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Diabetes

Diabetes

Hot weather can make symptoms worse for people who have existing long-term health conditions, like diabetes. People with diabetes may experience health problems during the summer as blood vessels dilate when they’re warm which means insulin may be absorbed faster than normal. Here are some top tips to stay well this summer:

  • If you use insulin, monitor your blood glucose more frequently and speak to your doctor about adjusting your insulin dosage to suit.
  • Insulin is best kept in the fridge or a cool bag, taking care that it does not freeze. If your clear insulin turns cloudy or your cloudy insulin starts to look grainy, it has been damaged and should not be used.
  • Keep insulin, glucose meters and test strip packages out of direct sunlight.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Always wear sunscreen. This is especially important if you have any reduced sensation or poor blood circulation in your feet, as you may not realise that you are burning or damaging your feet.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Try to avoid alcohol as it can make you more dehydrated.
  • Stay out of the heat in the hottest part of the day, usually between 11am and 3pm.
  • Avoid excessive physical activity; you don’t want to be building up a sweat in the heat.

For more information and advice, visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/summerhealth, or ring NHS 111.