Summer is a lovely time appreciated by nearly everybody because the heat has a relaxing and uninhibiting effect. Distant places call, the time schedule changes, the desire for fun and partying beckons. People feel the need to let go, and this is where the diabetic person can lose their will power to adhere to the strict routine which many of them have to do.
There are different types of diabetes: Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and Type 2. Gestational diabetes may develop when a woman is pregnant but can disappear afterwards. Types 1 and 2 are the most common and have to be controlled differently.
Diabetes Type 1 is insulin dependent and must receive insulin from exogenous sources. Type 2 can be self-regulated through carefully watching the diet-the foods eaten, the types of nutritional components, especially the monosaccharides and quick releasing glucose and fructose (sugars) that are extremely important in the body’s insulin regulating system.
Those who are insulin dependent have to take special care to insure they have a sufficient supply of insulin and measuring supplies at all times. If traveling to a new location during a summer vacation, they have to be sure to keep their medical supplies safe and cool. Depending on where they vacation, supplies may or may not be easily attainable.
Those with Type 2 diabetes have to maintain self-control which can be harder than sticking to a routine where insulin is regularly injected. Summer beckons with the natural urge to let go and enjoy oneself. Who doesn’t want to drink beer and wine cooler, snack and eat what tastes good without paying attention to the nutritional guides? When you are staying at a resort where there is entertainment, numerous opportunities to socialize-especially the singles-it’s only being a normal human being to want to forget about health concerns and take a chance and just enjoy.
So prepare for summer by making yourself aware of a few things:
*Overheating: You probably already know that overheating can be bad for anyone, but for diabetics it is especially to be avoided because their macrovascular (large arteries, aorta, heart) system is more delicate than average. Avoid overheating the body by remaining in the shade or dipping in the pool. Of course, wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Take into account the difference in climes, you can stand the heat better when it is dry because the body’s cooling mechanism depends on sweat to cool it. When the humidity is high, moisture does not evaporate quickly from the skin. This is where keeping or being near a fan comes in handy. There are also ice packs available which you can carry with you.
*Dehydration: Caffeine and alcohol can cause some dehydration because they activate the kidneys to excrete urine more than normally. If you know how much you can drink of either beverage, then make sure you drink at least three cups of water or sugarless beverage to compensate. It is now thought that the two quarts, or 8 cups of water previously recommended, may now be only one quart or 4 cups. Of course drinking a diuretic beverage will cause you to be thirsty and drink more liquid.
Blood pressure can rise higher than normal when walking in the heat if you drink too much liquid in a short period of time because an extra amount of blood tries to push its way through an artery of normal size, or if there is any atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) because the artery is narrowed and the heart is trying to pump through an extra volume of blood. So, do not walk too long in the sun, rest often, and keep hydrated by sipping a beverage slowly, not consuming too much at once.
*Diet: Assuming you have been dealing with your diabetes for a while, you will have your diet decided. It is just a matter or sticking to it and knowing where and when you can relax and enjoy yourself. Make out a list before you go somewhere away from home of the foods-fruits, melons, grapes, fruit juices-and figure out how you intend to eat healthily and enjoyably (protein. grilled fish and chicken and vegetables for instance). There are sugar free desserts, ice cream and sorbets. These are more likely to be available at hotels and resort towns.
When coping with summer make sure you have your medical supplies, dietary needs available and any other necessities that would be of benefit. While the lure of the adventures of camping and out-of-way places is understandable, it would be a good idea to vacation where there is always medical help and the necessary supplies available.