What Is A Heart Palpitation
A perceived abnormality of heartbeat is known as a heart palpitation. It is typically noticed due to hard, fast or irregular beats. This irregularity may last from a few seconds to a few minutes.
These palpitations typically occur when your hearts chambers contract a split second earlier than they should, resulting in a slightly longer break between heartbeats while your body gets back into the rhythm.
The following beat is then stronger because the body needs to clear out the extra blood that gathered during the pause in beats.
High Temperatures And Heat Can Change How Your Body Uses Insulin You May Need To Test Your Blood Glucose More Often And Adjust Your Insulin Dose And What You Eat And Drink
Its always a good idea to check the heat index when temperatures soara measurement that combines temperature and humidity. Take steps to stay cool when it reaches 26°C in the shade with 40% humidity or above. Usually the heat index can be up to 15°F higher in full sunlight, so stick to the shade when the weather warms up. For example, if the temperature is 32°C , a high humidity index may make it feel like 40°C .
Tips for high heat:
- Drink plenty of watereven if youre not thirstyso you dont get dehydrated.
- Avoid alcohol and drinks with caffeine, like coffee and energy or sports drinks. They can lead to water loss and spike your blood glucose levels.
- Check your blood glucose before, during, and after youre active. You may need to change how much insulin you use. Ask your doctor if you would like help in adjusting your dosage.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat when youre outside. Sunburn can raise your blood sugar levels.
- Dont go barefoot. Protect your feet always!
- Use an air conditioner or go to an air-conditioned building to stay cool. In very high heat, a room fan wont cool you enough.
- Physical activity is usually associated with reduced need for insulin. The latter may increase the risk for low blood glucose. in higher temperatures, people are at risk for both low and high blood glucose.
The key in high heat weather is to be vigilant and check your blood glucose often, and seek emergency treatment if necessary.
Adrenaline Can Raise Blood Glucose Levels
Using your muscles helps burn glucose and improves the way insulin works. Thats why blood glucose levels usually come down during exercise. But you might see blood glucose go up after exercise, too. Some workouts, such as heavy weightlifting, sprints, and competitive sports, cause you to produce stress hormones . Adrenaline raises blood glucose levels by stimulating your liver to release glucose.
The food you eat before or during a workout may also contribute to a glucose rise. Eat too many carbs before exercising, and your sweat session may not be enough to keep your blood glucose within your goal range.
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Why Hot Weather Makes Managing Diabetes Harder
As the UK experiences record temperatures, for those with diabetes, the advice is to be even more careful.
Spending long periods not being very active in the sun can send blood-sugar levels higher than usual.
But the level can also drop to low – hypoglycaemia – as injected insulin is absorbed more quickly in warm weather.
Charity Diabetes UK advises checking levels more regularly and being prepared to adjust doses and diet, with extra sugary snacks on hand.
It also suggests:
- Storing insulin somewhere cool, such as a cool bag or the fridge
- Keeping blood-sugar test strips and meters out of direct sunlight – but not in the fridge
- Staying hydrated and applying lots of suncream
Beth McDaniel, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2019, makes educational content online with her best friend, Ellen, who has had diabetes since the age of six.
“Ellen was telling me, ‘Oh, when it comes to summertime, diabetes really affects us,’ she tells BBC News, “and I was shocked as I love the sun and going on holidays.
“There’s so many precautions you need to take – for example, your insulin can go cloudy if it’s in the heat or full sun exposure and means it’s really dangerous to put in your body.
“When Ellen and I went to Spain, we got these little cooler bags to take to the beach so we didn’t have to worry about our insulin going cloudy.”
But it has been “hard” for the 22-year-old, from County Down, to manage her diabetes in the UK heatwave.
How To Keep Your Insulin Cool
You cant fix insulin that has been destroyed by the heat, but you can definitely prevent it from happening in the first place.
First of all, just like your dog and your baby, you should never leave your insulin in the car. The interior of a car heats up quickly and easily when its parked and locked up with closed windows.
If you must leave your insulin in the car, it needs to be protected by some type of cooling product. Luckily, there are a lot of good options available:
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Diabetes And The Heat
It’s a topic often discussed during the summer months, but it’s important to know the facts no matter the time of year. When the weather gets hot and humid, it’s essential to be aware of how diabetes can be affected. High temperatures and humidity can cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly. A temperature rise stimulates the absorption of insulin. So you’ll need to take precautions like testing your blood sugar levels frequently to make sure your diabetes is under control.
