Diabetes control: As the temperature rises, so does the worry of people suffering from diabetes. Keeping blood sugar levels under control is difficult, especially for people whose levels are prone to being high.
People with diabetes face different challenges during each season since managing blood sugar levels is crucial to living a life free of complications. While a sedentary lifestyle is more prevalent in the winter, which might have a negative impact on managing diabetes, people with high blood sugar conditions are more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke in the summer because their condition can harm blood vessels and nerves, which can then affect the sweat glands.
Dr Sandeep Reddy, Senior Endocrinologist, Kamineni Hospitals, Hyderabad spoke to Zee English about the challenges that diabetic patients experience especially during the summer months.
Due to the increased urination caused by high blood sugar, people with diabetes may also lose water from their bodies more quickly.
Dr Sandeep says, “Summer season can be challenging for individuals with diabetes as it can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Moreover, a heatwave can make it even more difficult to manage diabetes as it can affect the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. Therefore, it is important to take necessary precautions and follow certain tips to prevent any health complications during the summer season.”
Here are some tips to fight heatwave and manage diabetes in the summer season:
It is essential to drink plenty of water during the summers to prevent dehydration. In individuals with diabetes, dehydration can cause blood sugar levels to rise, leading to complications. Therefore, it is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. If you are physically active or outdoors, drink more water to avoid dehydration.
Avoid sugary drinks
Sugary drinks such as soft drinks, fruit juices, and energy drinks can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Instead, opt for sugar-free drinks such as water, unsweetened tea, or sugar-free lemonade to stay hydrated.
Check blood sugar levels frequently
In hot weather, blood sugar levels can fluctuate, and it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. Check your blood sugar levels before and after physical activity, after meals, and before going to bed to manage your diabetes effectively.
Wear lightweight and breathable clothing
During summers, wear light-coloured, lightweight, and breathable clothing that allows sweat to evaporate easily. Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes as they can cause discomfort and increase the risk of skin infections.
Protect your skin from the sun
Excessive exposure to the sun can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. Moreover, sunburn can cause dehydration, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is important to wear sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing when going outdoors.
Exercise is crucial for managing diabetes, but it can be challenging during the summer. Avoid exercising outdoors during the hottest part of the day, and instead, exercise early in the morning or late in the evening. If you are physically active outdoors, carry water with you and take frequent breaks to avoid dehydration.
Store insulin properly
Insulin should be stored in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat. During summers, it is recommended to store insulin in a refrigerator, but do not freeze it. If you are travelling, carry a cooler with ice packs to keep your insulin cool.
Plan your meals
During summers, plan your meals carefully to avoid overeating and to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and avoid fried or processed foods. If you are eating out, choose healthy options such as grilled chicken or fish, salads, and vegetables.
Managing diabetes during the summer season can be challenging, but with the right precautions, it can be done effectively. Stay hydrated, avoid sugary drinks, check your blood sugar levels regularly, wear lightweight clothing, protect your skin from the sun, exercise regularly, store insulin properly, and plan your meals carefully to manage your diabetes effectively.
“If you experience any unusual symptoms or complications, consult your healthcare provider immediately,” concludes Dr Reddy.