Diabetics should be more aware of heat exposure risks, doctors say
Although heat increases the risk of diabetes complications, a new report has found that many people who live in hot climates are not aware of precautions they need to take.
These conclusions were presented by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona at The Endocrine Society's 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego. The scientists collaborated with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service to survey diabetic patients from the Phoenix area.
They found that although most respondents had received information about the impact of heat on insulin, only 39 percent knew about the adverse effects of heat on their oral medications, 41 percent were aware about the potential damage to glucose meters and 38 were familiar with the importance of protecting glucose test strips.
Moreover, nearly 40 percent of those who said they were aware of the risks admitted that they preferred to leave their supplies at home in order to avoid exposure and thus had to go without potentially life-saving tests and medications while away from home. This is dangerous because, according to lead researcher Dr Adrienne Nassar, “people with diabetes have an impaired ability to sweat, which predisposes them to heat-related illness, as do uncontrolled high blood sugars.”
The researchers concluded that better diabetes management education was necessary for people living in hot climates.