5 Ways To Deal with the Heat with DiabetesJul 26, 2022
Because of damage to blood vessels and nerves caused by inflammation, people with diabetes also have damage to their sweat glands that leads to less sweat in the heat. If you are not sweating enough, you won’t get the benefit of the cooling effects of evaporation. Sweating also dries you out and can lead to dehydration which can lead to higher blood sugars. These higher blood sugars can cause increased urination as your body is trying to get rid of the high sugar.
High heat might change the way your body uses insulin, causing your blood sugar to go high or low. Definitely pay attention to how you feel and check your blood sugar often so you can handle any problems as soon as possible.
Heat exhaustion is when your body gets overheated in high temperatures. This includes anyone who is outside standing, working, gardening, exercising or being in hot cars. This can lead to dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, headache and muscle cramping. You may be sweating profusely or not at all, leading to dehydration.
For people with diabetes, this leads to high blood sugars, fatigue, decreased urination, increased heart rate and more. If it is not addressed quickly, it can lead to heatstroke. This is a life threatening situation where the temperature of the body has risen to over 104 degrees. This can lead to seizures, ketoacidosis, coma and death. It must be treated in a hospital as quickly as possible.
Here are 5 ways to protect yourself in the heat:
- Do your best to stay as cool as you can or at least pay attention to how hot you are. When you are outside, try to stay in the shade as much as possible.
- Wear light-weight, long-sleeved white or light colored, flowing shirts made of natural fibers like cotton, silk or linen to absorb sweat and allow your skin to breathe
- Stay hydrated. This means drinking WATER regularly, even if you are not thirsty. Dehydration has already set in when you feel thirst.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they act as diuretics and will make dehydration worse.
- Check your blood sugar often
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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