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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 hot weather if they are enjoying the sun at home or during the summer holiday overseas.

Many of the favourite holiday hotspots in Europe are currently experiencing a heatwave, with temperatures likely to stay warm in the UK too.

Around six per cent of the population of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent has a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, the most common kind, and the number is growing year-on-year.

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

Dr Steve Fawcett, CCG Medical Director 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 feet being burned 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 hot weather with over-the-counter products such as sun protection and remedies for insect bights.

NHS Choices has further guidance on diabetes.

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