Causes Blood Vessel Dilation And Increased Insulin Absorption
Glucose levels vary from person to person and from day to day, depending on various factors, including changes in insulin absorption. Studies show that during high temperatures, the absorption of insulin is accelerated. This is significant for diabetics since they may need to adjust insulin intake when the temperature changes to prevent altering insulin absorption.
Your body temperature is controlled by the thermoregulatory center. When the weather is too hot, sweat glands produce more sweat, which eventually evaporates. Blood vessels that lead to your skin dilating to allow more blood to flow through and get rid of some of this heat.
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Exercise And Blood Glucose Takeaway
Physical activity is important for everyone with diabetes. Most forms of aerobic/cardiovascular exercise will lower your glucose levels, while activities such as high-intensity training and weightlifting can raise it. Managing glucose levels with any form of exercise is possible once you understand your personal patterns and making adjustments that make sense to you and your lifestyle.
Causes Of High Blood Sugar
Common causes of high blood sugar in people with diabetes include:
- eating too much sugary or starchy food
- being less active than usual
- missing doses of diabetes medicine
You can also get high blood sugar if your diabetes medicine is not working well, you’re taking certain medicines or you recently had an operation.
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Know The Signs Of Low Blood Sugar
Some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion are similar to those of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia including sweating, light-headedness, shakiness, and confusion, according to the ADA. You may think its the heat and not recognize that your blood sugar levels have fallen to dangerous lows, Roust cautions. Be aware of the warning signs of low blood sugar and keep some carbohydrates with you to eat if you need to raise your blood sugar. Have a plan for a medical emergency.
Heat And Type 1 Diabetes
Whether experiencing hot summer temperatures or a tropical vacation, it is important for everyone to beware of the heatand the various effects that it can have on our bodies. Have you ever noticed your blood sugar either spiking or dropping rapidly in severe temperatures? Many people with type 1 diabetes run into this issue and have been baffled as to why. Heat may have much more of an impact on your blood glucose levels than you realized! Keeping a close eye on your blood glucose becomes even more important when in areas with higher temperatures.
Here are some possible explanations to the heats role in blood sugar fluctuations, and some factors to keep in mind while enjoying your summer fun in the sun with type 1!
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What High Blood Sugar Feels Like
The symptoms can include:
- Breath that smells like fruit
These are symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis . Your body burns glucose for energy. When your cells donât get enough of it, they burn fat. That produces chemicals called ketones. When these build up, your blood becomes more acid-like. This can be life-threatening if itâs not treated.
What Is The Best Food To Eat When Your Blood Sugar Is Low
Good choices are a piece of fruit, a few whole wheat crackers, a glass of milk, or a carton of yogurt. In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can come on suddenly and needs to be treated right away so it doesn’t get worse. Eat or drink a quickly digested carbohydrate food, such as: ½ cup fruit juice.
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Keep An Eye On Your Feet
Diabetes can cause a loss of feeling in your toes and feet, per the Cleveland Clinic. The ADA recommends protecting them with the right winter footwear, especially in the snow, and wearing moisture-wicking socks to keep them dry. Apply moisturizer to your feet though not between the toes to keep infections at bay. Inspect them regularly, and if you notice an injury that doesnt heal, seek medical attention, according to the Mayo Clinic. Dont wait.
Adjusting Your Insulin Dosage
Physical activity usually causes blood sugar levels to decrease, reducing your need for insulin. The sudden addition of exercise may put you at an increased risk for low blood sugars.
Therefore, if youre active in extreme heat, know that youre at high risk for both low and high blood sugars. Dr. Hamaty says this means you should take extra precautions and monitor your sugar levels before exercising.
I advise my patients to maintain warm skin and adjust insulin dosage prior to engaging in physical activity because insulin adjustment could vary significantly, says Dr. Hamaty.
He also suggests seeking input from your doctor regardless of the temperature before adding physical activity to your routine.
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Heat Dehydration & High Blood Sugars
Whether its hot and humid or hot and dry, mild-to-severe heat and dehydration can easily spike your blood sugars by 50mg/dL or over 200 mg/dL if you become dehydrated.
Quite simply, when your body becomes dehydrated which means there is inadequate fluid in your tissues and bloodstream the glucose in your bloodstream becomes more concentrated.
