It may be winter, but you’re not alone if you’re wondering why it feels so much warmer than usual this year. Pollution, deforestation, increased use of plastic... it’s all affecting the climate, and with climate change comes warmer temperatures. In fact, this is already one of the warmest years in history! Heatwaves are increasingly common, and humidity is on the rise. With all that factored in, have you ever wondered if all these high temperatures impact your health?
It’s no secret that heat and humidity cause dehydration and sweating. What you may not already know, however, is that this can also impact your blood glucose levels. People with chronic conditions like diabetes may be more sensitive to this, leading to potential issues managing the disease and their blood glucose levels in high heat and humidity.
Heat is often associated with low blood pressure due to intense sweating, leading to dehydration. Blood pressure is the force your blood applies to your arteries and veins, which depends on blood volume. So, for example, if your blood volume is higher than 140/90 mm Hg, your blood pressure is high, and if the volume is lower than 90/60mm Hg, your blood pressure is low.
Dehydration can decrease the amount of fluid circulating through your veins, leading to low blood pressure. However, when you stay hydrated, blood volume is diluted. It stays within normal parameters, and the blood glucose concentrations reduce. So, how does all this heat, humidity, and blood pressure influence blood glucose? Read on to find out.
The most common signs of dehydration include a lack of energy, decreased urination, headaches, frequent thirst, and dry skin.
Remember, hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They help keep your organs from experiencing various health issues as they travel through your bloodstream. To do this, they have to bind to receptors on particular cells. For example, insulin, a hormone that helps balance your blood glucose levels, will bind to receptors on cells and signal them to absorb the glucose and transform it into energy.
Dehydration can stimulate the release of vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone that helps control fluid balance. When you’re dehydrated, this hormone prevents you from getting rid of the fluid and tries to preserve as much water as possible.
Like insulin, vasopressin binds to the receptors on your cells, signaling them to start the glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis processes. Glycogenolysis is when glycogen, the storage molecule of glucose in the muscles, is transformed into glucose, increasing blood sugar levels. For example, when you go for a run, you will use some of the glycogen stores in your muscles for the energy you need.
Gluconeogenesis is when other available substrates, such as proteins and fats, are turned into glucose. Both situations can stimulate the rise of blood sugar levels in your body.
Another receptor that can be stimulated when your body is dehydrated due to heat is the hypothalamus, a small area in your brain that controls body temperature. The hypothalamus signals the release of cortisol, the stress hormone that increases blood sugar levels and can develop a resistance to insulin over a long period.
Glucose levels vary from person to person and from day to day, depending on various factors, including changes in insulin absorption. Studies show that during high temperatures, the absorption of insulin is accelerated. This is significant for diabetics since they may need to adjust insulin intake when the temperature changes to prevent altering insulin absorption.
Your body temperature is controlled by the thermoregulatory center. When the weather is too hot, sweat glands produce more sweat, which eventually evaporates. Blood vessels that lead to your skin dilating to allow more blood to flow through and get rid of some of this heat.
If your glucose levels are high and stay that way for a long time in your bloodstream, it can cause serious health issues. Dehydration is one of the factors that can cause blood sugar to rise, making your blood more concentrated. It’s essential for people who suffer from the disease to stay hydrated and avoid spending too much time in the heat, especially during warmer months.
Extreme heat modifies enzymes, affecting all cell membranes, leading to a heat stroke. Usually, sweat evaporates and helps the body cool down, but with very high humidity, this becomes more challenging, resulting in high blood pressure and high glucose levels. In these instances, your body cannot sweat enough to cool itself down. Diabetics have lower sweating responses and greater insulin absorption, which may sometimes adversely affect glycemic control.
But how does sunburn affect blood sugar levels? Simply put, any form of stress can stimulate the hypothalamus in your endocrine system, influencing insulin absorption. Sunburn can sometimes be a form of this stress on your body. If your body responds to this stress by becoming resistant to insulin, it can lead to a rise in glucose levels.
While research is mixed on whether you sweat more in dry or humid climates, humidity does affect how you feel. Remember that how your body responds will depend on various factors like temperature, your level of physical activity, and so on. This may also happens during physical exercise; multiple heat loss mechanisms are activated to prevent the rise of body temperature. Since heat transfer depends on sweating, it’s adversely affected by high temperatures and humidity. So, people who suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes may feel as though they can’t cool down as effectively when it’s too hot outside. When it’s too humid outside, you also feel hotter, increasing your risk of dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your sweat isn’t evaporated quickly enough to cool down, putting you at risk of things like heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Are you wondering how to tell if your body is overheating or whether the head and humidity are affecting your blood sugar? Look out for instances of prolonged dizziness, nausea, headaches, cold skin even at high temperatures, excess sweating, and a drop in blood pressure.
