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Hot Hot Hot!

As nice as it is to bask in the sun, you still have to remain vigilant. Your blood sugar could rise with the thermometer and prevent your body from properly regulating its temperature. Result: you risk hyperthermia.

What are the symptoms?
Fatigue, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin, excessive sweating, muscle cramps and headaches are all common symptoms.

Who is at risk?
The body’s ability to regulate its temperature in young children is not yet developed, and is reduced in the elderly, which increases their risk of suffering from hyperthermia. People with diabetes are also affected more frequently given that blood sugar can cloud the issue (symptoms of hypoglycemia resemble those of hyperthermia).

What are the triggering factors?
Heat and dehydration are the main culprits, especially in confined spaces (like cars), in full sun, or during a long or intense workout session.

How is it treated?
If you think you have hyperthermia, look for some shade or go indoors, ideally somewhere with air conditioning. If possible, take a cool bath, or place some cold towels on your neck and wrists. Also try to rehydrate yourself by drinking some water.

When is it considered an emergency?
Call 911 if your temperature rises above 40°C, if your heart rate shoots up or if you’re no longer sweating, because severe heat stroke can cause permanent damage or even death.

How can you prevent hyperthermia?
Avoid sunburns by using sunscreen and taking shelter in the shade during the hottest hours of the day. As temperature has an impact on blood sugar, measure it often and keep snacks handy. During a heat wave, exercise in the morning or in the evening rather than in the middle of the day, and always watch out for dehydration: drink water regularly, and keep caffeine and alcohol to a minimum. Finally, choose fabrics that breathe, like cotton, and lighter colours, which absorb less heat.

Enjoy the beautiful weather… while protecting yourself from unpleasant surprises!

References:
Diabetes.co.uk, “Diabetes and Hot Weather – Staying Safe in the Heat”: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-and-hot-weather.html. Accessed February 22, 2016.
Diabetic Connect, “How Hot Weather Can Affect Your Diabetes Management”: http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-information-articles/general/37-how-weather-changes-can-affect-your-blood-sugar. Accessed February 22, 2016.
Roche, “Overheating: Warning Signs and Treatment”: http://www.accu-chekdiabeteslink.com/overheating-warning-signs-and-treatment.html. Accessed February 22 2016.
Heat exhaustion, Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-exhaustion/basics/definition/con-20033366?reDate=04082016. Accessed August 04 2016.

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