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]

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

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...

More Articles

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

The...

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

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...

The green, heavily ridged acorn squash is plentiful in the marketplace this time of year. Though, Acorn squash has a high glycemic index rank of...

A 1300-Calorie diet is a way of eating that limits your daily calorie intake to only 1300 calories a day. This is considered a low calorie diet,...

Maca Root is an editable root vegetable, and is known as Peruvian Ginsing. It is a relative of the radish and turnip family, and is remarkable...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

People who use insulin pumps purposefully break their skin, the body’s main defense against bacteria, to receive continuous doses of life-saving...

Diabetes can seem to have an almost limitless list of symptoms. Now headaches are added to the list. The ebb...

People often get diabetes and hypoglycemia confused with one another, believing that they are two different names for the same condition. In...

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat...

Many diabetics struggle to control the sudden blood sugar spikes that can occur after meals. Knowing why blood sugar spikes happen and making...