Can heatwave affect your sugar levels? Tips for people with diabetes to beat the heat | Health - Hindustan Times
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Can heatwave affect your sugar levels? Tips for people with diabetes to beat the heat

By, New Delhi
Apr 18, 2024 06:11 PM IST

As heatwave grips Mumbai, Pune, and other parts of the country, people with diabetes need to watch out for symptoms of heatstroke and uncontrolled sugar levels.

Living with diabetes can make you feel the heat more. As intense summer takes hold in many parts of the country, it's important to take measures to safeguard health. High temperatures can change the way our body functions. Extreme heat can especially take a heavy toll on people with diabetes who are not only at an increased risk of dehydration due to frequent urination but also face trouble in cooling their bodies down. Besides, scorching heat can change the way your body uses insulin, and one may need to monitor their blood sugar levels more closely and adjust their insulin dose or medication. (Also read | Heatwave and heart attack: What's the connection? How to beat extreme heat and manage heart health)

Diabetes can also affect the body's ability to sweat effectively which prevents the heat from escaping, raising risk of heat illnesses.(Freepik)
Diabetes can also affect the body's ability to sweat effectively which prevents the heat from escaping, raising risk of heat illnesses.(Freepik)

Diabetes can also affect the body's ability to sweat effectively which prevents the heat from escaping, raising risk of heat illnesses. Heat and humidity together can wreak havoc on an individual's health. Some medications used to manage diabetes can affect how the body responds to heat or increase the risk of dehydration.

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Heatwaves pose unique challenges for individuals with diabetes, as they can lead to dehydration and exacerbate the risk of complications. As heatwave grips Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and other parts of the country, people with diabetes need to watch out for symptoms of heatstroke and uncontrolled sugar levels. Dr. Bhama Ponmani - Consultant - Diabetologist - Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialties Centre shares essential tips to stay hydrated and healthy during hot weather.

Tips for people with diabetes to manage blood sugar levels amid heatwave

1. Monitor hydration levels: Keep a close eye on your hydration status by checking urine colour (pale yellow indicates adequate hydration) and monitoring thirst levels. Aim to drink more fluids than usual during heatwaves.

2. Drink plenty of water: Water is your best friend in hot weather. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day and increase intake if you are sweating more due to high temperatures or physical activity.

3. Avoid dehydrating beverages: Steer clear of caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and energy drinks, as well as alcoholic beverages and soft drinks. These can contribute to dehydration and may also affect blood sugar levels.

4. Eat hydrating foods: Include water-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, such as cucumbers, watermelon, oranges, and tomatoes. These foods not only provide hydration but also essential nutrients.

5. Stay cool: Seek out cool environments during the hottest parts of the day.

6. Protect your skin: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton. Use sunscreen to prevent sunburn, which can further increase fluid loss.

7. Monitor blood sugar levels: Heat can affect blood sugar control. Check your blood sugar levels regularly and adjust your medication or insulin doses as per your doctor's guidance.

8. Plan outdoor activities wisely: If you need to be outdoors, schedule activities during cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Take frequent breaks in shaded areas and avoid strenuous activities during peak heat hours.

By following these preventive tips, individuals with diabetes can navigate heatwaves safely and reduce the likelihood of dehydration and related complications.

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