7 Crucial Precautions to Take in Summer When You Have Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires daily management. To properly care for yourself, you must manage your medication, attend more doctor visits than people without diabetes, understand how diet and exercise impact your disease, and so much more. When it comes to diabetes, summertime isn’t carefree. 

Here are seven important precautions for people with diabetes. 

1. Make sure your medicine and equipment stay cool 

Check the packaging on your insulin or other medication to see what temperature it should be stored at. Don’t leave it in your car -- cars get hot in the summer -- or in direct sunlight. If you’re going on a trip, you should take a cooler to store your insulin, but don’t put it directly on ice or an ice pack.

The heat can damage your equipment and supplies, too. Your blood sugar monitor, insulin pump, test strips, and other equipment you need to manage your disease are sensitive. If you accidentally leave them on a picnic table in the sun, or in your hot car, they may be damaged. 

2. Stay hydrated

It’s important for everyone to stay hydrated in the heat, of course, but if you have diabetes, it’s absolutely critical. When you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of dehydration than people who don’t have the condition. 

Dehydration is more dangerous, too. That’s because it can raise your blood sugar, which, in turn, can make you go to the bathroom more, worsening the dehydration. 

Carry water and other beverages with you so that they’re always at hand to sip. 

3. Check your blood sugar more often 

Heat may change the way your body uses insulin. Combine those changes with the disruptions to your routine that come with summer, and you may have a dangerous situation. 

Check your blood sugar before activities outside, while you’re active, and afterward. Discuss your results with Dr. Sure in case you need to adjust your dosage. 

4. Be wary of sunburn

Sunburn is damaging for everyone, but when you have diabetes, sunburn can not only damage your skin, but it can also raise your blood sugar. 

Wear a hat and loose, light-weight clothing in addition to sunscreen. 

5. Never go barefoot

Even if you’re at the pool or at the beach, protect your feet. The risk of injury is simply too great to take the risk. 

Diabetes can cause nerve damage in your feet, so you may not realize that the pavement is too hot or that you’ve sustained a cut. Then you’re at risk for infection. 

6. Stay cool while you exercise

Exercise is a critical component in your diabetes management plan, but in the summer you need to be careful to stay cool while you exercise. Even if the temperature doesn’t seem high, but the humidity is, you should be careful. The heat index tells you how it feels and accounts for both temperature and humidity. 

If exercising outside is important for you, go early in the morning or late in the evening when it’s not as hot. Even then, be aware of the temperature and stay hydrated. 

7. Put together an emergency bag

Summer is the time of hurricanes, tornadoes, wildflowers, and storms. If you have to leave your home suddenly, have an emergency bag packed and ready to go. 

Plan how you’ll keep your medicine cool if you’re without power and talk to your family and friends about what to do in case of an emergency.

Summer is a season of fun, and it can be for you, too, if you take precautions to manage your diabetes and avoid stress or health scares.

If you have questions, or need guidance on how to best manage your condition during hot weather, book an appointment with Dr. Sure at Sure Medical Care. You can call us or use our easy online scheduling tool.

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