With all this talk about heat and humidity, you’re probably wondering how to ensure you’re not affected by it. Even in colder months, if you live in an area prone to humidity, it’s best to do as much as possible to safeguard your system from the effects. Here are a few quick tips and tricks to help you out:
Regardless of the season, watch out for signs of dehydration or heat exhaustion, and track your glucose levels to prevent any heat and humidity issues that can affect your health.
Your blood sugar levels can significantly impact how your body feels and functions. That’s why stable blood glucose levels can be an important factor in supporting overall wellbeing.
With Nutrisense, you’ll be able to track your blood glucose levels over time using a CGM, so you can make lifestyle choices that support healthy living.
Ready to take the first step? Start with our quiz to see how Nutrisense can support your health.
Looking for a quick bowl recipe to throw together for lunch? Here are six healthy and delicious bowl recipes to try, recommended by our very own dietitians.
Have you ever wondered if beauty sleep is real? We'll explore what the experts have to say about the effects of sleep on your appearance.
Is it normal to have higher blood pressure in the morning? And how can you know if your blood pressure is ideal? Read on to learn more.
Bananas are delicious fruits packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. But do they raise your blood sugar levels? Read on to find out how bananas affect glucose.
We’ll take you through the benefits of mindful eating and then conduct an experiment with the help of a CGM to see how eating speed can impact your blood sugar.
In this article, we’ll explore seven different dance styles and the health benefits they can provide, plus a few tips to help you dance to your target weight.
You may be wondering whether your CGM is safe to swim with. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when using your CGM around water.
We’ll take you through some of the best chest and shoulder exercises for beginners and share an upper body workout plan to try out during your next gym session.
Does consuming fructose cause blood sugar spikes? And where does this type of sugar come from? Read on to learn more about how fructose affects the body.
A PCOS belly is one of the most commonly experienced symptoms of PCOS. We'll explore what causes it and share some tips for PCOS-related weight gain.
In this post, we’ll dive into the eight ways that swimming can positively impact your metabolic health for the next time you hit the swimming pool.
Did you know your weight fluctuates during your period? Read on to find out why period weight gain is so common.
In this article, we share the major culprits of post-meal blood glucose spikes and some actionable tips to help you optimize your postprandial glucose response.
Glucose and glycogen are two types of carbohydrate molecules that your body relies on for many metabolic functions. Learn more about how they work together.
For the last several decades, diet sodas have been popularized as a “healthier option” to normal sodas. But are they actually healthier? Read on to find out.
Japanese eggplant is a nutrient-dense food that can be beneficial for your health. Looking to try it out? Here are some delicious, dietitian-approved recipes you can start with.
Russell Battles shares how using a CGM helped him revamp his diet, exercise, and lifestyle after suffering from a heart attack.
From vitamin C to fiber, apples are loaded with nutrients and filled with health benefits. But did you know they may also have some effects on insulin levels and your efforts to control blood sugar? Read our article to find out more
A set of reliable steps you can take to manage your blood glucose levels that should fit most lifestyles of persons with prediabetes.
You don't have to be a certain size or weight to be healthy! Learn more about what metabolic health is, and why your size doesn't dictate it.
Can't decide on the perfect gift for Mother's Day? Pick from a list of ideas to find a healthy, but still exciting gift this year.
Learn how your menstrual cycle can affect your blood sugar levels, and what you can do to maintain healthy blood sugar control.
The whirlwind of holiday celebrations can make you forget about your health goals. To help you out, we've compiled a list of tips along with our favorite recipes so you can balance indulgence, tradition, and good health this year.
Learn more about the beneficial effects of probiotics on your immune system and take a look at some probiotic foods you can add to your diet.
Drinking wine in moderation can have some health benefits, but it's important to know what those are and how they may impact you.
Review some of the top reasons you might be experiencing constant hunger and some useful tactics to help curb hunger cravings.
Laughing has some amazing health benefits, from boosting your immune system to fighting stress. Find out more about the science behind laughter and how you can start incorporating more of it into your life.
