Pointers to Remember in Managing Diabetes During Summer
For both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients, summer can be difficult as the humidity and heat during this season may be potentially risky. This is because the ability of the people afflicted with this disease to adjust to temperature increases is ineffective compared to those who are non-diabetics. Nerve damage, one of the complications of diabetes, affects the sweat glands and keeps them from working properly, which then results in the failure of the body to cool itself down.
Summer, the warmest season of the year, can also cause people, especially diabetic patients, to feel dehydrated quickly. Dehydration also occurs whenever glucose in the bloodstream reaches a level higher than normal. Therefore, it is doubly risky for diabetes patients to feel parched. This is why tracking and increasing the amount of liquid intake during this season is very crucial. Diabetics should stick to drinking water most of the time and avoid liquids containing a high amount of sugar such as juices and sodas as these will only dehydrate them more. They should also keep track of their caffeine intake, as huge amounts of this substance may increase their blood sugar levels.
Aside from their liquid intake, their diet should also be monitored. The meals must be mainly composed of vegetables, whole grain and high fiber foods. They can also eat meat dishes, although this must be limited to approximately the size of a card deck. Fish and poultry can also be a good alternative for meat. If the patient loves to eat rice and pasta, they should stick to brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Foods high in fat and carbohydrates should be considered very carefully as this can cause complications for the diabetic. In eating salads, opt for a dressing that is light on cheese and mayonnaise—better yet, eat the salad without the dressing at all!
Regularly checking blood glucose can help prevent future complications. Patients can also still perform light workout routines during this period but these exercises should be done when it becomes cooler. They should never exercise during noon time or whenever the day is at its hottest point.
If the person with diabetes feels nauseated and light-headed, and experiences excessive sweating along with muscle cramps, clammy skin, palpitations and headaches, then he or she might be experiencing heat exhaustion. It is recommended that proper medical care and medication be given immediately to the patient. He or she must be brought to a cooler place at once and water should be made available to the patient if necessary. It is highly advised that diabetics be attended to during these kinds of situations to prevent the patients from experiencing heat stroke, which will endanger them more.
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