According to Dr. Roberta Lee at Medicine Daily, 60 percent of your body weight is made of water! 75 percent of your muscle weight is water, and 85 percent of your brain. Water is critical to your body functioning fully and properly.
And Its easy to drink too little water without being aware of it.
Just a little dehydration on a daily basis can easily keep your insulin needs higher than they might otherwise be.
Moderate dehydration, on the other hand like spending all afternoon at a 4th of July parade in 95-degree heat can send your blood sugar soaring when you havent even eaten and are active. Normally, youd anticipate low blood sugars, but add a little dehydration and your blood sugar will spike rapidly.
Why Do Blood Sugar Levels Fluctuate In The Heat
Unsurprisingly, extreme heat cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate drastically.
On the one hand, sweating, dehydration, and sunburn typically leads to a rise in glucose in the blood.
But on the other, an overall higher body temperature can lower your blood sugar levels and cause them to crash.
As such, sufferers need to monitor their blood sugar closely and adjusting insulin intake accordingly.
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Stay Out Of The Heat Of The Day
Exercise is an important part of diabetes management and blood sugar control. The American Diabetes Association recommends getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week. But you dont want to be outside exercising during the hottest part of the day, which in general is around 3 p.m., per The Old Farmers Almanac. Check your local weather forecast to be sure. Get in your exercise first thing in the morning or once the sun goes down, advises Angela Ginn, RD, CDCES, diabetes grant director at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Another option is to work out in an air-conditioned gym.
Blood Sugar Levels And Heart Palpitations
Do you notice abnormal heart beats when your blood sugar levels are high? Usually, sugar intake is not related to irregular heart rates or heart palpitations.
However, if you suffer from low blood sugar episodes, consuming too much sugar can cause an insulin response and the sugar levels in the blood can drop too quickly.
If this happens, the body responds similarly to that of stress which can include abnormal heart rhythms. Research also indicates that diabetics experience palpitations if their blood sugar levels are too high.
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Ways The Heat Can Affect People With Diabetes
Its not just that the hot weather can make you feel tired and sluggish. It can have some negative effects on how your diabetes affects your body. For example, people with diabetes tend to get dehydrated more quickly than people without diabetes. Signs of mild to moderate dehydration can include:
Some people even notice their sweat production drops off.
Dehydration can make your blood glucose levels rise. Then, you may develop a more frequent need to urinate, which compounds the problem.
Youre also more vulnerable to heat exhaustion because diabetes can damage your blood vessels and nerves, including the nerves in your sweat glands, so you may not be able to cool your body as efficiently as it needs.
Additionally, high temps can alter how your body uses insulin. Typically, if youre exercising, it reduces your need for insulin. But hot weather can throw a wrench into that, and you may be at risk for both high and low blood glucose levels.
Thats a good incentive for discussing with a medical professional how to adjust your insulin, if need be, to account for your activity level and the weather.
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How Stress Affects The Body
When the body is under stress, it releases cortisol. Cortisol is synthesized from cholesterol and then released from the adrenal glands. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is a unit in the brain comprised of the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands, is what regulates the production of cortisol and how much of it is released during periods of physical and emotional stress.
When the body sends signals of stressboth emotional and physicalit releases cortisol to help the body respond to a perceived threat, control blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. It is the hormone that is used for the fight-or-flight response so if there is any immediate danger, the body will be ready to face it or run from it.
Cortisol can also encourage the liver to release glucose and fatty acids to help give the body the energy it needs to deal with stress. From an evolutionary standpoint, the release of cortisol to deal with stress was important for survival. However, times have changed and those types of threats to life are now, for the most part, nonexistent. This means that cortisol is released and not used by the body in ways that it’s meant to be used in some situations.
Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome
This mostly affects elderly people. As glucose builds up in your blood, your body tries to get rid of it through your urine.
At first, you pee a lot. Over time, you pee less, but when you do, itâs very dark. This condition can lead to dehydration, coma, and death.
Get medical help right away if you have any of these warning signs:
- Blood sugar level over 600 mg/dL
- Extreme thirst that may later go away
- Warm, dry skin that doesnât sweat
- Fever over 101 F
- Weakness on one side of your body
You can avoid many of these problems by keeping your blood sugar under control. Follow your doctorâs advice about diet and exercise, take your medicine, keep up with your doctor visits, and check your levels often.
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