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6 Important Precautions for Summer When You Have Diabetes

Summer is here, which usually means fun, sun, and relaxation. But here in Nevada, it also means temperatures hitting triple digits. You may not think much of the temperature change if you’re used to the heat, but it can affect your health, especially if you have diabetes.

At St. Rose Integrative Medical Center we want to make sure you have a safe, happy, and healthy summer. If you have diabetes, we want to share some precautions you should take to keep your blood sugars in check.

1. Store your medication in a cool place

High temperatures may affect the active ingredients in your diabetes medication and you should keep your medication stored in a cool, dry place to prevent any problems. This is especially important if you take insulin or any injectable medications, which need to be kept refrigerated. If you have plans to be outside for an extended period of time, tightly wrap your medication in a sealable container and keep it in your cooler.

2. Don’t forget to check your blood sugars regularly

Checking your blood sugars regularly is always important, but even more so during the summer. High temperatures may affect your blood sugar numbers, even without changes in your diet, activity, or medication. How the summer heat affects blood sugar control is different for everyone and the only way to know for sure is to track your numbers.

Regular blood sugar checks can also let you know if your medication has been affected by the heat.

3. Stick to your routine

With vacation and summer barbecues, it can be difficult to stick to a routine. But as you know, routine is key when it comes to managing your blood glucose levels. Do your best to take your medication on time and follow your diet plan as closely as possible.

Checking your blood glucose levels when there’s a change in your routine can also help you stay on top of your health so you can take immediate action if your blood sugars are running higher than normal.

4. Make water your go-to beverage

Even without the summer heat, your diabetes increases your risk of dehydration. To combat the effects of your diabetes and the heat on your hydration, be sure to drink water regularly throughout the day. Depending on your age, activity, and health, you may need 11-13 cups of water a day. We can help you figure out your water needs when you come into the office.

If you have a hard time drinking plain water, add some flavor with a spritz of lemon or lime. Or, create your own flavored waters with a fruit-infuser water bottle. Strawberries and mint or watermelon and cucumbers are fun and refreshing and won’t add any calories or carbs to your drink.

5. Exercise in air-conditioning

Regular exercise is an important part of your diabetes management. It helps burn up “extra” sugar and is important for weight control. But high temperatures and exercise may not be a good mix for you or your diabetes. To stick with your program, work out in air-conditioned areas. If walking is your form of exercise, find a big indoor mall and take laps while you people watch, or plan to walk in the early morning or late evening when it’s cooler.

6. Know the signs of heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion can come on quick and affect your blood sugar control. You may be at risk if you’re spending an extended period of time outside in the sun or you’re not rehydrating after your boot camp class.

Signs of heat exhaustion include:

- Cold, clammy skin

- Headache

- Nausea or vomiting

- Dizziness

- Lightheadedness

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, stop what you’re doing. Drink some water and call us right away for a plan.

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that requires ongoing management, even when you’re on vacation. For expert care of all your health needs, including management of your diabetes, call St. Rose Integrative Medical Center today or request an appointment online.

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