If you suffer from diabetes, you are mainly concerned with what you eat and drink. But the weather could be an enemy as well. According to a new Mayo Clinic survey, diabetes not only raises the chances of heat illness, but many diabetics don’t know how to reduce their risk.
“People with diabetes have an impaired ability to sweat, which predisposes them to heat-related illness, as do uncontrolled high blood sugars,” lead researcher Dr. Adrienne Nassar.
Dr. Nassar and her fellow researchers analyzed 152 surveys on heat awareness that were taken by diabetics. Twenty percent of the patients did not take the necessary precautions until the temperature went over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When humidity is factored into the equation, heat illness can start to be a risk at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
The number of diabetics end up in emergency rooms in rising numbers during hot weather, with an accompanying increase in hospitalizations and even deaths.
The diabetics in the surveys were unaware of what a heat index is, which is a combination of temperature levels and humidity. The temperature is more dangerous with higher humidity, as humidity tends to reduce perspiration and prevent the body from cooling. This is especially bad for diabetics, who already sweat too little.