Dietary fiber can help maintain good gut health and promote blood sugar regulation. Read more about its health benefits and see what high-fiber foods you should consider including in your diet.
Many people experience symptoms akin to menstrual cramping even when they are not on their periods. It’s surprisingly common, and various factors can contribute to it. Read on to find out what some of these are.
Check out some of the common and not-so-common reasons you’re likely feeling tired after eating and read our tips to help prevent fatigue after meals.
If you're consuming fewer calories than your body needs to function properly, you may be undereating. Take a look at how this can affect your weight loss efforts and overall health.
One of the best ways to get all the mental and physical benefits of nature is by flexing your green thumb. Read on to learn more about how gardening can benefit your health.
CGMs are now an excellent tool for anyone who wants to optimize their metabolic health. Read on to find out more about the benefits CGMs can have for healthy people!
Learn the science behind hanger, why some people suffer from it, and helpful tips to avoid experiencing it.
Macro and micronutrients impact everything weight loss to blood sugar levels. Read on to learn more about these nutrients and why you need them.
Although bariatric surgery can be an effective way to lose weight and improve health for people who are obese, it’s a major decision. Find out what lifestyle changes you need to make before going under the knife.
Review the reasons that continuous glucose monitoring continues to grow in popularity amongst the world’s top athletes.
Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) have come to form a crucial part of the next generation of holistic wellness management. Come and see how you can "level up" your health optimization game with the latest wearables.
Cryotherapy is gaining popularity among biohackers, fitness enthusiasts and those who want to optimize their health. Learn more about how it works and the risks and benefits associated with it.
Learn more about what visceral fat is, how it affects your body, and what you can do about it.
Do you have trouble losing weight, no matter how hard you try to shed those unwanted pounds? Find out more about the weight loss plateau and what you can do about it.
Learn more about the research on, as well as the benefits and risks of acupuncture, a form of alternative medicine that involves inserting needles into your body for pain and stress relief.
In this second part of our series on resistant starch, explore the different types and learn more about the impact they have on the foods you consume.
Neuropathy, or nerve damage, can cause pain, discomfort, and interfere with daily tasks. Explore effective ways to prevent and manage it.
It's Christmas this weekend! Read on to learn more about traditions, classic Christmas foods, and how to have a healthier celebration this year.
This Halloween, find out what candy you can treat yourself to without ruining your long-term health goals.
Resistant starch can help you lose weight and improve your health. Learn about commercially made resistant starch, how it works, and why it's different from the kind you're used to seeing in supplements and foods.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition that involves endocrine and metabolic imbalances. Here are some PCOS friendly foods to include in your diet for better health.
What do you know about resistant starch? Learn more about what this type of starch is, how it can benefit your health, whether it has side effects, and more.
Recent research has shown that sleep and blood glucose are intricately connected. Read on to learn more about what this means for your blood sugar levels and overall health.
The best way to combat low blood sugar at home is to take a glucose tablet or glucose gel. Here’s what to do with low blood sugar at home.
An emerging treatment, red light therapy promises to prevent and treat the signs of aging and other skin issues. Read on to find out more.
Nordic walking is a full-body workout in which special lightweight poles are held in each hand to activate the entire body while walking. Learn the benefits of Nordic walking and how you can get started with this activity.
Review some of the reasons that you might be experiencing persistent, excessive thirst and how you can better stay hydrated.
Learn what high-intensity resistance training is, how it can benefit your metabolism, and nine tips to get started with HIRT.
Learn what is glucose intolerance, how it affects your body, and why blood glucose monitoring is vital to blood glucose management.
Find out what exactly a holiday health hangover is, the symptoms you may experience, tips on how to avoid one, and what you can do if it's too late.
A blood ketone level of .5 to 3.0 millimoles per liter is the ideal range for ketosis. Find out more here.
Review our helpful article where we discuss the best times to eat if you are trying to lose weight.
Explore the ways in which you can actively begin reversing prediabetes through diet and lifestyle changes.
Learn about how weight loss can impact blood glucose levels, and find tips for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Do you spend all your free time scrolling through social media? If you can’t remember the last time you went offline, you may need a digital detox.
Read on to find out what impact, if any, vinegar really has on our body’s ability to balance blood sugar.
Review our glycemic index charts for the most common fruits and vegetables to better understand the impact on your glucose levels.
Did you know that menopause can affect your metabolic health, and vice versa? Read on to understand the relationship between metabolic health and menopause, and how to manage metabolic health during your menopausal journey.
