Diabetes management during the scorching heat requires certain changes in your routine in order to ensure you do not get exhausted and also to maintain your blood sugar levels. It is particularly important to manage your medication and insulin etc. in order to remain fit and active despite the heat.
Staying hydrated is the most significant aspect of dealing with effect of heat on blood glucose levels of diabetes management. When sugar levels in blood fluctuate, dehydration can be the most dangerous thing in managing diabetes.
Symptoms for Heat Exhaustion
It is important to understand the symptoms of diabetes management. These symptoms are particularly visible when one exercises or is at workplace. Excessive sweating due to high temperatures and overheating of the body may create some complications for patients with heart problems and other chronic conditions. As part of management of diabetes or even overall health, it is compulsory to replenish the lost water from your body with adequate water or health drink which do not interfere with your sugar levels.
- Feeling of dizziness and fatigue as if about to faint
- Excessive sweating
- Cold, moist skin with goose bumps when exposed to heat
- Muscular cramps
- Weak, rapid heartbeat and pulse
- Low blood pressure and dizziness on standing
Steps for Protecting from Heat Stroke
Heat exhaustion is the starting of a possible heat stroke, which can often turn fatal. The following steps can be taken to avoid these:
- Find a shaded place and take rest. An air-conditioned room is a also a good option, but make sure there is no sudden shift to the room as it may result in drastic temperature fluctuations of the body. Lie down on your back with your legs in an elevated position.
- Cool fluids instantly relieve body heat and dehydration. Avoid alcohol at all cost as it can quickly dehydrate you again.
- Taking a shower is extremely helpful.
- Loosen your clothing to breathe easily and let sweating and heat pass out.
- Opt for a cooler environment to exercise like an air-conditioned gym or shift your timings to early morning or late evening when the weather is cooler.
- It is important to get your eyes tested regularly as people with diabetes tend to have pre-existing retinopathy which gets aggravated by the heat and makes the eyes sensitive to infection.
Precautions for Diabetic Neuropathy
As part of diabetes care, people who suffer from diabetic neuropathy – the damage to nerves regulating involuntary functions like heartbeat, blood pressure, perspiration etc., it is important to keep the following in mind for proper foot care in diabetes:
- Avoid remaining in environments with temperatures more than 85-90°F.
- Wear shoes that protect your feet adequately. Excessive sweat in the feet makes them more prone to yeast, fungal infections, blisters, open sores, etc.
- If you feel numb at the soles of your feet, refrain from wearing flip-flops or open sandals. These block the air-flow and also fail to provide sufficient support to your feet. This exposes your feet to injuries which would up the risk of ulcers, blisters, bunions, etc.
The most important thing is the sugar test to ensure you always check your blood sugar levels by using a compact glucometer and follow a healthy diet to beat the heat. These readings can be recorded and stored in the diabetes management app which is synced with the glucometer.