Hot weather can affect diabetes

Dear Sir, — As temperatures in the UK soar, we will all want to be heading outdoors and while the weather provides the perfect excuse to break out the BBQ, head to the seaside, or simply soak up the rays with a good book, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the sizzling temperatures can pose some sizeable health risks.
There are 3.7m people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes and it’s important that they’re aware of how hot weather can affect their condition. Long periods of inactivity in the sun may affect diabetes control, causing blood glucose levels to be higher than usual. 
As well as potentially higher blood glucose levels, insulin injections are absorbed more quickly in hot weather, increasing the chances of hypoglycemia or a hypo.
So it will be important for people with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels more often and be ready to adjust their insulin dose if necessary. And remember, insulin and monitors can be affected by heat so make sure you keep your diabetes kit cool in the sun. If you suspect they have been damaged, make sure you speak to your GP or health care team.
Feet are also an area you will want to keep an eye on. Some people living with diabetes suffer from nerve damage or neuropathy and this can mean they may not be aware if their feet are burning. Although relatively straightforward to treat, left untreated minor injuries could develop into an infection or ulcers.
So stay safe this summer, stay covered, and make sure you drink plenty of water. Diabetes shouldn’t be a barrier to making the most out of the glorious weather, so let’s get out there and enjoy it while it lasts. — Yours faithfully,

PETER SHORRICK 
Diabetes UK 
Midlands and East of England regional head. 

This article is available to subscribers only.

Login Subscribe