Those with diabetes need to be ready in case of tropical storm

Aug. 24, 2013 at 4:52 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The heat and humidity of summer -- and even autumn -- require those with diabetes to be cautious because they can become easily dehydrated, an expert says.

Marc Kaplan, a medical supply specialist, also said unexpected storms can make it difficult to access adequate supplies.

"Most diabetics know to bring extra diabetic supplies when they leave the house in the summer since they know they can easily become dehydrated and are even more susceptible to heat exhaustion when their sugar levels get low," Kaplan, a representative from Save Rite Medical, says in a statement.

Unfortunately, a lot of diabetic supplies can be affected by high temperatures, making it difficult for patients going out for the day. He advises those with the disease pay extra attention to the storage of diabetic supplies during heat waves.

However, the biggest issue for diabetics is to "have an emergency bag prepped and ready at all times," which should consist of "enough medicine and supplies for several days."

In order to create a sustainable bag, Kaplan advises patients to consult their pharmacists for specific storage instructions.

Studies have shown diabetics have been hospitalized more frequently, made more emergency room visits, and had higher mortality rates than the average person during heat waves.

However, 1-in-5 respondents in a survey stated they don't take precautions until temperatures already reached or exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit. But only about half of patients were aware of the meaning of "heat index" -- how hot it feels when high temperatures occur during levels of high humidity.

Along with a medical kit, someone with diabetes should always keep emergency snacks and bottled water on hand when out for the day during the summer, Kaplan says.

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