L35 — August 2011 — Diabetes and Heat
Intro: When summer heats up, so does your risk of heat-related health issues — dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Paying attention to the heat is especially important if you have a chronic illness such as diabetes. Here's what diabetics need to know about staying healthy in the heat.
I gotta give you a decent pitch.
To Teresa Brown, there's nothing like a family game of backyard baseball.
Teresa has type 1 diabetes. She has to be careful when the sun soars.
If we know we're going to be doing anything active, then I need to plan ahead.
Diabetes patients are particularly susceptible to the heat. Not only do they have to worry about their health, they also have to worry about the impact of hot weather on their equipment, their medications and supplies.
Mayo Clinic Dr. Curtiss Cook says dehydration can happen to diabetic patients quickly in hot weather.
Because many times they lose their ability to cool themselves in the heat.
And high blood sugar levels also put them at risk of dehydration.
If you get really warm and you're not hydrating like you need to — I think it gets blurry to tell — am I just feeling this way because I'm really warm, or am I feeling this way because something's going on with my blood sugar?
So Teresa stays hydrated.
Drinks plenty of water.
And checks her blood sugar before …
It's actually a little high right now. It says 194.
And after playing in the sun.
This is good. I'm heading in the right direction.
Teresa is on an insulin pump that constantly delivers medication. It's essential that she keep her medication and equipment cool. Heat can damage the technology, even the test strips, and it can make insulin less effective.
The insulin's going to break down, and it's not going to work like it needs to in my body.
Insulin helps Teresa's body metabolize glucose — sugar.
Make's it more fun if you have to work for it.
So she's vigilant. And takes care to stay healthy in the heat. So she can pitch a perfect game to her family. For Medical Edge, I'm Vivien Williams.
Teresa says she checks her blood sugar levels four to five times a day, no matter what the temperature. It takes time and diligence, but she knows careful monitoring will help keep her healthy.
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