Did you know that people who have a diabetic condition experience a far more exhausting heat during the summers than the others? Existing research highlights how extreme summers are harmful for diabetic patients. Observer Research Foundation highlights that around 6187 people died due to the heatwaves in India between 2011 to 2018. As global CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions continue to rise, heatwaves are likely to become more intense and frequent, says an October 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Slowly due to the various urbanization, relocation of the population and deforestation India is recording a rise in the temperature every year. Highly warm weather tends to dehydrate people with diabetes a lot more than the other non-diabetic people.
Many a times diabetic complications, like a slight damage to blood vessels and nerves, can affect the patient’s sweat glands. This effects body’s ability to sweat in response to hot ambient temperature and thus deprived of cooling effect leading to exhaustion and at times heat stroke. In uncontrolled diabetes with high blood sugar levels patients tend to pass urine more frequently and loses a lot more water content than a usual healthy and non-diabetic person. High temperature can often change the way your body reacts to or utilises insulin.
With rising temperatures in summers diabetic patients need to take additional care here. This might seem a bit too difficult but reminding yourself of a few common practices can be can really be helpful:
- Drinking plenty of water: The patient needs to drink a lot of water even if he/she is not feeling thirsty. This can prevent the body from getting dehydrated.
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine drinks: The habit of chilled beer or a cold coffee can spike the blood sugar levels in a diabetic person, hence a zero-sugar energy drink or a cool and salty lime water can act as a great replacement.
- Keeping a check on the blood sugar levels: Checking blood sugar levels before and after meals helps in regulating the type of and the amount of food intake in a patient and achieve a better sugar control.
- Regular exercise: Sedentary life style is a serious risk factor for developing diabetes and heart disease. We all need to take our health seriously and make sure of a regular physical activity knowing the body type. However, exercises are advised to be done at comfortable temperature and not when temperature reaches its peak. Consume lots of fluids to avoid dehydration due to exercise in summer heat.
- No bare foot walking during summer: In diabetics due to damage to nerves there is impaired perception of pain and heat sensation. Walking bare foot on a hot summer day can lead to blisters and burns in the insensate feet.
- Closed doors and windows: We often underestimate the nature but a little harmony with it can help us maintaining a moderate body temperature. It is advised to keep the doors and windows closed during a hot summer day and keeping open windows at the night hours to welcome the cool wind. This helps in manging and comforting the temperature inside the house.
- Wearing comfortable and loose clothes: Choosing cotton clothes can be a lot more soothing for the skin during the summers. It de-suffocates the skin and help in retaining the hydration.
- Always wear a hat or scarf while you are in the sun: Besides keeping a bottle an electrolyte drink, one should cover their body and the face with a scarf, this helps in keeping the body’s temperature in control that tends to enter from the scalp and hair follicles inside the body.
Special attention should be paid towards diabetic kids.
During the growth years, kids usually look forward to a refresher after coming back from either school or a heavy playtime. Zero sugar electrolytes or home made no sugar juices can be great replacements to the usual glucose drinks.
We should also look at the junk and oily food intake. No matter what the age is, Indians are always up for junk and oily food despite knowing the adverse effects of future weight issues, however global statistics gives a clear message of manning this bad habit. Regular intake of junk food leads to huge weight management problems that can lead to early diabetes in children. This can further give rise to co-morbidities, hence limiting this consumption can be quite helpful.
Taking little bit of extra care can let you enjoy the sunny morning.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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