QuestionI have diabetes and I'm worried about how I'm going to deal with the heat this summer.
You're smart to be thinking ahead. If you have diabetes, you're at greater risk of heat exhaustion, which occurs when you're exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time and don't replace the fluids you lose.
Follow these tips to stay safe in hot weather:
- Prevent dehydration. Both hot weather and high blood sugar can cause dehydration. So it's doubly important that you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Water is best. Avoid alcohol, sugary beverages and sports drinks.
- Protect yourself from the sun. The heat index can be up to 15 F (9 C) higher in full sunlight. Stay in the shade as much as possible when you're outside. Wear a hat and sunscreen too.
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothes. When humidity is high, your sweat can't evaporate as well. Wear clothing that allows sweat to evaporate easily.
- Plan outdoor activities to avoid the heat. Schedule outdoor activities during the cooler hours of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Alternatively, consider walking in a shopping mall or department store.
- Check your blood sugar. When you're out in the heat, consider testing your blood sugar more often.