Diabetes raises a person’s chances of having heat-related illnesses. And yet, a new study shows that diabetics are not aware of the precautions they need to take to deal with these challenges.
The survey, entitled, “Diabetes in the Desert: What Do Patients Know About the Heat?” will be presented at The Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego. Conducted by researchers from Mayo Clinic in Arizona, in collaboration with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, the survey looked at patients in a Phoenix diabetes clinic.
Leading researcher Adrienne Nassar, MD, said that the study shows that diabetics living in hot climates need increased awareness about how the heat may affect their disease. Emergency room doctors such as Dr. Josyann Abisaab often see an increase in diabetic patients during the warm weather months.
“People with diabetes have an impaired ability to sweat, which predisposes them to heat-related illness, as do uncontrolled, high blood sugars,” Nassar said. “Many patients surveyed had suboptimal glycemic control during the summer, possibly increasing their risk of dehydration.”