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Heat Can Be Worse For Some With Medical Conditions

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--For many of us, the soaring heat and humidity make going outside unpleasant.

But it can be nearly unbearable for those with medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.

For people with medical conditions like heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes heat is not a thing to mess with.

That's because many of them are taking medications that interfere with their ability to deal with the high temperatures.   

Diabetes is something Charles Harrison says he knows how to deal with.

He's had it for almost seven years.

"I try to watch my diet and eat proper foodsI try to, he said.

On hot summer days like this, Charles says he simply stays inside and that's not a bad idea.

Things like insulin and meters are sensitive to warm temperature.

"It affects the meters so that it's unable to read correctly. It will denature the insulin so that it doesn't work well, said family nurse practitioner, Janet Ungs, but CHARLES SAYS HE HAS A REMEDY.

"I try and keep it somewhere it's shaded and cool so it won't get too hot.

It's not just diabetes. People with any type of chronic medical condition find their medications make it hard for their bodies to work properly.

"It inhibits their ability to increase their heart rate when they need to increase blood flow for evaporation, said Mercy E.R doctor Matthew Aucutt.

Doctors say it helps to acclimate. That means when an event requires you to be outside for a long period of time, spending a little bit of time outside each day helps you prepare for it.

Still, the best advice is to stay indoors.

If you have to be outside, do any strenuous activity early in the morning or later in the day when the heat goes down.

Something Charles says he has learned to master.

It sounds obvious but it helps to stay hydrated.

Doctors say force yourself to drink more water than you normally would.

You only realize you're thirsty when you're 50 percent dehydrated and at that point, you're way behind.
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