Diabetes in the summer: practical advice

Diabetes in the summer: practical advice

Only those who suffer from diabetes realize it: the summer can
hide many dangers, but with the right precautions, you can enjoy
the summer in complete safety. We talked about it with Giorgio Sesti of the University of Magna Grecia in Catanzaro, on the board of the Italian Diabetes Society.


They call it good weather. And she certainly is. But for those suffering from diabetes there is more and especially in summer the dangers can be more insidious.

When the risk of dehydration increases for anyone in the heat, for the diabetic patient this drop in fluids can turn into a real problem that can lead to hyperglycemia .Not only. How can the desire for sport and movement be reconciled with the type 1 diabetic patient ? The insulin requirement should be recalculated on the basis of the energy consumed with sport, in order not to run the double risk of a deficit or an excess of insulinization.

Furthermore, on vacation, it is much more difficult to control one’s diet and monitor the presence of sugars and fats in the foods offered in the hotel, for example. Just as it is not always easy to be able to properly store your therapy in the event of long journeys. 

How, then, to face the hot season and more generally the summer period, taking care of yourself adequately and without too many sacrifices?
Do-it-yourself tips can be found everywhere and improvising is never a good solution . 

When it comes to your health, it is better to refer to those who
know our clinical situation specifically: the Italian Diabetes Society has drawn up a handbook of recommendations : a tool to enjoy all the beauty that summer brings with it in total safety. .  

Diabetes in the summer: hydrate properly

First, drink, yes, and a lot. But choose the right drinks .
“With the rise in temperatures and the increase in outdoor activities
– explains Giorgio Sesti, diabetologist and professor of internal medicine at the University of Magna Graecia in Catanzaro – it is normal that the loss of fluids is favored. Furthermore, the diabetic patient, through the urine that excretes glucose , needs to hydrate himself abundantly.

The temptation, especially in summer, is to crave artificially sweetened drinks. Even light drinks  or drinks with the wording without added sugar  can hide hidden sugary substances.  

Better, then, to prefer simple drinks : water, of course, but also home-made teas , herbal teas and why not, thirst- quenching centrifuged .

The latter in particular help to reintegrate a good amount of minerals dispersed with sweating “. 

Giorgio Sesti collaborates with  Valter Longo , director of the Longevity Institute of the University of Southern California and creator of the Mima Fasting program , a dietary protocol whose benefits have been confirmed in combating the diseases of aging: “There are still no scientific data on ‘use and safety of the fasting mimicking diet in patients with diabetes – adds Sesti -: data on overweight and obese people show, however, that this protocol has positive effects in the prevention of diabetes “.

Diabetes in the summer: protect the skin from the sun

Tanning is not immediately associated with the risk causes related to diabetes, but unprotected sun exposure can cause some problems as skin that has micro wounds or lesions can more easily lead to infections. 

“A dermatitis or a burn – adds Sesti – can be harmful and even more the health of the foot should be monitored daily. The condition of neuropathy present in the patient with  diabetes mellitus can lead to underestimating any development of ulcers. 

In addition to adequately protecting the skin from UVA and UVB rays, therefore, it is good  to avoid walking barefoot or with uncomfortable shoes. If you go trekking, a useful tip is to wear soft socks “. 

Diabetes in the summer: the risk of hypoglycemia

The energy burned with increasing physical activity can lead to a sudden drop in sugar . 

“Movement is always a good thing – concludes the expert – and it is certainly an integrated component in the management of the disease: however, we learn to take advantage of the most suitable and least dangerous moments of the day.

We favor the less sunny hours and try not to neglect pharmacological treatments while knowing that the pace of life for vacationers can be staggered from the routine. 

Longer meal breaks combined with more intense movement and increased sweating can lead to  dangerous jumps . In addition to remembering to always carry fast-absorbing carbohydrates with you, it is important to constantly measure your blood sugar “.

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