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Archive for July, 2018

Jul
01

Heat and Diabetes

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During the summer months and especially when it is both hot and humid it becomes extremely important to stay hydrated and limit exposure to high temperatures and the sun. Having diabetes, kidney disease and other chronic diseases that compromise fluid and electrolyte balances place individuals at greater risk for heat sensitivity and heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

These conditions may be heat exhaustion or even heat stroke or sun stroke. Heat related injuries/ conditions occur when internal body temperature rises above the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat stroke is a condition where the body’s core temperature is as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Who is at risk?

  • Individuals most prone to dehydration and heat conditions are the young, (babies and young children) and the elderly; these are those under 5 years of age and those older than 65 years of age.
  • Those who work outside during the day, especially in the hottest hours, from early morning until midday have an increased risk of heat exhaustion or heat/sun stroke.
  •  Athletes who perform intensive exercise on hot, humid summer days have the potential for heat related illnesses.
  • Even individuals taking medications for blood pressure or fluid restriction can be at risk for developing heat related conditions.

The body perspires from four places the head, hands, feet and armpits.  Sweating helps lower the body’s internal temperature. Exercising in clothing that covers these areas with helmets or shoulder pads limits the potential for sweating/ perspiring causing body temperature to rise.

Heat exhaustion is a condition that can occur from water depletion in the body.  The symptoms here can include; excessive thirst, weakness, headache or even a loss of consciousness.  The body may also be depleted of salt.  Here symptoms can include; nausea and vomiting, muscle cramps and dizziness.

Treating Heat Exhaustion:

  • Go indoors or at the very least move to a shady location.
  • Drink water to rehydrate.
  • Place cold wet cloths or ice on the back, arm pit and groin area.

A change in the individual’s responsiveness should occur. If it doesn’t, contact a health care provider, the condition could escalate to heat stroke.

Heat Stoke / sun stroke can become a fatal condition. The person may show symptoms of massive headache, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, inability to perspire with red or flushed dry skin, hallucinations, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or losing consciousness.

Treating Heat Stroke:

  • Call 911! The individual needs to get to the hospital.
  • While awaiting medical assistance, move the individual to a cooler area, preferably air conditioned.  Remove any excessive clothing and administer first aid if needed.
  • Fan air over the individual or wet the person’s body with water. A cool shower would be ideal, but a garden hose will work.
  • Place cold packs or cloths on back, arm pits, groin area to reduce internal body temperature.

Tips to avoid heat stroke or heat exhaustion:

  • Avoid drinks that contain caffeine.
  • Skip alcoholic beverages
  • Remember thirst is not a good mechanism to tell how much water one should drink.
  • Always carry with you a water bottle filled with clean fresh water.
  • Skip the workout in the hottest hours of the day.
  • Wear clothing that breathes when being out in the heat or sun.
  • If you work outside, stay well hydrated, wear a hat, and take breaks from being in the sun for extended periods of time.

Do you have more questions about this topic?

Call Diabetes Management & Supplies to speak to an educator.

888-738-7929 ext 2102

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Ordering Supplies and Equipment

A diabetes treatment plan is very important. Make sure you know how things should work. Carefully following any medication orders and instructions is vital to your plan's success. Make sure you don't run out of supplies just as you refill prescriptions so you don't run out of medication.

Here are some ways you can let us help you reorder supplies:

At Diabetes Management & Supplies, we value the part we play on your treatment plan team and realize that winning is promoting good health.