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Handling diabetes in the heat of summer

Experts from the Joslin Diabetes Centre in Boston have compiled a list of the special precautions needed for diabetics facing high summer temperatures. Although the list was compiled for American, the scorching heat throughout most of England in July means that the study has relevance for UK diabetics also.
Catherine Carver, the director of educational services at Josli, said: “People with chronic diseases like diabetes as well as people taking certain medications, including heart disease medications and diuretics, which are often used to treat complications of diabetes, are at increased risk of experiencing difficulties in the heat, even though they may not be aware of it.”
The following tips could make summer easier for diabetics:
Watch out for dehydration caused by low fluids or poorly managed blood glucose . Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol intake.
Be aware of heat exhaustion, particularly when outdoors for some time. Be aware of symptoms such as dizziness, sweating, muscle cramps, clammy skin, and headaches. Keep water levels topped up.
Exercise somewhere cool, or at cool times of day.
Check blood glucose levels at least four times a day, because heat can cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate.
Keep insulin, meter and strips somewhere cool and dry. Be aware of the effects of heat on insulin.
Coping with the heat can be difficult as a diabetic, and if you are experiencing problems or have any concerns it could be worth consulting with your healthcare team.

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