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As summer temperatures rise and are expected to reach record levels, Dr Mayank Patel, Consultant Physician in Diabetes University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and DRWF Editorial Advisory Board member, provides tips to manage your diabetes in hot weather.

What to look out for in hot weather and how to minimise risks to keep good control of your diabetes self-management on holiday, or out in the sun.

A person applying sunscreen.

Picture: Applying sunscreen can protect you from sun burn. 

  • Check blood glucose levels regularly, as increased physical activity and heat levels can increase the risk of hypos (hypoglycaemia).
  • Wear plenty of sun block to avoid sun burn, as this can harm your body and cause elevated blood glucose levels.
  • Keep fluid levels up whilst avoiding excess caffeine and alcohol in high temperatures, as these can increase the risk of dehydration.
  • Take great care of your feet - don’t walk barefoot and seek help early if problems arise.
  • Keep medication and supplies as cool as possible.
  • Extreme temperatures can affect insulin and other supplies, causing them to become less active.
  • Be “hypo aware” – carry extra supplies with you and be sure to let friends and family know how to respond if this happens.
  • Extra sweating can cause problems with glucose equipment worn on the body such as continuous glucose monitoring devices and pump cannula. You can purchase stickers and adhesives which help them stay in place.
  • Be alert for signs of heat exhaustion. These include: profuse sweating, muscle cramps, tiredness, dizziness, headache and/or fainting.

Picture: Freezer packs can help keep medication cool in a cool bag. 

Freezer packs in a cool bag.


Seek medical attention immediately if any of these happen.

 

Read more in the DRWF diabetes information leaflet Managing diabetes when you are ill

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