Warning to people with diabetes as hot weather hits tomorrow

PEOPLE with diabetes are warned that the hot weather could worsen their condition. 

With temperatures expected to reach up to 22C this Easter Bank Holiday, there are steps people can take to manage their condition.

Almost five million Brits have diabetes, of which 90 per cent are type 2 and eight per cent are type 1.

The main types are usually treated differently, but both are as serious as each other.

Diabetes UK warns that people with the condition should be wary when it’s hot outside. 

It writes: “Sitting in the sun for long periods can affect your diabetes because you're not being very active, making blood sugar levels higher than usual. 

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“On the flipside, if you take insulin to treat your diabetes it will be absorbed more quickly from the injection site in warm weather, and this increases the risk of hypos.”

Hypo is when blood sugar levels drop dangerously low, with early red flags including swearing, tiredness, hunger, tingly lips, a fast heartbeat and turning pale.

But Diabetes UK says there is no reason why people living with the condition can’t enjoy nice weather if they are careful.

They advise to keep on top of blood sugar levels by monitoring them more often than usual.

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“Be ready to adjust your diet or insulin dose if you take insulin,” the leading charity says.

“If you plan on being active in the sun, like going for a swim, eat some extra carbohydrate at your meal before or as an extra snack. 

“Check your levels beforehand and have a sugary snack if your levels are low. Keep something sugary to hand too, just in case.”

Vital tools diabetics use every day should also be stored carefully when the sun is shining.

Blood glucose metres and test strips can be affected in extremes of temperatures and produce misleading results.

It’s not going to be a scorcher this weekend, however, leaving these items on the side in direct sunlight could still impair them.

Diabetes UK says: “If you take insulin to treat your diabetes, keep a close eye on how you store it.

“If your blood sugar levels are consistently higher than expected, it's worth considering whether your insulin could have been damaged in the sun. 

“Insulin, in the hot weather especially, is best kept in the fridge or a cool bag (taking care that it does not freeze). 

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“When damaged by heat, clear insulin generally becomes cloudy and cloudy insulin becomes grainy and sticks in the side of the glass. 

“Insulin that has been exposed to bright sunlight sometimes has a brownish colour. Do not use insulin that looks like this. Speak to your GP or a healthcare professional if you're unsure.”

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