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Hot Days and Diabetes

Diabetes can be challenging to control on a day with comfortable temperatures, but as the temperatures and humidity rise, it can be downright dangerous if the body gets dehydrated. The quick loss of fluid can increase thirst, decrease urine output, result in dark urine, dizziness, excessive sweating, muscle cramping, cool/clammy skin, nausea and vomiting headaches and rapid heartbeat. If left untreated severe dehydration causes confusion, weakness, organ failure and coma.

Those with high blood glucose (sugar) to begin with are more likely to see even higher numbers as the blood becomes more concentrated.


Drink extra non calorie, preferable decaffeinated fluids like water and non calorie flavored seltzer or water throughout the day. Avoid sweetened drinks and large amounts of caffeine! These can be more dehydrating.

Check blood glucose (sugar) numbers more often.

Avoid exercise and strenuous activity in hot weather. Do chores in the morning or later evening as temperatures cool.

Recognize the symptoms of dehydration and act quickly. Delayed treatment can difficult to treat.

Should fever, nausea and vomiting occur it is important to treat as soon as possible. Medications can be given to control symptoms. Drink small, frequent amounts of clear liquids (apple juice, regular gingerale, regular Jell-O, clear soups are all examples of fluids that replace the carbohydrates normally supplied by food)

Emergency services should be called if extreme tiredness, confusion, uncontrolled fever, nausea and vomiting can’t be controlled. Call immediately if seizures occur.


Just as the body struggles with hot temperatures, glucose meters, strips and insulin should be protected from the high heat. All products need to be stored in a cooler with an ice pack if in a hot car.

Insulin that is being used can be kept at room temperature for 28 to 42 days (depending upon the product) from when it is opened. If the location is hotter than room temperature, then instead store in a cooler or refrigerator.


Brought to you by the Diabetes Educators –

Joan Hultgren RD LDN CDE; Kelly Sinclair MS RD LDN CDE ; Marcia Sikorski RD LDN CDE


Staying Safe in the Summer Sun!

When the temperatures rise and we are exposed to extreme heat and humidity, our bodies lose the ability to cool themselves down. This may lead to dehydration and heat-related illness. Heat-related illness includes:

heat cramps

painful cramps, muscle spasms and sweating

Treat with hydration, seeking a cool environment and halting any strenuous activity.

heat exhaustion

heavy sweating, nausea, weakness or dizziness, muscle cramping

Treat by getting into a cooler environment with a fan if available, remove bulky or tight clothing, utilize cool compresses or spray cool mist on skin and hydrate.

heat stroke

sweating may or not occur at this point because of significant dehydration; altered mental status

This is a medical emergency and the affected person must be taken to the hospital immediately. Call 911.

Extreme heat tips

  • Always use protective sunblock.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. If you are working outside, drink 2-4 glasses of cool water every hour. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Seek shade or cooler areas if you start to get hot.
  • Wear lightweight, light colored , loose fitting clothing.
  • Limit your outdoor activity and sun exposure.
  • Remember never leave a child or a pet in a parked car! It takes less than 2 minutes for a car’s temperature to rise to an unsafe level.

People at greater risk for heat-related illness are:

  • infants/young children and the elderly
  • people with high blood pressure, heart disease or a fever
  • people with obesity
  • people with mental illness
  • people who use drugs and alcohol