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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Stay Safe in the Heat

Photo Credit: 123RTF 

 

Introduction 

 

I was chatting with a friend living in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, the other day, and it got me thinking about heat and quality of life living with type 2 diabetes.  It is hard to imagine that only a couple of months ago, the temperature in the north was hovering around minus 50 degrees Celsius.  If you have not experienced that extreme temperature before, I can suggest it is tough, and the people who face it every year are even tougher.   

 

But now, the temperature has swung from minus 50 to plus 28 degrees Celsius.  That is extreme, and people with medical conditions are at greater risk, including those living with diabetes.  I want to provide a few tips on what anyone with type 2 diabetes can do to protect themselves.  

 

Living with type 2 diabetes 

 

Living with type 2 diabetes requires extra care, especially when dealing with extreme weather conditions like heat waves.  People with type 2 diabetes are at a heightened risk of dehydration and blood sugar imbalances. To ensure safety and well-being during these challenging times, here are some crucial tips to follow: 

 

Stay Hydrated:  Proper hydration is key to preventing dehydration, a common risk during heat waves. Opt for water as your primary source of hydration and avoid sugary drinks or alcohol that can impact blood sugar levels. 

 

Keep Cool: Beat the heat by staying in cool, shaded areas. Utilize air-conditioned spaces or fans to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Limit outdoor activities during peak heat hours to prevent overheating. 

 

Monitor Blood Sugar Levels:  Heat can affect blood sugar levels, making regular monitoring essential. Test your blood sugar more frequently during hot weather to detect fluctuations early on and take necessary actions. 

 

Medication Storage: Ensure proper storage of diabetes medications like insulin. Store medication in a cool place to prevent overheating, as extreme temperatures can impact effectiveness. 

 

Dress Appropriately: Opt for loose, breathable, light-coloured clothing to stay cool during hot weather.  Shield yourself from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses and applying sunscreen to protect your skin. 

 

Plan Ahead: Prepare for emergencies by having extra medication, snacks, and water readily available. Having these essentials on hand can be a lifesaver in case of power outages or other heat-related issues. 

 

Conclusion 

 

By being proactive and following these guidelines, individuals with type 2 diabetes can navigate heat waves with reduced risks and enhanced safety.  Your health is a priority, so prioritize self-care and seek medical attention promptly if you experience any heat-related symptoms or concerns. 

 

Stay safe, stay cool, and care for yourself, especially during challenging weather conditions. Your well-being and quality of life matter, and if you would like some help, please feel free to contact us through our website, Damndiabetes.ca

 

If you have more specific questions or want some assistance, feel free to reach out to us through our website, Damndiabetes.ca

 

Best wishes ...  

Vancouver, Canada 

 

Note: if you feel discomfort or may be having problems, please get medical advice.  The above is not intended to be medical advice but general tips on how you may be able to live a better quality of life in a heat wave with type 2 diabetes.  Only your healthcare provider is qualified to provide you with medical advice. 

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