Doctors warn people with diabetes to be extra cautious during periods of extreme heat

Doctors warn that the heat affects the body’s ability to normalize blood sugar.

News 12 Staff

Jun 18, 2024, 9:36 PM

Updated 34 days ago


For the more than 38 million estimated Americans dealing with diabetes, the summertime when temperatures rise can be dangerous. Health experts say those with the condition can actually feel the heat more than people who are not diabetic.
“Patients with diabetes have to be really careful in the heat, to really think even more than they normally do about the direction of their blood sugar,” says Dr. Bithika Thompson, an endocrinologist with Mayo Clinic.
Doctors say that even sweating can make a person dehydrated, which affects the body’s ability to normalize blood sugar.
“So it’s kind of a slippery slope there where it makes you quite ill,” says Thompson.
Thompson says those with diabetes can protect themselves against extreme heat by checking their blood sugar levels often, maintaining good hydration and staying indoors during the hottest part of the day.
But Thompson says it is also important to get in some sort of physical activity.
“You need to have a plan to keep yourself active because you don't want to get through the summer months without any significant activity and have that be a risk to you and your overall health with your diabetes,” Thompson says.
The high temperatures can also affect diabetes supplies, equipment and medication. Thompson says to make sure the items are not kept in a hot vehicle. She says to follow instructions from a doctor or on the label on how to store such items.

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