Summer Tips for Diabetics When the heat goes up, controlling your sugar levels becomes critically important. Here are a few hints on how to do it Check sugar levels frequently throughout the day, especially during exercise, as dehydration may cause the blood sugar to fluctuate. Store your blood glucose meter, strips and insulin in a cool, dry place. Do not store insulin or meters in extreme temperatures. Never store insulin in the freezer, in direct sunlight, in the car or the car’s glove compartment. Examine your vials of insulin. Clear insulin (Regular, Humalog, Novorapid, Lantus, Levemir) should remain clear. Cloudy insulin (NPH/premixed) should not have any clumping or “frosting” on the vials. When travelling out, transport insulin and blood glucose strips in an insulated bag protected by a cold pack. (Avoid freezing.) Exercise in a cool place such as an air-conditioned gymnasium, or early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures may be more moderate. Wear light coloured clothing made of fabrics that can ‘breathe.’ Wear protective sunglasses that provide protection from the UV rays. Protect your feet – never walk barefoot on hot surfaces or wear plastic chappals/sandals. Doing this can cause burns. Watch for signs of possible heat exhaustion, such as fainting; sweating; 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 water and seek medical help. It is advisable to carry your diabetes identification card with you at all times. Maintain adequate hydration. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially water. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages that can be dehydrating. Always carry a bottle of water with you when venturing out.