Heat poses exceptional threat for diabetics

Heat poses extra threat to diabetics

Hot temperatures are hard on people with diabetes, and many don't know how to take proper precautions against the heat, according to a new Mayo Clinic study. Researchers surveyed 152 diabetes patients and found that 20 percent were doing nothing to prevent heat-related illness in 100-degree weather, even though their condition puts them at higher risk of getting sick, HealthDay reports.

"People with diabetes have an impaired ability to sweat," according to lead researcher Adrienne Nassar, "which predisposes them to heat-related illness, as do uncontrolled high blood sugars." And humidity can cause sickness at temperatures below 90 degrees.

Less than half of patients surveyed knew that heat can tamper with the effectiveness of their oral diabetes medicines or certain testing supplies. Some of those who did know said that they avoid the risk by not taking their supplies with them when they're outside in the heat, HealthDay reports. That's unsafe, says Nassar, since people are then unable to check their blood sugars while away from home.

Each day, more than 4,000 adults are diagnosed with diabetes, and about 200 people die from it, U.S. News's January Payne wrote in November.