Managing Diabetes on Summer Break: Hitting the Beach

Posted by shannon on Thu, 08/22/2013 - 12:38 in
Shannon and her friend Rachel enjoying the summer weather.

The beach is a place where most people go to relax, soak up the sun and get away for a few hours. Putting your feet in the ocean and feeling the sand between your toes can make you forget about your worries, even if it is only for a few hours. Unfortunately for people with diabetes there are also some challenges with beach trips.

While people can have insecurities about wearing a swimsuit, my insecurities range in a broader spectrum. I worry about the beach and the heat affecting my blood sugars and diabetes supplies. I always make sure to pack back-up supplies, even though I live less than five minutes away from the beach access area, and I definitely don’t let those supplies get too hot in the car. I keep them in the cooler or within the shade of my beach bag. My friends don’t seem to mind me taking up a little bit of room in the cooler!

I also have to think about the heat affecting the way I feel. Personally, my blood sugar tends to drop in the heat, but I don’t always want to be drinking juice or eating snacks. I want to be swimming, reading or just taking a quick nap in the sun. So with all of these concerns, I found myself passing up beach trips with my friends or finding other things to do on nice, hot summer days. But I started to feel like I was missing out on spending time with my friends.

This summer things were different. While I still have to be careful about the heat affecting my blood sugar, I can be put at ease about other concerns. My Omnipod insulin pump sticks to me well and doesn’t get itchy in the sand – and I don’t have to take the Pod off to go swimming.

It might not seem like a lot less to worry about, but the confidence I have in my Omnipod really makes all the difference. I am able to do all the things my friends can, like swimming, walking and even just lounging at the beach without much worry.

When it comes to managing my diabetes on the beach, I just have to remember a few things: eat a big and filling breakfast, check my blood sugars throughout the day to help prevent low blood sugars and make sure that if I’ll be doing some exercise, like walking or swimming, to pair it off with enough lounge time.*

I love being able to not worry about as many diabetes-related challenges and try to spend my time relaxing, which is what beach trips are meant for!

*Information posted on Podder Talk is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider for questions and guidance on managing any health-related issues.