Controlling Your Blood Sugar in Hot Weather

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this is manageable.

You can enjoy the summer and keep your blood sugar under control. First, be aware that temperatures well below 90 to 100 degrees F can cause heat-related problems. A survey done by the Mayo Clinic revealed many people with diabetes are unaware of this.

Blood Sugar and Hot Weather

Heat-related illness can occur starting at 80 degrees F with 40 percent humidity. Although this temperature is not extreme, the higher humidity slows the evaporation of sweat, and your body is less able to cool itself.

Dehydration is a concern for everyone in warm weather, but the risk increases when blood sugar levels are high. Your kidneys will work to excrete the excess glucose as urine, but this filtering process also removes water from your body. If the water is not replenished, your body will “steal” it from fluids such as tears and saliva, leaving you dry-eyed and thirsty.


Some individuals are susceptible to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in hot weather because of fluctuations in their metabolism. It is important to acknowledge symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as sweating and tiredness, and not to assume they are owed to the summer temperatures.

Six Ways to Protect Yourself

If you notice higher or lower glucose levels during warm weather, let your healthcare team know and consider the following guidelines for a fun and safe summer.

  1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids at regular intervals throughout the day. Drink primarily water or other caffeine-free, sugar-free liquids. Avoid dehydrating alcoholic beverages. If your doctor has limited your liquid intake, ask how best to remain hydrated in hot weather.
  2. In warm environments, check your glucose at least four times per day; check it every one to two hours if you are more active than usual or are driving for long stretches.
  3. Know the early signs of dehydration: thirst, headache, dry mouth, dry eyes, tiredness, dizziness and dark yellow urine.
  4. Plan physical activities or exercise for the cooler morning and evening hours; consider exercising in air conditioning when the heat is intense.
  5. Wear light-colored, light-weight, loose-fitting clothing and always carry identification indicating you have diabetes; when out alone, have a cellphone with you or tell someone your route/destination.
  6. Use sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses and hats, and protect your feet from hot or rough surfaces.

How to Protect Your Supplies

Carry your diabetes supplies, a means of hydration, and a glucose source with you wherever you go this summer. Use insulated cases or coolers to keep your insulin as close to normal temperature as possible. However, do not put insulin directly on ice since it loses potency after freezing.


Over-heating and humidity can also affect the effectiveness of glucose meters and strips, oral medications and insulin pumps. All supplies should be kept in tightly-closed containers and/or out of direct sunlight. If you are active in hot weather, ask your healthcare team if a protective pouch is advisable for your pump.

Sources: Science Daily, CDC, Joslin Diabetes
Photo: [SOURCE]


More Articles

Having diabetes is cause for concern, however it doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate all of your favorite foods from your diet completely....

With diabetes becoming more of an epidemic each and every day, being knowledgeable about the disease, its effects on the body as well as ways to...

If you’re a diabetic or live with one, it can be tough trying to figure out the best foods to eat because your priority is to control your blood...

In this post, I will show you the 10 best ice creams for diabetics.

When you think of sweetened foods that a diabetic shouldn’t consume,...

If you’re living with diabetes, snacking is a necessity because going for more than 3-4 hours without eating can be detrimental to your health....

More Articles

For diabetics, choosing healthy snacks can be a daunting task.

A good rule of thumb is to pick out snacks that are rich in protein, fiber,...

According to information available through the National Institutes of Health, there’s an estimated 462 million people in the world who are...

Eleven Clinical Studies

After eleven clinical studies and 300,000 participants, researcher Vasanti Malik and her team of researchers...

Diabetic women often have a harder time losing weight than non-diabetic women. A study funded by Jenny Craig proved that diabetic women have an...

Many recent studies have proved that magnesium levels are lower in patients with diabetes than in non-diabetics. This magnesium...

Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a problem that affects many diabetics, especially those with type 2 diabetes...

Some of us might be thrilled if we could manage our blood sugar by sitting in a hot tub or sauna, instead of working up a sweat biking, or using...

Cooking and baking with the ancient cereal grain sorghum has health benefits for people with diabetes, and those with weight control issues....

When it comes to certain foods, there are always questions as to whether or not a diabetic can have them without...

With its slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional punch farro is an ancient whole grain worth a place in our pantry.

Farro...

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns.

The...

Salads are good example of foods that type 2 diabetics can enjoy with relatively low guilt. With the right greens and other elements added, salad...

Remaining gainfully employed is important to many people. Those who live with any form of diabetes may find that some lines of work are more...

Learning that you have diabetes does mean making some lifestyle changes. One of the areas that needs attention is your diet. Most people find that...

One of the more challenging aspects of life as a type 2 diabetic is managing your diet. There’s often the temptation to avoid certain foods...