Summer Challenges & Safety Tips for Diabetics

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but it can also present some unique challenges for people with diabetes. With vacation planning in full swing, it’s essential to be prepared for summer activities and know how to stay safe. Here are a few tips to help make sure your diabetes stays under control this season.

3 Summer Challenges & Safety Tips for Diabetics

1. Protect Your Feet

Your feet are especially vulnerable during the summer. Bacteria and fungi love warm, moist environments—and your shoes can provide the perfect breeding ground. Hot weather also means you’re more likely to be active, leading to blisters, scrapes, and other foot injuries.

Here are a few tips to help protect your feet this summer:

  • Wash your feet every day with soap and water. Dry them thoroughly, paying particular attention to the spaces between your toes.
  • Apply lotion to keep your skin soft and supple—but don’t put it between your toes. This can lead to fungal infections.
  • Check your feet for cuts, sores, redness, or swelling. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call your doctor.
  • Wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Avoid going barefoot, even at the pool or beach.
  • If you have diabetes, you must see a podiatrist at least once a year.

2. Exercise Safely

Exercise is integral to managing diabetes, but it’s also important to exercise safely. If you have diabetes, you’re at a higher risk for foot and ankle injuries, so taking care of your feet before and after exercise is important.

Here are a few tips to help you exercise safely:

  • Warm up with some light activity before you start your workout. This will help increase blood flow to your muscles and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Cool down after your workout with some gentle stretches. This will help your muscles recover and reduce the risk of soreness.
  • Wear shoes that fit well and provide support. Avoid worn-out shoes or those with pointy toes, high heels, or straps that can rub your skin.
  • Exercise on a soft surface to reduce the impact on your joints. A treadmill or an elliptical machine is a good option.

3. Check Blood Sugars Regularly

It’s important to check your blood sugar levels regularly, especially if you’re active or have diabetes. High blood sugar levels can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a serious condition that can be fatal if not treated immediately.

Symptoms of DKA include nausea, vomiting, confusion, and an inability to think clearly. If you experience any of these symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Here are a few tips to help you check your blood sugar levels:

  • Check your blood sugar before and after exercise.
  • If you’re sick or under stress, check your blood sugar more often.
  • Keep a log of your blood sugar readings to spot patterns and trends.
  • If you have diabetes, it’s important to see your doctor regularly. They can help you adjust your medication if needed.

Conclusion

Summertime can be an excellent time for diabetics, but it’s important to take extra steps to stay safe. By following the tips above, you can enjoy all summer offers while keeping your diabetes under control.

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