Summer Heat Is a Risk to Diabetes Patients
Survey Shows Many People With Diabetes Aren't Protecting Themselves From High Temperatures
''This study addresses an interesting and timely question," says Ruchi Mathur, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, who reviewed the findings for WebMD.
She points out, however, that most of the respondents did not have well-controlled diabetes and so may not represent the general population of those with diabetes.
''This study does make us aware that further education is needed to provide patients with diabetes the information they need to tackle such extreme weather conditions safely," Mathur says. All patients with diabetes, not just those on insulin, need education about how to handle high temperatures and take care of medication -- whether they use injected insulin or oral medications, she says.
Nassar tells those with diabetes to follow simple steps in the heat to stay healthy, such as:
- Pay attention to fluid intake before becoming thirsty (with specific instructions from your doctor).
Exercise in air-conditioning if possible or if outdoors, late in the evening or early morning when temperatures are lower.
- Look at the package inserts for medication to determine safe storage temperatures.