Take Extra Care of Diabetes During Warm Weather
Summer is full of warm weather fun—relaxing by the swimming pool, playing golf, or running around with the kids. But it also can pose a number of challenges to diabetes management. To help avoid complications, follow these tips:
Drink more water. It’s important to stay hydrated as temperatures rise. Warm weather can lead to dehydration, which affects blood glucose levels. It also can lead to heat illness in people with diabetes, a condition in which the body’s cooling system shuts down.
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to take a sip—by then you may already be dehydrated. Instead, carry a water bottle with you and drink often. Also remember to up your intake before, during, and after physical activity.
Exercise, but with care. Exercise is a critical part of managing diabetes. But physical activity, especially in the hot summer sun, can lower your blood sugar too much, causing hypoglycemia. To prevent this:
- Check your blood glucose before exercising. If it’s below 100, have a small snack first.
- Take a short break and eat a snack if you’ve been exercising for longer than an hour.
- Continue checking your blood sugar levels following exercise. They could drop for up to 24 hours after working out.
- Be prepared to act. Ask your doctor how you should treat hypoglycemia. Then watch for symptoms such as shakiness, dizziness, weakness, headache, hunger, irritability, or confusion.
Ban going barefoot. Hanging out by the pool may be a staple of summer. But remember to keep your feet covered. Whenever possible, wear closed-toe shoes to reduce the risk for cuts or scratches. Call your doctor at the first sign of cuts or breaks in the skin, changes in shape or color, or pain that doesn’t go away.
Our diabetes self-management education programs can provide you with tools to manage your condition and the support to succeed. Learn more: