As the summer season is here, people with diabetes must pay extra attention to their health and well-being. The combination of hot weather, changes in routine, and potential dehydration can pose unique challenges to managing diabetes effectively.
Here are the Diabetes Health Summer Tips:
Hydration is crucial for everyone during the summer, but it holds particular significance for individuals with diabetes. High temperatures can lead to excessive sweating, increasing the risk of dehydration. Additionally, diabetes itself can affect the body’s fluid balance. Therefore, drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid sugary beverages and opt for water, unsweetened herbal tea, or sugar-free drinks to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Maintaining stable blood sugar levels becomes even more challenging during the summer due to increased physical activity and changes in eating patterns. It is essential to regularly monitor blood sugar levels and make any necessary adjustments to medication or insulin dosages in consultation with a healthcare professional. Carry a blood glucose meter and essential supplies when traveling or participating in outdoor activities.
Protect Your Skin
Sunburns can disrupt blood sugar control, triggering an inflammatory response. To protect your skin:
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF before going outdoors, and reapply it every few hours.
- Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that covers your skin, such as long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats, to shield yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Check your skin regularly for signs of sunburn or other skin conditions.
Plan and Adjust Your Meals
Summer often changes our eating habits, with more opportunities for barbecues, picnics, and social gatherings. When planning your meals, incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Opt for grilled or baked options instead of fried foods. Be mindful of portion sizes and the timing of your meals to maintain steady blood sugar levels. If you need clarification about the carbohydrate content of certain dishes, consult a dietitian or use a carb-counting app to help you make informed choices.
Be Prepared for Travel
If you are traveling during the summer, especially to unfamiliar destinations, it is crucial to plan to manage your diabetes effectively. Pack all necessary diabetes supplies, including extra medication, insulin, glucose monitoring devices, snacks, and a prescription for all your medicines if you need to refill them while on vacation. Ensure your insulin is stored in a cool place and not exposed to extreme heat. Carry a medical identification card or wear a medical alert bracelet that indicates your diabetes condition in case of emergencies.
Stay Active Safely
Regular physical activity is beneficial for managing diabetes, but exercising safely during hot weather is crucial. Choose cooler times of the day to engage in outdoor activities or opt for indoor exercises. Stay hydrated and closely monitor your blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercise. If you experience symptoms of heat exhaustion, such as dizziness or excessive sweating, take a break, move to a shaded area, and hydrate.