Managing Diabetes In The Heat
How to keep your cool during the hottest time of year.
Take steps to stay cool when the weather heats up.
- Certain diabetes complications, such as damage to blood vessels and nerves, can affect your sweat glands so your body cant cool as effectively. That can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is a medical emergency.
- People with diabetes get dehydrated more quickly. Not drinking enough liquids can raise blood sugar, and high blood sugar can make you urinate more, causing dehydration. Some commonly used medicines like diuretics can dehydrate you, too.
- High temperatures can change how your body uses insulin. You may need to test your blood sugar more often and adjust your insulin dose and what you eat and drink.
- Get medical attention for heat-related illness.
- Make a plan in case you lose power.
- Have a go-bag ready for emergencies.
What You Can Do
Diabetes food plans are often geared toward helping people lose, rather than gain, weight. This can make it harder to figure out how to gain weight in a healthy way.
Before trying the tips below, talk with your doctor or dietician. They can help you set the right diet and exercise goals for you, as well as answer any questions you may have.
There are many apps available to help you manage your condition and make the right food choices. Look for apps that help you track blood sugar and BMI.
Some options include:
GlucOracle: This glucose forecasting app uses crowdsourcing to analyze the estimated amount of carbohydrates, protein, fat, calories, and fiber in each meal. It also predicts what your glucose level will be after eating.
SuperTracker: This app helps you gain weight by providing comprehensive nutritional information on over 8,000 food items. It also tracks your nutritional targets, diet, and activity levels against your goals.
How Heat Can Affect You
Dr. Hamaty says the extreme heat of summer affects blood sugar levels. How the heat affects your levels depends on what youve eaten, whether youre well-hydrated and your activity level.
If the heat and your activity makes you sweat a lot, you may become dehydrated, leading to a rise in glucose levels. If you become dehydrated, your blood glucose levels will rise. This can lead to frequent urination, which then leads to further dehydration and even higher blood sugar levels a kind of vicious cycle, he says.
Things can become even worse if the treatment includes insulin: Dehydration reduces blood supply to your skin and, therefore, the ability of your body to absorb the insulin youve injected is reduced, he says.
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Open Sores And Wounds
Having high blood sugar for a long time can lead to poor circulation and nerve damage. You may have developed these if youve had uncontrolled diabetes for a long time.
Poor circulation and nerve damage can make it hard for your body to heal wounds. This is especially true on the feet. These open wounds are called diabetic ulcers.
Diabetes and feet
- Get immediate medical care for an open sore or wound.
- Work with your doctor to better control your diabetes.
What Is Heart Disease
Heart disease includes several kinds of problems that affect your heart. The term cardiovascular disease is similar but includes all types of heart disease, stroke, and blood vessel disease. The most common type is coronary artery disease, which affects blood flow to the heart.
Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygen and blood to the heart. Plaque is made of cholesterol deposits, which make the inside of arteries narrow and decrease blood flow. This process is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Decreased blood flow to the heart can cause a heart attack. Decreased blood flow to the brain can cause a stroke.
Hardening of the arteries can happen in other parts of the body too. In the legs and feet, its called peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. PAD is often the first sign that a person with diabetes has cardiovascular disease.
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Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction
- Psychological causes it may help to treat the causes of stress. Behavioural therapy and counselling can also be successful, particularly if your partner is involved.
- Physical causes there are several possible treatments, depending on the physical cause. If the problem is related to nerve damage or poor blood supply, options include medications, vacuum devices or surgery.
Your Emotions And Getting Support
How youre feeling can have a big impact on how you have sex too. If youre feeling embarrassed or worried about a sexual problem, this can be really difficult and make you feel like you dont want to or cant have sex.;
If you feel comfortable, talk to your healthcare team for more advice and support. Or if you’d rather talk over the phone, our helpline;is managed by advisors with counselling skills;who are ready to answer your questions or just listen. Whatever you need, you’re not alone.
Weve also got more information about the kinds of things people with diabetes told us they think about when it comes to sex and diabetes. With tips on what can help and who you can talk to.
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Can Sexual And Bladder Problems Be Symptoms Of Diabetes
Yes. Changes in sexual function or bladder habits may be a sign that you have diabetes. Nerve damage caused by diabetes, also called diabetic neuropathy, can damage parts of your bodylike your genitals or urinary tract. For example, men with diabetes may develop erectile dysfunction 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes.1
Talk with a health care professional if you have any symptoms of diabetes, including sexual and bladder problems.
