avoid sunburn. It damages your skin and can affect diabetes control. A seri Continue reading >>

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