Benefits of Sunbathing in the Morning for Diabetics
Many people avoid sun exposure for fear of darkening and sunburn. In fact, exposure to sunlight at the right time can provide benefits, including for diabetics. Does sunbathing in the morning lower blood sugar? Check out the full explanation below.
Effects of Sunbathing on Blood Sugar Control
Vitamin D is needed by the body but many people do not get enough of it. Vitamin D deficiency is known to contribute to the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
When the body does not have sufficient amounts of vitamin D, there will be a decrease in insulin secretion which results in a buildup of glucose in the blood.
Sunbathing is known to provide benefits in the form of lowering blood sugar. This is proven by research conducted in Surabaya in 2021 involving 30 people aged 40 years and over.
The results of this study stated that sunbathing for 10 minutes at 9 to 10 in the morning can significantly reduce blood glucose levels.
Also Read: Diabetics Want to Eat Eggs, Know the Rules
When sunbathing, the body will produce vitamin D naturally. UVB rays will interact with a protein in the skin and convert it into vitamin D.
In people with type 2 diabetes, sometimes the cells in the pancreas don’t work properly, so it’s difficult to produce enough insulin.
There is a specific receptor in the pancreas that will only be active when there is enough vitamin D. Therefore, sufficient vitamin D is needed to support pancreatic function.
When the body is able to produce more insulin, more glucose can be distributed to muscle cells to be converted into energy. This condition will make blood sugar levels fall and be more controlled.
Also Read: Often Ignored, It’s Diabetics’ Fault at Breakfast
Meanwhile, some dermatologists believe that if you don’t have complications, you can sunbathe without sunscreen for up to 20 minutes a day.
However, diabetics need to be aware of the burns and dehydration that can occur from sunbathing too long because these two things can increase blood sugar. Therefore, you are advised to sunbathe for 5 to 10 minutes every day.
Keep in mind that sunbathing for a long time can have a more damaging effect than exposure to the sun slowly.
Tips for Sunbathing Safely for Diabetics
Here are some ways that diabetics can get the maximum benefit from sunbathing, including:
1. Stay Hydrated
When you’re out in the sun, you have a higher risk of becoming dehydrated due to the higher temperatures. Not only problematic for healthy people, this condition can cause problems for people with diabetes.
Therefore, you are advised to drink lots of water while sunbathing to ensure that your body’s water needs are met.
2. Recognize the Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
Several symptoms heat exhaustion has similarities with symptoms of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. Some of the symptoms are similar, including sweating, shaking, confusion, and lightheadedness.
Blood sugar conditions that are too low can make you lose consciousness. Therefore, if you experience these symptoms, immediately stop sunbathing and check your blood sugar.
Don’t forget to always provide carbohydrate foods to increase blood sugar.
3. Using Sunscreen
Using sunscreen is the best and easiest way to protect the health and appearance of skin at all ages.
Before sunbathing, it is recommended that you use sunscreen or sunscreen SPF 30 and above. You need to apply it 15 minutes before sunbathing. Make sure the sunscreen covers all parts of the body.
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- Anonymous. 2022. Managing Diabetes in the Heat. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/manage-diabetes-heat.html. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Andini, Ary, et al. 2021. Effectivity Of Sunbathing Therapy For Reducing Blood Glucose Levels On Respondents Over 40 Years Old. https://aip.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1063/5.0052549. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Gallagher, Grace. 2019. Is Sunbathing Good for You? Benefits, Side Effects, and Precautions. https://www.healthline.com/health/sunbathing. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Gorin, Amy. 2020. What Vitamin D Is Good for When You Have or Are at Risk for Diabetes. https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency-linked-with-diabetes/. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Martin, Teresa, et al. 2011. Vitamin D and Diabetes. https://diabetesjournals.org/spectrum/article/24/2/113/32324/Vitamin-D-and-Diabetes. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- McNeill, Anne Marie and Erin Wesner. 2018. Sun Protection and Vitamin D. https://www.skincancer.org/blog/sun-protection-and-vitamin-d/. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
- Orenstein, Beth W. and Ashley Welch. 2022. 12 Tips for Managing Diabetes When It’s Hot or Cold Outside. https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/living-with/how-weather-affects-your-blood-sugar/. (Accessed 2 February 2023).
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