These Effects Can Lead To Vascular Diseases Such As:
Retinopathy abnormal growth of blood vessels in your retina
Nephropathy a disease that damages the tiny filtering units of the kidney
Neuropathy a condition causing a loss of sensation in the feet and toes
Atherosclerosis caused by high blood pressure, this is when plaque builds up on the walls of arteries;
Stroke a blockage in arteries that causes and a loss of blood to the brain
Peripheral Artery Disease the narrowing of arteries
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Keep The Blood Flowing To Your Feet
Try the following tips to improve blood flow to your feet:
- Put your feet up when you are sitting.
- Wiggle your toes for a few minutes throughout the day. Move your ankles up and down and in and out to help blood flow in your feet and legs.
- Do not wear tight socks or elastic stockings. Do not try to hold up loose socks with rubber bands.
- Be more physically active. Choose activities that are easy on your feet, such as walking, dancing, yoga or stretching, swimming, or bike riding.
- Stop smoking.
Smoking can lower the amount of blood flow to your feet. If you smoke, ask for help to stop. You can get help by calling the national quitline at 1-800-QUITNOW or 1-800-784-8669. For tips on quitting, go to SmokeFree.gov.
Why Do I Have To Pee So Often
Diabetes and urinary dysfunction is another common connection, says Nangia, because high blood glucose damages nerves in the bladder. This can lead to frequent urination, as the bladder doesnt fully empty each time. Separately, high blood glucose in urine can make people with diabetes urinate more often.
Although this sense of urgency probably doesnt affect men in the heat of the moment, some men may spill a little urine when they ejaculate, says Nangia. He says frequent urination during the night also affects sleep, and therefore libido. Research suggests;that men with ED often experience bladder problems, such as frequent urination. Cialis is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat both ED and benign prostatic hyperplasia;, in which an enlarged prostrate presses on the bladder.
Both Sisson;and Nangia point to the complexity of sexual issues and the importance in discussing these concerns and possible treatments with your healthcare provider. Sisson says, Like lots of things with diabetes, its not as simple as, Hey, Im having a problem. Give me a prescription for that little blue pill. Theres a lot more that goes into achieving an erection, so its important for patients to talk with their diabetes educator and their diabetes healthcare team to say, What do you think is going on and whats the best way to address this issue?
For more advice on sex with diabetes, check out Diabetes Daily’s;article “Let’s Talk About Sex”!
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What Treatments Are Available For Men With Diabetes And Erectile Dysfunction
However, because people with diabetes also tend to have problems with their heart, these medications may not be appropriate and could cause dangerous interactions with some heart medicines. Talk to your doctor to determine what treatment is best.
Does Low Testosterone Matter
Low sexual libido can be sign of low testosterone in men, which is more common in men with diabetes than men without, according to a;study published in April 2007 in the journal;Diabetes Care. Sisson says your healthcare provider can test you for low testosterone, and it can be treated with testosterone replacement medication, such as patches.
Nangia says that low testosterone is also linked to metabolic syndrome a cluster of risk factors, such as high blood pressure and excess fat around your waistline, that increase your risk for heart disease; diabetes, and other health problems. You can treat metabolic syndrome by getting these risk factors under control. Exercise, lose weight, eat healthy foods, and quit smoking if you smoke.
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Good Diabetes Health = Good Sex
Taking care of your diabetes is the best sex strategy. Good blood glucose control can prevent or ease sexual issues so you can “do everything you want to do in sex,” Sparling says. “And what better impetus to diabetes control is there, especially if you’re young, than getting to have a good, healthy sex life?”
What Bladder Problems Can Men And Women With Diabetes Have
Diabetes can cause nerve damage to your urinary tract, causing bladder problems. Overweight and obesity also can increase bladder problems, such as urinary incontinence . Managing diabetes is an important part of preventing problems that can lead to excess urination.
Your health care team may be able to help you manage your blood glucose levels and help you lose weight, if needed. Doctors use blood and urine tests to diagnose bladder problems or conditions with similar symptoms. Doctors also may use urodynamic testing to see what kind of bladder problem you have.
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How Are Diabetes And Erectile Dysfunction Related
For men, type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to an increased risk of erectile dysfunction, or ED for short. Based on data from a survey study, the risk is 50% higher for men with diabetes compared to men without diabetes, regardless of what type of diabetes they have. While many men may develop ED as they age, those who have diabetes may develop ED 5 10 years earlier than most.
