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    Managing Diabetes in the Summer Heat, Plus During COVID-19

    Traci Fritschle PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM 06/05/2020
    Whether the summer of 2020 brings a heat wave or a second wave of the pandemic, getting prepared NOW  can be the key to making sure your summer sizzles in a good way if you have diabetes! The best way to be prepared is to make a list and gather your supplies. This will make certain you have what you need on hand, and readily available, in the event you become ill. 

    The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests the following items for your list:
    • Phone numbers of all your doctors, care team members, pharmacy and insurance provider.
    • Supply of simple sugars if you are unable to eat well, and thus at risk to have a low blood sugar. Examples include: regular soda, honey, jam, Jello-O, hard candies or popsicles.
    • Extra refills on your prescriptions or consider changing to a mail order service, if available. Remember: an extra 7-day supply of insulin is recommended.
    • Additional supplies to maintain frequent hand cleanings, such as rubbing alcohol or soap.
    • Glucagon and ketone strips in case of lows or highs.
    • Groceries and household items that will supply you for a period of time if you cannot get out.
    Once you have gathered the items listed above, be sure you know how to use them. Discuss a plan with your diabetes team on the following:
    • Knowing when you need to contact your team; for example, changes in eating
    • Identifying how often you should be checking your blood sugars during an illness
    • Understanding how and when to use ketone testing
    • Be aware of the over-the-counter medications that are approved to use with diabetes for virus symptoms
    • Recognizing when to change your medications or doses during an illness
    Our diabetes care and education specialists at the Deaconess Diabetes Center can guide you through these crucial steps to make your summer and COVID-19 preparedness plan is complete and ready to go.

    Based on current information and clinical expertise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that people with underlying medical conditions like diabetes might be at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The risk is even higher if your diabetes is not well controlled.  So in addition to making sure you are prepared, keeping your scheduled appointments and staying connected with your diabetes care and education specialists will also be your best bet as we head into this summer.

    Our diabetes care and education specialists can help you splash into getting -and keeping! - your blood sugars within goal to stop you from 'fizzling out' when the summer starts to sizzle, COVID-19 or not!
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