Dehydration is a major issue in hot weather, and higher blood glucose levels can further increase this risk.
People with diabetes need to increase their intake of fluids in hot weather, drinking regularly during the day and focusing on drinking water.
The body’s metabolism is higher in hot and humid weather, which can lead to an increased chance of LOW blood glucose levels, especially for those on blood glucose lowering medication. Insulin will also be absorbed more quickly, which can also increase the risk of hypoglycaemia.
Long periods of inactivity in the sun can also affect diabetes control, and the risk of HIGH blood glucose levels, which could lead to hyperglycemia.
Hypoglycaemia – Don’t disregard the symptoms
Heat exhaustion can develop when the body finds it difficult to keep cool. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, muscle cramps, stomach cramps and pale skin. As some of these could also be due to unstable blood glucose levels, it’s important to test regularly.
Hypos may be slightly harder to spot in hot weather so take care not to disregard symptoms such as sweating and tiredness, as these can easily be overlooked as potential symptoms of hypoglycemia.
To prevent hypos, be prepared to test your blood glucose more often, particularly if taking part in physical activity.
Take extra care when driving and test your blood sugar before and after each journey. Try to stop regularly to check your blood sugar if taking longer journeys.
You may need to adjust your insulin levels during changes in temperature. If you are experiencing higher or lower blood sugar levels and need advice about adjusting your insulin levels, speak with your healthcare team.
If your levels are consistently higher than expected, it is worth considering whether your insulin could have been damaged in the sun. Insulin, in this hot weather especially, is best kept in the fridge or a cool bag (taking care that it does not freeze).
When damaged by heat, clear insulin generally becomes cloudy and cloudy insulin becomes grainy and sticks to the glass. Insulin that has been exposed to bright sunlight sometimes has a brownish colour.
Do not use insulin that shows these changes. Speak to your GP or healthcare professional if you are unsure.
Blood glucose testing in hot weather
Make sure to monitor your blood glucose levels more often and be ready to adjust diet or insulin doses accordingly!
High temperatures can also affect your blood glucose meters and test strips. When testing your blood sugar levels, aim for a cool, shaded place and store your kit as close to normal room temperature as possible and out of direct sunlight…but don’t refrigerate them as cold temperatures can also lead to misleading results.
• Storage temperature range for the meter: -20 – 50°C (-4 – 122 °F)
• Storage temperature range for the test sensors: 4 – 30°C (39.2 – 86 °F) both for unopened vial and after opening
• Storage temperature range for the control solution: 4 – 30 °C (39.2 – 86 °F)
• System operational temperature range: 5 – 45 °C (41 – 113 °F)
• Relative humidity range: 20 – 90% (no dew condensation)
GlucoMen LX PLUS
• Storage temperature range for the meter: -25 to 46 °C (-13 to 115 °F)
• Storage temperature range for the test sensors: 4 to 30 °C (39.2 to 86 ° F)
• Storage temperature range for the control solution: 2 to 30 °C (35.6 to 86 °F)
• System operational temperature range: 5 to 45 °C (41 to 113 °F)
• Relative humidity range: 10% to 90% (no dew condensation)
If you suffer with Diabetes, be extra vigilant, look out for symptoms and take extra care to stay in control. With good preparation, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the hot weather with everyone else!
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