17 Tips to Manage Diabetes in Hot Weather or on Vacation
Summer brings special challenges for people with diabetes. These tips can help you safely manage diabetes in hot weather and when you’re on vacation.
The effects of heat are more strongly felt by people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes for several reasons:
Complications that are common for people with diabetes include damage to nerves or blood vessels. This damage means sweat glands cannot effectively cool the body. When the humidity is also high, sweat doesn’t evaporate and the body cannot cool itself. It’s easier for people with diabetes to develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Consider this to be a medical emergency and get help quickly.
They more quickly lose water from their bodies (become dehydrated) when it’s hot, compared to people without diabetes. They need to drink more fluids to keep blood sugar levels from increasing. High blood sugar increases the need to pee, making dehydration worse. Also, “water pills” (diuretics) used to treat high blood pressure can worsen dehydration.
Insulin use can change because hot weather changes how the body uses insulin. The CDC recommends testing your blood sugar more often, adjusting the insulin dose, and adjusting what you eat and drink.
Top tips for summer if you have diabetes:
Drink more fluids, especially water, even if you’re not thirsty. Waiting until you’re thirsty means you’re already dehydrated. Avoid alcoholic beverages and those with caffeine, including coffee, tea, energy or sports drinks and cola drinks. They can make you lose more Continue reading