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Patients with diabetes advised to take extra care in summer holiday heat

Patients with diabetes are being advised to take precautions during the current hot weather whether they are enjoying the sun at home or during the summer holiday overseas.

A growing number of patients in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, the most common kind. And the mini-heatwave we are now experiencing means they need to take extra care.

Hot weather can affect diabetes control and make blood sugar levels higher than normal.

Dr Bhushan Rao, a GP and diabetes lead for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said: “People with long-term conditions should take extra care in hot weather. We do have a growing number of patients with diabetes and they need to be aware that hot sun can have an impact on them. They should test their blood sugar levels regularly and avoid dehydration by drinking enough water.”

Top tips from Diabetes UK on dealing with hot weather include:

  • Monitor blood sugar levels more regularly
  • Keep test equipment at room temperature and away from the sun
  • Take precautions against sunburn – some patients with diabetes can be particularly vulnerable to burns to their feet either by the sun or hot ground
  • Avoid heat exhaustion – some symptoms could also be due to unstable glucose levels
  • If you are feeling unwell get out of the sun to a cooler place and sip a cold drink.

If you are feeling unwell and need urgent advice 24 hours-a-day then NHS 111 is the number to call. Community pharmacies can help you prepare for and avoid conditions associated with hot weather, such as insect bites and sunburn.

NHS Choices has further guidance on diabetes.