Cardiovascular patients and diabetics are advised to take care of themselves in high temperatures and not to expose themselves to unusual stress. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that there is sufficient fluid intake. (Image: jozsitoeroe / stock.adobe.com)
The cardiovascular system is stressed by heat
The violent temperature fluctuations that are currently occurring in many parts of Germany have an enormous impact on health. The cardiovascular system can be severely impaired as a result. Diabetics are particularly affected here. It is advisable to measure your blood sugar more often, especially in hot weather.
Many diabetics also have the cardiovascular system: high blood pressure and coronary artery disease are common companions of diabetes mellitus. You are also at an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Large fluctuations in temperature can be extremely stressful for those affected and trigger a cardiovascular event. The non-profit organization diabetesDE – German Diabetes Aid – points this out in an article.
Watch out for high temperatures
According to experts, people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to have a stroke than people with good metabolic health. People with hypertension (high blood pressure) have a ten-fold increase in risk.
“At high temperatures, we advise people with cardiovascular diseases to relax and not expose themselves to unusual stress,” explains Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Haak, board member of diabetesDE – German diabetes aid and chief physician of the diabetes center Mergentheim.
“Regular exercise is important, but the evening or early morning hours are best for physical activity because it is cooler then.”
If the metabolism is also unstable and the glucose level is constantly rising, the risk of a cardiovascular event increases further.
Check blood sugar levels more often
“We recommend people with diabetes who take insulin to check their glucose values more frequently on hot days, because in addition to excess sugar, values that are too low can also occur,” says Professor Haak.
On the one hand, insulin acts much faster in some people at high temperatures, on the other hand, lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet also play a role in their development. “Hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia can easily go unnoticed or be misinterpreted, especially when swimming. Shaking hands and dizziness are common signs of low blood sugar.
Energy consumption increases in cold water
“Even when you go to the seaside, the lake or the swimming pool, it is better to check your blood sugar more often than usual and adjust the amount of insulin if necessary,” recommends Professor Haak.
It is important to dry your hands well beforehand, as water can influence the measurement result. Especially in very cold water, the energy consumption increases due to the higher loss of body heat and movement.
With spontaneous hypoglycemia, glucose, preferably in liquid form, helps.
A high-carb snack can help
People with type 1 diabetes who wear an insulin pump can remove it before swimming. As explained in the communication, the cannula that pierced the fatty tissue of the skin remains on the abdomen – protected by a waterproof catheter bandage.
“The insulin pump can only be switched off when the glucose level is between 120 and 180 mg / dl,” emphasizes Professor Haak.
If the value is lower, diabetics can have a small, carbohydrate-rich snack before jumping into the water. If, on the other hand, the glucose level is too high, an additional dose of insulin is necessary.
In addition, the diabetologist advises not to expose the insulin, pen or pump to direct sunlight and to take it with you in a cooler bag / thermos flask. However, insulin should not come into direct contact with the cooling elements.
The same applies to insulin pumps, test strips, blood glucose meters and medication: Protect from direct sunlight and store in a clean, dry place.
Make sure you have enough fluids
It is particularly important for older people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to drink enough fluids. The feeling of thirst can decrease with age and, together with an unstable metabolism, promote dehydration.
As a thirst quencher, DiabetesDE recommends mineral water, unsweetened herbal and fruit teas or fruit juices made from fruit juice and water (e.g. 1 part juice, 3 parts water).
As a rule of thumb, adults should drink at least 1.5 liters per day, and more if they sweat heavily. Mineral water can be flavored with a lemon wedge, fresh ginger or fresh peppermint. (Display)
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This text complies with the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
This article is for guidance only and is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a doctor’s visit.