Diabetes and Hot Weather
This summer, remember that if you are a diabetic, high blood sugar readings require you to drink extra fluid! High blood sugar is like thick syrup in your bloodstream and pulls fluid from your body’s cells to dilute this thickness. When you are in hot weather, fluid loss occurs faster. Everyone needs extra fluids when the weather is hot, but diabetics especially need more to prevent dehydration.
If you have diabetes without control of your blood sugar, you are in more danger of water being lost in your cells. Drink plenty of fluids, preferably non-calorie fluids. Water is best. Keep in mind that over 60% of your body is made up of water, and when you sweat in high temperatures, fluid is lost from your body more rapidly.
How can you keep yourself hydrated?
If you are working indoors, keep a water bottle or large container of water at your desk. If you are working outdoors, put a large thermal drinking container full of ice and water in your vehicle. Sip fluids frequently. If you are thirsty, chances are you are already dehydrated. Tip: children need more fluids than adults, so if you have a diabetic child or teenager, remember that they need extra water.
Signs and symptoms of high blood sugar
- Increased thirst
- Increase in going to the bathroom (urination)
- Tiredness, or feeling sleepy
- Poor healing skin wounds
- Blurred vision
- Numbness or tingling in feet or hands (sometimes a burning sensation)
- Increase in hunger
If you have not been checked for diabetes, ask your doctor if he or she recommends you be checked. Many people have diabetes and do not know they have it. You are at high risk if someone in your family has diabetes, or if you are overweight and not active.
Remember: keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Take care of your body and it will take care of you!
For more information on diabetes, call the Chatham Hospital Diabetes Management Program at (919) 799-4720.
Submitted by Doris Welborn, Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered Dietitian