Diabetes and Summertime

It’s August, which when you live in Fresno means gross amounts of heat, humidity, and laziness. For the last few days it has been between 105-110 degrees and I am literally dying. In Fresno, for most people the month of August is about being the laziest. It’s just too hot to do anything. We are willing use our AC as much as possible, even with the risk of a rolling black out just to manage the heat. This heat isn’t just messing with my energy level, it also messing with my blood sugar levels. The last couple of days my blood sugars have been a hot mess (get it?). I have been all over the board with highs and lows. It’s wearing me down and driving me crazy, so I decided to look into why this happens every year.

I started looking into why my blood sugars may raise in the summertime. What I found out surprised me a little bit. Turns out I should be having more low numbers than high. This is due to your metabolism increasing. Apparently, it takes your body around 10-14 days to acclimate to the disgusting heat increase. Until it has acclimated to the heat your body is working harder to keep you cool so you won’t overheat. In the world of diabetes a body working harder means using up more of the sugar in your system leading to low blood sugars.

I guess that would explain my low blood sugar increase. But, still hasn’t answered why I am noticing just as many high numbers. Then I came across a Mayo Clinic blog explaining that it isn’t necessarily the heat that is affecting your blood sugars, but the fact that heat can change your daily routines, which can affect your blood sugar levels. Being lazy (which I mentioned earlier happens a lot in Fresno during August) will affect your blood sugars especially if you are eating more and exercising less. Which I have to admit, in the last two weeks, I have been terrible about going to boot camp every other day like I normally do, it’s too stinking hot to be running around buildings and lifting weights. This would explain my higher numbers.

Another factor of why my blood sugars could be misbehaving is the fact that the heat will begin to breakdown your insulin. I noticed this last week when I was on my last leg of insulin. My blood sugars were not going down quickly enough and I was having higher peaks than I normally do. The problem with this, I am the cheapest person in America (or at least I feel that way about certain items) I refuse to refill my insulin until it is absolutely needed because that stuff is expensive. Especially when I need new insulin before my 30 days is up because then I pay completely out of pocket and that is just a scary number! But I guess it would be more expensive to land in the ER because I have a large amount of ketones building up in my system.

So, if you are experiencing some funky numbers like I am, here are some things to remember when it’s getting hot and your diabetes is acting crazy. Try not to switch your routine around, as a diabetic you know it is very important to stick to your routine so don’t deviate. Drink lots of water to avoid ketones and dehydration. Try to keep your insulin cool (if you can) and don’t be cheap like me and refill your prescription or change out your set if you are noticing any changes. Just because it’s insanely hot doesn’t give you the excuse to become a bad diabetic.

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lots of insight there, so many variables, certainly being diabetic makes you more in tune with all the variables that affect you, i'm not sure if this is a "good" point of being diabetic, but you are smart and in tune. being more self aware and in tune to all the variables affecting your health is a good quality for all of us, but it is essential for being a "successful" diabetic, so good job and dont beat yourself up about the laziness i wouldn't want to be doing boot camp in 100 degree weather, how about taking your workout into a cool gym or some gentle yoga in your AC'd home! best wishes, amy