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.
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.
How heat can affect you
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.
Adjusting your insulin dosag Continue reading