What really happens to your brain when you consume sugar? Review how interesting the relationship between the brain and sugar is, and why it’s important to control your blood sugar.
Endometriosis is a common yet often ignored condition. Learn more about the symptoms to watch out for, how you can seek treatment, and read first-hand accounts from two women who have dealt with endometriosis.
Quickly understand the differences between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, how to recognize the signs, and key prevention tips.
Learn everything you need to know about the relationship between triglycerides levels and blood glucose.
If you're gearing up to travel or spend more time outdoors this summer, here are a few tips to help you stay safe and hydrated in the sun.
Purim, a joyous occasion celebrated around March or April every year, is just around the corner! Read on to learn more about the holiday and the delicious foods that accompany it.
Still haven't settled on the perfect gift for your Valentine this year? Take a look at our Nutrition Team's favorites for some thoughtful ideas.
Because nerve damage can have many silent symptoms, it often goes undiagnosed in the early stages. Read on to learn more about what causes nerve damage and some warning signs to watch out for.
Ready to learn all about fiber beyond just the basics? In this post, we dive deep into the different kinds of fiber and health benefits of each. From functional fiber to fermentation, we break down all the jargon into a layman's language.
Did you know that cardio can help you lose weight as well as optimize your health and blood glucose? Here's everything you need to know about cardio and its relationship with blood sugar.
Find out what unhealthy weight loss is and learn more about its side effects and what you can do to prevent them.
Learn about the warning signs of low blood sugar and the relationship it has on blood pressure.
Here is everything you need to know about the relationship between weight lifting and blood sugar.
Cholesterol plays a very important role in the human body, contributing to the structure of the cells, helping with vitamin D synthesis, and also promoting the production of steroid and sex hormones, like cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen. But how exactly is cholesterol connected to blood glucose levels?
NutriSense dietitian Katrina Larsen, MS, RD,N, LD, CDCES discusses the risk factors for sleep apnea and how this disorder is linked to other health conditions.
The premise of the paleo diet is that the body can handle a mix of meats, fruits and vegetables, eggs, fish, and complex carbohydrates better than processed meats, refined fats, grains and simple carbohydrates because it evolved to eat the first category as hunter-gatherers.
A common ingredient in cozy winter recipes, winter squash is one of our favorite foods this time of year. Read on to learn more about how it can benefit your health.
Haven't finished your holiday shopping yet? Pick from this list of NutriSense-approved holiday gifts to find some great last-minute stocking stuffers for everyone on your list!
Still haven't bought all your holiday gifts this year? Don't worry—there's still time to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Read our guide for some great ideas!
Learn more about inflammation, how it affects blood glucose levels and what you can do to prevent and manage it.
Fermented foods have a range of health benefits. Read on to learn more about what they are and why you should be adding them to your diet.
Potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes are similar in usage, but pretty distinct in taste, texture, appearance, and even nutritional content! Read on to find out more about each one.
Did you know that living with a pet can do more than just put a smile on your face? Read on to learn all the ways living with pets improves your wellbeing.
Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor to dishes, and also have a range of health benefits. Learn more about a few of our favorites.
Learn about the health benefits of beans and how they can help you live a healthier, longer life.
Review our guide to metabolic diets to help get a better understanding of what they are and whether they might be right for you.
Learn about the traditions and nutrient-dense food commonly enjoyed during Kwanzaa.
Have you ever wondered how your glucose levels might be connected to joint pain? We'll take a deep dive into this connection and share tips for reducing pain.
This article explores hypoglycemia in non-diabetics, how to manage symptoms through diet, and the advantages of glucose monitoring.
Take a look at how aging can affect your blood glucose levels.
Read on to learn more about vitamin D-rich foods and what you should include in your diet to make the most of this vitamin’s health benefits.
When it comes to your menstrual cycle, what you eat can significantly impact how you feel. Read on to learn more about the best foods to add to your diet to help during that time of the month.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian holistic healing system that dates back over 5,000 years. In the second installment of our series on the practice, review the benefits and risks associated with popular Ayurvedic herbs and spices.
In this article, we break down what a low FODMAP diet looks like for beginners, and its potential benefits and drawbacks for gastrointestinal health.
When it comes to bone health, good nutrition is absolutely critical. Read on to learn what osteoporosis is and why some foods may increase your risk of or worsen the condition.