As temperatures across Wales look set to soar again this week, we will all want to be heading outdoors. Whilst the weather provides the perfect excuse to break out the BBQ, head to the seaside, or soak up the rays with a good book, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the sizzling temperatures can pose some sizeable health risks. There are over 191,000 people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in Wales, the highest prevalence in the UK, and it’s important that they are aware of how hot weather can affect their condition. Long periods of inactivity in the sun may affect diabetes control, causing blood glucose levels to be higher than usual. As well as this, insulin injections are absorbed more quickly in hot weather, increasing the chances of hypoglycaemia (a “hypo”). It is important for people with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels more often and be ready to adjust their insulin dose if necessary.

Feet are also an area you will want to keep an eye on. Some people living with diabetes suffer from nerve damage or neuropathy and this can mean they may not be aware if their feet are burning. If left untreated minor injuries could develop into an infection or ulcers. And remember, Insulin and monitors can be affected by heat so make sure you keep your diabetes kit cool in the sun. If you suspect they have been damaged, speak to your GP or health care team. Diabetes shouldn’t be a barrier to making the most of the glorious weather, so let’s get out there and enjoy it safely whilst it lasts.

Dai Williams

National Director – Diabetes UK Cymru