As temperatures remain warm over the holiday weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines Friday on how to manage diabetes amid the heat.
According to the CDC's website, people with diabetes "feel the heat more" than people without diabetes due to the body's ability to use insulin properly, the sweat glands not operating as they should and easily becoming dehydrated.
The heat combined with humidity, which has proven to be common in the Chicago area, can be dangerous to those with diabetes, according to the CDC.
"When sweat evaporates (dries) on your skin, it removes heat and cools you," the website said. "It’s harder to stay cool in high humidity because sweat can’t evaporate as well."
The CDC explained that physical activity is crucial to managing diabetes properly, but should be done indoors during the hot days of summer or when temperatures drop outside in the early morning and late night.
Here are some tips from the CDC for managing diabetes during warm and humid weather:
- Check blood sugar levels more often because the heat can throw off the body's routine
- Drink water even when not thirsty to avoid dehydration
- Avoid alcohol and drinks with caffeine as both can lead to water loss and spikes in blood sugar levels
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing to keep the body cool
- Wear sunscreen and a hat when outside as sunburn can raise blood sugar levels
- Do not go barefoot, even at the beach or pool
- Use air conditioning to stay cool as room fans will not always keep people body temperatures low enough in high heat
The CDC also warned against storing insulin, oral diabetes medicine and monitoring devices in direct sunlight or a hot car. If traveling, health officials recommend carrying the medicine in a cooler.