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Question:

From Atlanta, Georgia, US:

I'm a nurse and a type I diabetic on a insulin pump. I thought I had heard every question on diabetes. But I learned I hadn't.

The question is, Does heat affect a diabetic and the BG level? Can heat change the insulin response in the body? I know about stress and activity. But heat? The Olympics coming to Atlanta has brought this up. I'm trying several sources for answers.

Oh, the weather has been hotter than usual.

Maybe you can post something about this? So, thanks for any information you can provide.

Sincerely,
Concerned Nurse (JD.Weidner@worldnet.att.net)

Answer:

Some preliminary thoughts:

  • Heat (and humidity) influence the performance of blood test meters.
  • Contact your pump's manufacturer about the influence of heat and humidity on your pump's performance.
  • Heat and movement can crystallize insulin (especially NPH and other "cloudy" insulin suspensions).
  • Dehydration will hemoconcentrate the blood's constituents, including blood sugar.

I will ask that anyone with other thoughts send e-mail to you at JD.Weidner@worldnet.att.net. Let me know what else you learn.

WWQ

Additional comments, from Dr. Robertson:

I don't know of any formal work but most of my patients (who live in cold wet conditions) find that hot weather makes hypoglycemia more likely. I suppose that this could be due to faster insulin absorption if their skin is warm, or it could simply be that if they are outdoors in good weather, they will be more active.

KJR

Original posting 29 Jun 96

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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