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July 25, 2000

Daily Care

Question from the United Kingdom:

I have an eight year old with type 1 diabetes who was diagnosed four years ago. For the past three years, in hot sunny weather, she has very high readings. I have kept a record of this, but nobody here takes me too seriously. She has had immunity tests but nothing else to see if there is anything else going on. Is this a problem that you have come across before? Does the heat/sun affecting readings in a strong way? She can go from being 4.0 mmol (72 mg/dl) to 35.0 mmol (630 mg/dl) in a matter of hours and stays that way unless we double/triple her insulin intake. As I can find no one with similar problems here in the UK, there is no solid advice and she has to go into hospital and have her regime changed by the doctors each week. As you can imagine, this is far from ideal and I just want to be able to control her insulin at home with guidelines.

Answer:

It is not unusual for hot weather to affect diabetes control, as occurs when families from UK go abroad. Usually, readings will fall, and so I recommend that insulin dose is reduced, and readings are checked more frequently in the first few days. Have you checked that there isn’t something else happening like drinking more juices or eating more ice lollies, or ice pops, etc.? I am not sure of what else may result in such high readings.

JS