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Tips for Managing Diabetes in Warm Weather

I know I am very late to this party regarding management of diabetes and this heat! But thought I’d jump on the wagon all the same.

Heat affects every single diabetic differently as well as the type of heat and the degree of it. For some, the heat will cause the insulin to become more active, resulting in hypos, and others will cause it to become lethargic, resulting in higher blood sugars. As well as this, the humidity makes a huge difference on the how the insulin works and its success rate.

As you all know, insulin should be kept cool at all times. With the fridge being the perfect place to store it when it is not in use, it is so hard to keep it at a cool, consistent temperature during the warmer temperatures.

My tips for keeping insulin cool include:

  • If using injection pens, try and keep them in fridge throughout the hottest parts of the day! If the cold insulin stings, I have found putting and ice pack on the site first helps to numb it so you cannot feel the insulin sting.

    Obviously, it is such a pain remembering your insulin is stacked away in the fridge, but I have found when I give the injections, it has been effective!

  • If you use an insulin pump, it is best to not fill the cartridges completely. Have enough insulin for 1-2 days so you can keep the insulin at its prime! It will mean more cannula changes but also hopefully more stable blood sugars!

  • If you didn’t want to do this, you can use cool bags for insulin to store either pens or pump in throughout the day!

But its not only trying to keep your insulin cool whilst everything around you is melting! You also have to try and guess how your blood sugars is going to react to the heat. Personally, sometimes my blood sugars drop far into my boots and will not budge upwards. Never mind how much sugar I consume; whilst other days, like today – no amount of insulin is working. As you can see from the picture below, I cannot get them down from 14mmol/l, I must have had over 15 units today by lunch time but hey ho – most days are unpredictable! I suggest on days like today:

  • Keeping an eye on ketones
  • Drink PLENTY of fluids
  • Have insulin little and often so I have been having 1-2units every hour to help prolong the period of time that its at its peak. (Speak to your diabetic nurse beforehand as we all need different amounts of insulin. Overtime, this technique works for me!)
  • Increase basal rates, I increase mine by 15-20%. This is through a trial-and-error process and have finally found a range where it is effective 😊
  • Keep out of the sun as much as possible and sunburn can cause insulin resistance, resulting in higher blood sugars!
  • Plus, you may find you are way more tired. It does not hurt to give into a nap, as your blood sugars can become more resistant if you are sleep deprived let alone hot and bothered!
  • If sleeping with an ice pack in bed (my favourite!) make sure it is wrapped in a tea towel just in case the ice pack touches your insulin pump – this prevents the insulin

I hope these are helpful 🙂 please comment your top tips below!

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