8 Tips For Handling Diabetes In The Summer Heat

African American senior couple walking on the beachThe summer heat requires greater care for diabetes medications and supplies. High temperatures can also change the way your body uses insulin. The following tips will help you keep your cool, and your diabetes medications and supplies safe.

1. Drink plenty of water.

Even if you’re not thirsty, you should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. People with diabetes get dehydrated (lose too much water from their bodies) more quickly. Not drinking enough liquids can cause your blood glucose – also called blood sugar levels to rise. “Becoming dehydrated and not replacing that water can lead to high blood sugar. When fluids leave your body, your blood becomes more concentrated with glucose,” says Brooklyn based Dacia Bryant, Founder and Chief Health Officer at A ONE C LifeBox, a digital healthcare engagement company that equips Black and Hispanic people with the tools to manage their diabetes more effectively.

High blood glucose can make you urinate more, causing dehydration. Diuretics – water pills, can also cause dehydration. Avoid alcohol and drinks with caffeine, like coffee and energy or sports drinks. They can also lead to water loss and spike your blood glucose levels.

2. Adjust insulin as needed.

High temperatures can change how your body uses insulin. You may need to test your blood glucose more often and adjust your insulin dose and what you eat and drink. Bryant says, “Dehydration also leads to a decrease in blood flow supplied to the skin where insulin is injected. Your insulin dose may not be fully absorbed, and blood glucose can remain high.”

Ask your health care provider or diabetes educator if you would like help making insulin adjustments during the hot summer heat.