5 Tips for Managing Chronic Diseases in the Summer Heat
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5 Tips for Managing Chronic Diseases in the Summer Heat

Summer is a season of vibrant sunshine and outdoor fun. However, the intense heat can bring about unique challenges for seniors living with chronic diseases. If you are wrestling with conditions like arthritis or diabetes, trying to enjoy the warm weather can be particularly challenging. Read on for practical tips and advice to help you manage chronic diseases in the summer heat!

1. Stay Hydrated

Maintaining good hydration is crucial when dealing with the summer heat, especially for seniors with chronic diseases. When temperatures soar, your body loses more water through sweating. Dehydration can exacerbate chronic conditions like diabetes. 

Make a habit of sipping water throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty. You can also hydrate by eating water-rich fruits like watermelons or oranges. However, if you're on a restricted fluid intake due to a condition like kidney disease, consult your healthcare provider on how much fluid you should consume.

2. Avoid Midday Heat

The sun's rays are most intense around midday. For this reason, try to schedule outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler. If you need to go outside during the peak heat, wear light and breathable clothing. Don't forget a hat to shield your face! Staying in the shade can also help reduce exposure to extreme heat.

3. Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat-related illnesses are a genuine concern for everyone during the summer. However, you must be twice as vigilant when managing chronic diseases in the summer heat. Be aware of symptoms such as dizziness, rapid heartbeat, nausea, headache, or excessive sweating. These could be signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke requiring immediate medical attention.

4. Engage in Low-Impact Activities

For seniors living with arthritis, the summer heat can sometimes stir up inflammation. This can lead to increased joint pain. Participating in water exercises like swimming or water aerobics is a good strategy. These low-impact activities can be easier on your joints, and the water can help keep you cool. Just remember to get the okay from your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.

5. Keep Track of Your Blood Sugar Levels

The summer heat can impact blood sugar levels, making it a challenging time for seniors with diabetes. Dehydration can lead to high blood glucose levels. Regular blood sugar monitoring is essential, and you should address any fluctuations promptly. Remember to keep medications or insulin cool and out of direct sunlight, as high temperatures impact their effectiveness.

Senior Helpers Support Seniors Living with Chronic Diseases

Managing chronic diseases in the summer heat can be challenging. However, with the right strategies and precautions, you can stay safe from heat-related illnesses. If you're in Fresno, Madera, or Atwater, let Senior Helpers Central Valley North be a part of your support system. We're here to provide the care and support you need no matter the season. Contact us to learn more about our services!