11 Uncommon Signs of High Blood Sugar Levels in Summer

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Summer brings sunshine, vacations, and refreshing treats. But for people with diabetes or prediabetes, the hot weather can pose a hidden health risk –  uncontrolled blood sugar levels. While we all know about the classic symptoms like increased thirst and urination, there can be more subtle signs that your blood sugar might be running high during the summer months.

Why Summer Can Be Tricky for Blood Sugar Control

Several factors can contribute to high blood sugar during the summer:

Dehydration: Hot weather can lead to increased sweating, causing dehydration. Dehydration makes it harder for your body to eliminate excess glucose through urine, potentially raising blood sugar levels.
Dietary Changes: Summer often means picnics, barbecues, and indulging in sugary treats like ice cream. These dietary changes can lead to spikes in blood sugar.
Reduced Activity: Hot weather can make people less likely to engage in their usual exercise routines. Physical activity helps regulate blood sugar levels, so decreased activity can contribute to higher blood sugar.
Increased Sun Exposure: While sunlight is essential for vitamin D synthesis, excessive sun exposure can lead to dehydration and potentially higher blood sugar levels.

11 Uncommon Signs of High Blood Sugar Levels in Summer

Increased Thirst Despite Drinking Water

During the summer, it’s normal to feel thirsty due to sweating and heat exposure. However, if you find yourself constantly thirsty despite drinking plenty of water, it could be a sign of high blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia can cause your kidneys to work harder to remove excess sugar from your blood, leading to dehydration and persistent thirst.

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Persistent Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is another uncommon sign of high blood sugar levels. The heat can exacerbate this condition, making it more noticeable. When your blood sugar levels are high, your body loses fluids, leading to a reduction in saliva production and causing dry mouth.

Frequent Urination

While frequent urination is a well-known symptom of diabetes, it can be more pronounced in the summer. High temperatures can cause you to drink more fluids, which combined with hyperglycemia, can lead to increased urination. If you notice you're visiting the bathroom more often than usual, it might be time to check your blood sugar levels.

Unexplained Fatigue

Feeling unusually tired despite getting adequate rest could indicate high blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia affects your body’s ability to utilize glucose for energy, leading to fatigue. The summer heat can also add to the exhaustion, making it a double whammy for your energy levels.

Blurred Vision

Changes in blood sugar levels can cause fluid to move into and out of the eye, leading to swollen lenses and blurred vision. If you experience sudden vision changes during the summer, it might be a sign of high blood sugar levels. This symptom can be particularly concerning when combined with the glare and brightness of the sun.

Slow Healing of Cuts and Wounds

High blood sugar levels can impair blood circulation and damage nerves, leading to slow healing of cuts and wounds. During the summer, when you’re more likely to be outdoors and active, this can become more noticeable. Pay attention to any minor injuries that seem to take longer to heal.

Frequent Skin Infections

Increased blood sugar levels can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. The summer heat and humidity can create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, leading to frequent skin infections. Be mindful of any unusual rashes, boils, or fungal infections.

Unusual Weight Loss

Unexpected weight loss without a change in diet or exercise can be an uncommon sign of high blood sugar levels. When your body can't use glucose for energy, it starts to break down muscle and fat instead, leading to weight loss. This symptom can be particularly concerning if you're trying to stay fit and active during the summer.

Numbness or Tingling in Hands and Feet

High blood sugar levels can damage nerves, causing numbness or tingling in your extremities, a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. The summer heat can exacerbate this sensation, making it more noticeable. If you experience these symptoms, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Increased Hunger

Despite eating regularly, high blood sugar levels can cause increased hunger. This happens because your body’s cells are not getting the glucose they need for energy, sending signals to your brain that you need to eat more. During the summer, this can lead to overeating and weight gain if not managed properly.

Irritability and Mood Swings

High blood sugar levels can affect your mood, causing irritability and mood swings. The stress of dealing with heat and dehydration can amplify these feelings. If you notice significant changes in your mood during the summer, it might be worth checking your blood sugar levels.

Managing High Blood Sugar Levels in Summer

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is essential to prevent dehydration and help your kidneys flush out excess sugar. Avoid sugary drinks, which can raise your blood sugar levels even more.

Monitor Blood Sugar Levels

Regularly check your blood sugar levels, especially if you notice any of the uncommon signs mentioned above. Keeping a close eye on your levels can help you make necessary adjustments to your diet, medication, or lifestyle.

Adjust Medication as Needed

Consult with your healthcare provider about adjusting your medication during the summer months. The heat can affect how your body absorbs and uses insulin, so it’s important to tailor your treatment plan accordingly.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help manage your blood sugar levels. Avoid processed foods and those high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Increased thirst, known as polydipsia, occurs because high blood sugar levels lead to excess glucose in the blood. The kidneys work harder to filter and absorb the excess glucose, resulting in increased urine production and loss of fluids, which triggers thirst.
High blood sugar levels reduce saliva production, leading to dry mouth. The summer heat exacerbates this condition by increasing fluid loss through sweating, making the dry mouth more pronounced.
Summer heat can lead to dehydration, dietary changes with more sugary treats, reduced activity levels, and increased sun exposure – all factors that can contribute to high blood sugar.
While other factors can influence wound healing, persistent delays in healing, especially for minor cuts or scrapes, warrant a discussion with your doctor to rule out high blood sugar as a contributing factor.
Extreme fatigue that persists even after adequate hydration and rest could be a sign of high blood sugar. Monitor your blood sugar levels and consult your doctor if fatigue is excessive.
Similar to UTIs, the sugary environment created by high blood sugar can promote the growth of fungus, leading to an increased risk of yeast infections.
Blood sugar fluctuations can disrupt the hormones that regulate mood, potentially leading to irritability, anxiety, or even depression.