Diabetics: Beat the Summer Heat and Still Have A Ball

Diabetes and the HeatThe barbecues are ready. The pools are brimming with clean cool water. School is out and the beaches are jam-packed. Summer time is officially upon us. Many of the joys of summer cannot be beat. Some people wait for this season all year long, children especially. However, summer is full of all kinds of hidden dangers and they are not always the obvious type. Summer heat can mean trouble for some people.

The summer sun beating down can take its toll on us all, especially the very young, the very old, and the diabetic. During recent record-breaking heat across the nation, people everywhere are looking for a way to beat the summer heat. Diabetics can be a high risk for health related issues during hot and humid days because their bodies are less capable of adjusting to the temperature rise. Diabetes affects sweat glands and can cause nerve damage as well. These problems can make it even more difficult for diabetics to cool down in the dog days of summer.  Heat related illness can affect diabetics very seriously and they should not be taken lightly. The effect the sun has on diabetics can affect them before they even know it

One way for diabetics to beat the summer heat is wear sunscreen and avoid staying out in the sun for long periods of time. Staying in the sun can cause a diabetic’s blood sugar levels to rise so checking your blood sugar level on hot days is very important. Summer months and nice weather means plenty of outdoor activities. Diabetics should be wary of being over active and not being aware of their blood sugar levels.

Staying hydrated on hot days is also very important. Dehydration can cause unneeded stress on the body that can easily be avoided by drinking water instead of sugary drinks or sodas. Caffeinated drinks especially should be avoided to avoid dehydration as well as alcoholic beverages.  Keeping your body temperature at a regular level by staying inside where there is air conditioning can also be a way for diabetics to keep themselves safe during summer. Remember to keep your medication and diabetic testing supplies close by in case you need them and always make sure that your diabetic supplies are not exposed to hot temperatures or direct sunlight for a long period. There are small insulated carrying cases designed to protect the items the diabetic needs for self-care.

Knowing what the signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion are could be key factors in saving your life should the summer heat overwhelms you. Signs of heat exhaustion can include, but are not limited to the following:  heavy sweating, dizziness, nausea, and muscle cramps. If you notice any of these signs, seek medical attention immediately whether you are a diabetic or healthy as a young horse. Heat related illnesses are responsible for many deaths each year.  If you are a diabetic, take a few precautions to keep yourself healthy while enjoying outdoor family activities on hot and humid summer days.

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