Summer Warnings for Diabetics
Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but for diabetics, it can also be a time of increased risk. The heat, humidity, and changes in routine can all affect blood sugar levels and make it more difficult to manage diabetes. Here are some summer warnings for diabetics to keep in mind:
1. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can cause blood sugar levels to rise, so it’s important to stay hydrated during the summer months. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks, which can cause blood sugar spikes. If you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time, bring a water bottle with you and take regular sips throughout the day.
2. Protect your feet
Summer means sandals and flip-flops, but these types of shoes can leave your feet vulnerable to injury. Diabetics are at increased risk for foot problems, so it’s important to protect your feet from the sun, sand, and other hazards. Wear shoes that fit well and provide adequate support, and avoid going barefoot in public places.
3. Be mindful of alcohol
Summer is a time for backyard barbecues and pool parties, but alcohol can be a tricky issue for diabetics. Drinking alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to drop, so it’s important to monitor your blood sugar closely if you choose to drink. Stick to low-sugar drinks like light beer or wine, and avoid sugary mixed drinks.
4. Watch your diet
Summer can be a time of indulgence, with ice cream, barbecue, and other treats tempting you at every turn. But it’s important to stick to a healthy diet to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Choose lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit your intake of sugary and processed foods.
5. Protect your skin
Sunburn can cause inflammation and affect blood sugar levels, so it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every two hours if you’re spending time outside. Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes, and seek shade during the hottest parts of the day.
6. Plan ahead for travel
Summer is a popular time for travel, but it can be challenging for diabetics to manage their condition on the road. Make sure to pack plenty of diabetes supplies, including extra insulin, test strips, and syringes. Research local pharmacies and hospitals at your destination in case of an emergency, and bring a letter from your doctor explaining your condition and any medications you’re taking.
7. Monitor your blood sugar closely
Summer can be a time of unpredictable blood sugar levels, so it’s important to monitor your levels closely. Check your blood sugar more frequently than usual, especially if you’re engaging in physical activity or spending time outside in the heat. Keep a record of your readings and share them with your doctor to help manage your condition.
In conclusion, summer can be a fun and enjoyable time, but it’s important for diabetics to take extra precautions to manage their condition. By staying hydrated, protecting your feet, being mindful of alcohol, watching your diet, protecting your skin, planning ahead for travel, and monitoring your blood sugar closely, you can enjoy all that summer has to offer while keeping your diabetes under control.