Summer Heat And Diabetics: How Heat Impacts Diabetics And Simple Measures That Can Help

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Summer Heat And Diabetics: How Heat Impacts Diabetics And Simple Measures That Can Help

With rising temperatures, the scorching heat can greatly affect individuals who live with diabetes.

Summer heat and diabetics: How heat impacts diabetics and simple measures that can help

Image Source: Dinodia

The confluence of high temperatures, humidity, and dryness can impact the heat tolerance of diabetics, causing them to feel the heat more intensely compared to those without diabetes. Furthermore, fluctuating blood sugar levels can present numerous challenges for them. Nevertheless, by comprehending these effects and implementing preventive measures, individuals with diabetes can experience a safe and enjoyable summer season. 

Effects of heat on people with diabetes:

People living with diabetes may exhibit increased vulnerability to the detrimental impacts of heat. During the summer, there can be disruptions in glucose regulation and alterations in insulin dynamics. Sweat glands may also be affected, impeding the body's ability to effectively cool down, resulting in excessive water loss for individuals with diabetes. Consequently, this can lead to various issues, including dehydration, fatigue, episodes of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, imbalances in electrolytes, and frequent urination.

Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration may appear as:

  • Fatigue

  • Reduced frequency of urination

  • Heightened thirst

  • Feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Headaches

  • Dry mouth and eyes

As dehydration progresses, the following symptoms may manifest:

  • Intense thirst

  • Urine that is dark in colour

  • Decreased blood pressure

  • Accelerated heart rate

  • Some individuals may also observe a decrease in sweat production

When you experience dehydration, it can lead to an increase in your blood glucose levels. Consequently, you may notice a greater frequency in urination, further exacerbating the issue.

Moreover, individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to heat exhaustion due to potential damage to their blood vessels, nerves, and sweat glands. This can hinder the body's ability to effectively regulate its temperature and cool down as required.

Furthermore, elevated temperatures can affect the body's utilisation of insulin. Ordinarily, during exercise, the need for insulin decreases. However, hot weather can disrupt this balance, putting you at risk of both high and low blood glucose levels.

Tips for managing diabetes during summer:

Here are a few practical measures individuals with diabetes can implement to safeguard themselves against heat-related complications during the summer season. However, it is advisable to seek guidance from your healthcare provider prior to making any substantial modifications to your diet and lifestyle.

  1. It is crucial to stay well-hydrated during the summer months. It is important to consume an adequate amount of water throughout the day, regardless of thirst. Opting for sugar-free beverages or infusing water with fruit can enhance the flavour without causing a spike in blood sugar levels. 

  2. Consult your healthcare provider or diabetes educator for guidance on how to modify your insulin dosage (and occasionally increase carbohydrate intake) prior to engaging in exercise. Initially, your primary focus during doctor's appointments may revolve around addressing pressing concerns, such as managing diabetes effectively. 

  3. Given that high temperatures can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, it is advisable to increase the frequency of testing. This will enable you to promptly respond and maintain stable levels. 

  4. Ensure the safety of your medication and essential supplies. Prioritise safeguarding your insulin, glucagon kit, and other necessary items before venturing outdoors, irrespective of the weather conditions.

  5. Consuming caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration and disrupt your blood sugar levels. It is advisable to refrain from them and opt for other nourishing beverages. 

  6. When embarking on a journey, ensure you have refreshments readily available to enhance your summer vacation experience. Avoid dampening your holiday plans by packing nutritious snacks such as fruits and refreshing beverages like lemonade. These provisions will keep you satisfied and hydrated throughout your travels.

  7. Your baby requires proper nourishment every day. Therefore, ensure that your daily diet incorporates nutrient-rich foods, such as fresh vegetables and fruits with low-fructose content. Opt for foods with a low-glycemic index and minimal calorie content. 

  8. Minimise the chances of sunburn and heat exhaustion by remaining in shaded areas and take measures to shield yourself from direct sunlight. By seeking shade, donning a broad-brimmed hat, and applying sunscreen, you can effectively lower the risks associated with prolonged sun exposure.


Summer is a delightful season, yet it can adversely affect individuals with diabetes due to the high temperatures and humidity. It is crucial to remain vigilant for symptoms of dehydration and heat exhaustion, while also closely monitoring your blood glucose levels. Make sure to have an abundant stock of fluids, medications, and necessary supplies within easy reach. This way, you can promptly access your medication, fast-acting carbohydrates, or any other essential items whenever the need arises.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.