Why Having Diabetes in Extreme Heat Can Be Dangerous


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Parts of the country have been experiencing record-breaking temperatures. While everyone is feeling the effects of the heat, individuals with diabetes are especially at risk.

Having both diabetes and extreme heat can be a dangerous combination. Heat and moderate-to-high physical activity may cause excessive sweating, dehydration, and glucose spikes. People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes tend to feel the heat more than those who do not have diabetes. The reasons why are as follows:

  • Diabetes may cause damage to blood vessels and nerves, which could then affect the sweat glands so the body cannot cool itself as effectively. Medical emergencies like heat exhaustion and heatstroke may follow.
  • People with diabetes are more susceptible to getting dehydrated faster in high heat. Not taking in enough liquids can cause blood glucose levels to rise, and high blood glucose causes more frequent urination which may cause dehydration. It’s a vicious cycle!
  • The way the human body processes insulin is impacted by high temperatures. This may require more frequent blood glucose tests and making adjustments to routine insulin dosages.

Protect Yourself

Whether or not you have diabetes, staying cool in the summer is important. Here are some basic tips you can utilize to make sure you enjoy the summer heat safely.

  • As to not get dehydrated, make sure to drink lots of water.
  • Stay away from alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. They can lead to water loss and spike blood sugar levels.
  • Check your blood sugar before, during, and after you are active. You may need to adjust how much insulin you are using.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Always wear sunscreen when outside. Sunburn may raise your blood sugar levels.
  • Stay cool in air-conditioned buildings and rooms as often as possible.

Protect Your Diabetes Equipment

Taking care of yourself in the heat is very important, but your diabetes medications, supplies, and equipment should be looked after the same way.

  • Do not store insulin or oral diabetes medicine in direct sunlight or a hot car. Study the package information to find out how high temperatures can affect insulin or other medications.
  • If you are traveling, it is best to keep insulin and other medicines in a cooler. However, you do not want to place insulin directly on ice or a gel pack.
  • Heat can cause damage to your blood sugar monitor, insulin pump, and other diabetes equipment. Try not to leave them in a hot car, by a pool, in direct sunlight, etc. Supplies, such as the test strips should be handled with the same caution.

Got Medicare Questions?

We hope this information on having diabetes in extreme heat is helpful to you.

If you have questions about your Medicare coverage, call Empower Brokerage today. Let us help with your questions so you can get back to the activities you enjoy the most.

Call (888) 446-9157 or click here to get an INSTANT QUOTE!

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla Gonzalez is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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