July and August tend to be the hottest months during the summer, and for many people living with chronic conditions that require wound management (such as diabetes), the heat and humidity can be difficult. If you have diabetes, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind during the summer months.
- The hot weather and high blood sugar can cause dehydration so if you have diabetes, it is very important that you prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. It is best to drink water and avoid sugary beverages and sports drinks.
- Alcohol can affect the ability of your body to regulate body temperature so it is important to avoid alcohol.
- Avoid peak hours of heat during the day and strategically plan your exercise and outdoor activities during the cooler hours of the day such as the late evening or early morning. Alternatively, consider doing activities that can be done indoors to avoid the heat.
- When the humidity is high during the summer, your sweat cannot evaporate as well so if the heat reaches 91 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, dress appropriately or consider wearing clothing that allows sweat to evaporate easily.
- If you cannot avoid being outside in the heat, it is important to test your blood sugar occasionally.
If you have diabetes, you are also at greater risk for heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion occurs as a result of being exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time, and when you do not replace the fluids you lose. While heat exhaustion is not as serious as a heat stroke, but without proper intervention and attention, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which may lead to brain injury and damage to your other vital organs. Some symptoms of heat exhaustion can include nausea, headache, muscle cramps, fatigue, weak and rapid pulse heavy sweating, cool and moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat, dizziness, and low blood pressure upon standing
If you experience any of these symptoms on a hot and humid day, it is important that you take the steps to avoid heat stroke by taking the following self-care measures:
- Loosen your clothing, or remove any unnecessary articles of clothing.
- Drink plenty of cool fluids and avoid alcohol.
- Take a cool shower or bath. If it is not possible to shower or bathe, you can also wipe down with a cool cloth.
- Find a cool and shady spot to rest.
- Apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels.
People living with chronic conditions such as diabetes are at increased risk of emergency room visits, hospitalization, and death from heat-related illness. Do not underestimate your risk during heat waves so be sure to keep these safety tips in mind. If you are experiencing heat exhaustion symptoms and do not feel better within an hour of taking the self-care measures mentioned above then it is important that you seek prompt medical attention.
Even if you are not experiencing any of heat exhaustion symptoms, it may be beneficial to check with a doctor to see if your health conditions and medications are likely to affect your ability to cope and manage the extreme heat and humidity during the summertime. So come into your nearest Healthpointe urgent care location today if you are experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion and to discuss how to manage your diabetes during the summer heat!
Source: Mayo Clinic
For more information about diabetes management, call 888-719-8448 and talk to a doctor at any of our clinics, such as the Temecula near Murrieta, Fallbrook, Wildomar, Canyon Lake, and Sun City.
Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles county, Orange county, San Bernardino county and Riverside county). Healthpointe has locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California including Corona by Norco, Home Gardens, Mira Loma, and Pedley. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit healthpointe.net.