WE can all agree that the recent glorious hot weather has got slightly out of hand… especially for diabetes sufferers.
From fluctuating blood sugar levels to keeping your insulin cool, here’s everything you need to know about managing diabetes during the heatwave.
How does the hot weather affect diabetes sufferers?
Let’s just say, the recent spell of ridiculously warm weather plays havoc with blood sugar levels.
And as diabetes sufferers struggle to produce insulin, the extreme heat only exacerbates the problem by causing blood sugar to either crash or soar through the roof.
Even if sufferers are staying well-hydrated and out of the sun, chances are the heat will have an affect on the condition.
Why do blood sugar levels fluctuate in the heat?
Unsurprisingly, extreme heat cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate drastically.
On the one hand, sweating, dehydration, and sunburn typically leads to a rise in glucose in the blood.
But on the other, an overall higher body temperature can lower your blood sugar levels and cause them to crash.
As such, sufferers need to monitor their blood sugar closely and adjusting insulin intake accordingly.
What precautions should diabetes sufferers take?
Luckily, there is plenty of medical advice for helping diabetes cope with the extreme heatwave.
According to Diabetes UK, insulin is “best kept in the fridge or a cool bag” especially during a heatwave.
The tell-tale sign of sun-damaged insulin is whether the clear liquid has turned cloudy or “becomes grainy and sticks to the side of the glass.”
Along with repeatedly checking your blood sugar levels, they also recommend keeping blood glucose meters and test strips at room temperature.
After all, extreme weather can damage the equipment and leave you with “misleading results.”
It is also incredibly important for diabetes sufferers to stay hydrated in the heat and to consume electrolyte sports drinks when exercising.
While it is always a good idea to keep a snack on you, it is also worth carrying glucose gels and a glucagon kit in case your blood sugar crashes.
Also protect yourself from sunburn (and soaring blood sugar levels) by slathering on the SPF before leaving the house.