It is important to note that ED can be related to insufficient blood flowing to penis , emotional issues such as depression , or problems with the nerves to the penis . Diabetes can cause or make these issues worse. As such, patients with diabetes who experience ED tend to notice that the problem gradually gets worse.
Current medical knowledge has identified several likely causes in patients specifically with diabetes.
Are There Treatments For Men With Diabetes And Erectile Dysfunction
Men who have diabetes and are having trouble achieving or maintaining an erection can take oral medicine The NHS can provide the following medications on prescription for men with diabetes:
Brand names include:
However, these medicines can all affect the heart rate, and detailed consultation with your doctor is necessary to determine the best course of action.
Additional treatments include intracavernous injection therapy, vacuum constriction devices, intraurethral therapy and sex therapy.
Psychotherapy can have an enormous influence on erectile dysfunction. Further treatment such as surgery and vacuum devices may also have a role to play in some specific cases.
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See Your Diabetes Educator
Work with a diabetes care and education specialist for help avoiding health complications such as heart disease. Youll get support and solutions and hear about the latest advances in managing diabetes. Find out more about how diabetes education can help you take the best care of yourself. And be sure to ask your doctor for a referral if you dont already have a diabetes educator.
Yellowish Scaly Patches On And Around Your Eyelids
These develop when you have high fat levels in your blood. It can also be a sign that your diabetes is poorly controlled.The medical name for this condition is xanthelasma.
- Tell your doctor about the yellowish scaly patches around your eyes.
- Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes. Controlling diabetes can clear the scaly patches.
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Know Your Blood Sugar Levels Before And After
Lets be real. Sex is a unique form of physical exercise in that most of us usually look forward to doing it. Like any other activity that requires physical exertion, getting it on will most likely affect your blood sugar levels. If you find yourself dripping in sweat and can hear your own heartbeat, you might be really into your partner; however, theres also a chance that your blood sugar has spiked and dropped. Its good practice to check your blood sugar levels before, during and after you have sex get creative and think about incorporating this into foreplay and post coital cuddling.
How Can I Prevent And Treat My Sexual Or Bladder Problems
Managing your diabetes can help prevent nerve damage and other diabetes problems that can lead to sexual and bladder problems. With your health care team, you can help prevent and treat your sexual or bladder control problems by
- keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels close to your target numbers
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Diabetes Doesnt Have To Ruin Your Sex Life
The reasons for sexual dysfunction are different for each person. Its the role of your provider to tease things out to get to the bottom of whats causing the concerns, says Avadhanula. But some people go years without saying anything to their doctor.;
According to Avadhanula, approximately 80% of patients reported they prefer if a doctor asks about sexual function, so they dont have to bring it up. If your provider doesnt ask about your sex life, bring up any concerns because sex is an important component of a high-quality life.;
Avadhanula says providers will ask a series of questions to determine the cause of the sexual dysfunction. Your provider will also perform a physical exam. This approach helps your doctor determine what the cause could be and how to treat it.;
There are treatment options for both men and women, says Avadhanula. You may not see instant success but keep talking with your care team to move to the next option. There is hope that you can resume an active, enjoyable sex life.
How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet
Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores can become infected.
Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals. The infection might lead to gangrene.
Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot, or part of your leg.A surgeon may perform an amputation to prevent a bad infection from spreading to the rest of your body, and to save your life. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and gangrene.
Although rare, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet, such as Charcots foot. Charcots foot may start with redness, warmth, and swelling. Later, bones in your feet and toes can shift or break, which can cause your feet to have an odd shape, such as a rocker bottom.
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The Sugar And Type 2 Diabetes Story: Not So Sweet
After the suspicion that sugar was the cause of diabetes, the scientific community pointed its finger at carbohydrates. That makes sense, notes Grieger, explaining that simple and complex carbohydrates are both metabolized as sugar, leading;blood sugar levels;to fluctuate.
Yet carbs are processed differently in the body based on their type: While simple carbs are digested and metabolized quickly, complex carbs take longer to go through this system, resulting in more stable blood sugar. It comes down to their chemical forms: A simple carbohydrate has a simpler chemical makeup, so it doesnt take as much for it to be digested, whereas the complex ones take a little longer, Grieger explains.
Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread and brown rice, legumes like black beans, and quinoa. These foods contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are appropriate for any eating plan, regardless of whether you have;prediabetes, have diabetes, or are perfectly healthy. In fact, experts know;including complex carbs in your daily diet;can help you maintain a healthy weight, among other health benefits.