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Beat the Heat | Diabetes Edition

 

Summertime is great and very welcome after the cold days of winter, but high temperatures, the sun's harsh rays, and longer days outdoors can make it more difficult to manage your diabetes. Now, this does not mean you don't get to go out and enjoy the beautiful sunny days at the beach, it means taking a few more precautions and planning ahead. We have compiled a list of useful tips for you to keep in mind this summer.

Stay Hydrated

People with diabetes can become dehydrated more quickly. Dehydration can raise your blood glucose, higher glucose levels can make you urinate more, which worsens dehydration. Before you start the IV drip, read about the smarter choices when it comes to staying hydrated.

Be sure to choose the right liquids to keep hydrated. Water is always the best drink of choice. It is wise to avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol, tea, or soft drinks which can all be dehydrating. You don't have to drink your body weight in water, but avoiding beverages that work against you, will make it that much easier to stay healthy in the sun.

Choose Healthy Snacks

Cup of almonds on a table Photo by Juan José Valencia Antía on Unsplash

If you are planning a day trip you want to make sure you think ahead when it comes to snacks. Water-rich fruit and vegetables are in season like peaches, cherries, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Be sure to think about balance when packing, grabbing celery and peanut butter, a hard-boiled egg, string cheese, and apple slices, or throw some fruit in a cup of yogurt.

Wear Sunscreen

Woman applying sunscreen to her face Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Sunburn can trigger inflammation in the body, raising glucose levels. Wearing sunscreen can help prevent running into this issue. Choosing a high enough SPF such as SPF 50 can help prevent sunburn. Another thing to check is how often you need to reapply if you are going to be outside for an extended period of time, or swimming. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using about 1 ounce or enough to fill a shot glass to fully cover their body, and when outdoors, reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the bottle.

Keep Supplies Safe

Frio Insulin cooling case

Keeping your insulin and test strips cool is very important for them to work well. Insulin vials must be kept cool, and also avoid freezing. We really like the Frio Insulin Cooling Case which keeps insulin cool without refrigeration and is activated by water.

If you are going to be at the beach, pack your meter in a seal-able bag to keep sand out and wrap in a towel and keep it in the cooler to protect from extreme heat, which can lead to inaccurate readings.

Wear Shoes

Womans lower legs wearing white shoes Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Prevent unnecessary cuts or scrapes from the elements be simply wearing shoes when outdoors. This may be a small tip, but can make a big difference as the healing time for wounds can be slower for those with diabetes.

Wear the Right Socks

Diabetic Crew Sock ecosox

Keeping your feet cool and dry is very important when preventing skin breakdown, or fungal infections. Traditional cotton socks may not be enough to do the trick. Look for socks that wick away moisture to help keep your feet cool. Check out these diabetic socks make with bamboo, these socks help increase blood circulation, have enhanced moisture control and are made of one of the most ecologically friendly grasses on the planet.

So go on out there and enjoy the beautiful days of summer! Just remember to plan ahead and be proactive when it comes to taking care of your body.

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