By jupton1 Latest Reply 2009-07-22 16:45:38 -0500
Started 2008-06-05 16:36:37 -0500

The heat being experienced in many parts of the nation these days is tough enough for the average healthy person, but for the estimated 21 million Americans with diabetes, special precautions may be required, according to experts at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

"People with chronic diseases like diabetes as well as people taking certain medications, including heart disease medications and diuretics, which are often used to treat complications of diabetes, are at increased risk of experiencing difficulties in the heat, even though they may not be aware of it," says Catherine Carver, M.S., A.N.P., C.D.E, Director of Educational Services at Joslin Clinic.

Carver and her colleagues at Joslin Clinic offer the following tips for people with diabetes during these steamy summer days:

— Keep hydrated. Dehydration, or the loss of body fluids, can happen on these very hot summer days whether you have diabetes or not. If you have diabetes, dehydration also can occur when blood glucose is not under control. When blood glucose is elevated, this can lead to an increase in the body's excretion of urine. To prevent dehydration drink plently of caffeine-free fluids such as water, seltzer, sugar-free drinks like iced tea, and lemonade. Limit your intake of alcohol.

— Watch for signs of heat exhaustion, especially if you are working or exercising outdoors. People with diabetes and other chronic diseases like heart disease are more susceptible to overheating. Symptoms include: feeling dizzy or fainting; sweating excessively; muscle cramps; skin that is cold or clammy; headaches; rapid heartbeat; and/or nausea. If you experience any of these symptoms, move to a cooler environment, drink fluids like water, juice or sports drinks (based on your healthcare provider's instructions) and seek medical attention.

— Exercise in a cool place such as an air-conditioned gym, or early in the morning or later in the evening.

— Check blood glucose levels at least four times a day, and more often if you are not feeling well. Remember that heat can cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate. Carry plenty of water and snacks.

— Store your blood glucose meter, strips and insulin in a cool, dry place. Do not store insulin in extreme temperatures. Never store insulin in the freezer, direct sunlight or in the car or in the glove compartment of the car. Examine your vial of insulin. Clear insulin (Regular, Humalog, Novolog, Apidra, Lantus, Levimir) should remain clear. NPH insulin should not have any clumping or "frosting" on the vials

26 replies

Anonymous 2009-07-22 01:09:37 -0500 Report

thank you , very helpful information, Can you still take insulin if it was stored just for one nite in the freezer and then put in the fridge?…
If you use it, what would happen?…

I just read recently that "Lantus" may cause cancer…I found an article from a prestigious med. school …stating that they are still testing to see if it really does.
sure hope not, I have been taking it.


Sarguillo 2009-07-22 16:45:38 -0500 Report

Hello, About insulin storage. I dont store my insulin in the freezer nor the fridge. I beleive they state the proper temps for Insulin is like 68-86 degees.
I have heard that if insulin gets too cold or too warm, it looses its poetency.
Please dont freeze it.
As to if its still good, call your pharmyist.
If its lost its poetency and you still use it, its like shooting a saline solution,
Nothing happens.
But please check your blood sugars to see if it is still working.

Sarguillo 2009-07-20 15:27:26 -0500 Report

Yes, we must be aware of heat issues and please remember your pets also. It hit 119 degrees here in central valley California this weekend

shul71 2009-07-19 08:19:03 -0500 Report

Thank you for the reminder. I live in one of those hot areas of the country. We can get a good week or sometimes 2 of triple digits during indian summers. (Thankfully not all at the same time) In the least we see 4-5 days of that without the indian summers. While I am pretty accessable to the beack, there is a marked 15-20 degree difference inland where I'm at. This week has been VERY hot and this weekend even hotter. Since I have no air in the house I rent, I try to find cool areas to go, and it keeps me and my kiddo (5 yr old) relatively happy. What makes it a bit more challenging to me is I am in early stages of CHF (Congestive Heart Fairlure) so I have to limit my total intake. I am looking to move farther north in the next year, but for the time being, staying in cool surroundings and resting frequently is my staple.

Thanks again Jupton1 for the good reminders.

Ani 2008-08-20 06:27:02 -0500 Report

I agree that you have to keep youself hydrated. Lately Ive been excersising and have noticed that my sugar is much lower after I exercise.

spoiledrotton 2008-06-15 02:26:22 -0500 Report

I was wondering if its was me just getting older or if it was my diabetes and med causing the heat to bother me so much more than it used to.thanks for the info.

LeighG 2008-06-09 07:02:39 -0500 Report

thank you for sharring this is so helpful.i am still learning everything about has been in my famliy forever but this passed year i have come to find i have it and am working on finding out everything i can to help me lead a good life with diabetes.sorry so much info lol.thanks again.

morris.js 2008-06-09 06:41:11 -0500 Report

Great info John, I just wanted to thank you for continuing to share this type of information with us. Keep up the good work!

Ginetteb 2008-06-07 02:49:59 -0500 Report

This is very good info. Living in Florida, I've learned the hard way how to behave in Summer. Plus, it is not recommended to remain in the sun when taking some of my medicine. Thus, my beach days are over. I now do the exact opposite than from what I used to do in Canada. I stay indoors in the summer and enjoy the outdoor in Winter.
Good job in stressing this point. All those people who are new to diabetes may not realize that food and medicine are not the only thing they need to watch out for.

jupton1 2008-06-07 03:10:07 -0500 Report

Thanks Ginetteb..Thats one thing about Ohio,it gets realy hot & in the winter we get realy freezing weather..john

BarryE 2008-06-07 00:00:34 -0500 Report

Excellent article, and thank you for posting it. Here in MA it's expected to be 90+ today.

Dancehawk 2008-06-07 02:29:28 -0500 Report

93 here in Loiusiana today, air is on and we got most of the house work done early to save on the power plant pull.


jupton1 2008-06-08 22:10:06 -0500 Report

It was 90 here today,the heat made me feel sick fast..I learned that I shouldnt go out when its in the 90s..

Dancehawk 2008-06-06 12:53:43 -0500 Report

Good information hun!
and thank you.


jupton1 2008-06-06 15:59:31 -0500 Report

Thank You,Its in the high 80s in Ohio.The heat is getting to me now that I have diabetes..John

taz202020 2008-06-06 20:14:07 -0500 Report

Jupton 1,
I'm originally from Ohio and have been in Colorado for the last 21 years. I lived in North OLmsted, Lakewood, Cleveland and on the east side by the art institute. I moved in part because I couldn't stand the temps. and the horrible humidity!!! I feel for you. You're really going to have to keep hydrated. Where do you live in Ohio? East side or west? Do you go down to the flats for some fun? I might have to go to Cleveland in July and am dreading the humidity. Sorry to be so off topic but when I heard you were from Ohio…

ncnurse1459 2008-06-05 18:12:13 -0500 Report

Wonderful information for all of us to follow ! Here in eastern North Carolina, our temps are hovering in the low to mid 90's already ! We all must be aware of our sensitivities and heed those hot day warnings and UV levels. Be safe !

jupton1 2008-06-06 07:57:47 -0500 Report

Thanks,also alot of us take meds ,some of these meds can have side effects in the heat & sun..John

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