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As the seasons change so can the management of your diabetes. According to an article written by Amy Campbell, a registered dietician and diabetes educator, as the temperature drops, blood sugars may rise. That's because when snow, ice and cold weather keep you inside, you may exercise less and eat more. Remember, everything is manageable, it is just a matter of adapting and having a few hacks up your sleeve.
We have come up with some tips to help you stay on track and manage your diabetes effectively this winter.
1. Don’t stop moving
The cold weather can sometimes make us want to cuddle up on the couch by the fire and skip our exercise routine. However, this winter it is important to keep exercising and moving to keep your blood glucose levels under control and relax your mind. Look for ways to fit in your daily exercise, whether it is joining a gym, trying at-home workouts, or having a buddy to help hold you accountable.
2. Beat the winter blues
The wet and cold seasons can be stressful and that coupled with shorter days can often affect your mood. Keep up your exercise, healthy eating and keeping busy with the things that you enjoy to keep your spirits up. If you're struggling to stay positive this winter, talk with your friends or your doctor for support. Join our Support Port community on Facebook to chat, support and ask questions about your story and condition.
3. Keep an eye on the scale
Although it is cold outside, it is important to take extra precautions to make sure you keep up your health and exercise. Extra snacking, comforting meals and lack of physical exercise can lead to weight gain. Come up with a plan to make sure you stay healthy this winter.
4. Take care of yourself even if you get sick
When you are sick sometimes managing your diabetes can feel like less of a priority and blood glucose levels may fluctuate. Dodge the flu by getting the annual flu vaccine and washing your hand often. If you do get sick, be sure to frequently check your blood sugar levels and have a sick-day plan.
5. Having high blood sugar can trick your body into thinking it is warm
Even when you are exposed to cold weather, having high blood sugar can make you feel warm. This can sometimes lead to complications therefore following the tips, checking your blood glucose levels regularly to ensure you remain at the right levels.
6. Keep your diabetes devices and insulin out of the cold
Just like how extreme heat affects your insulin, extreme cold can affect it just as much. Insulin can freeze when temperatures drop near to below 0ºC. It is recommended that you avoid exposing your insulin pump and glucose monitor to weather below 0ºC. If you are outside in the cold weather, wear your pump close to your body and cover it with warm clothing. Cold weather can break down insulin and cause it to lose its effectiveness, so make sure your blood glucose meter is protected in a wallet or case.
7. Protect your immune system
As winter is flu season it can be a stressful time and being sick and stressed could lead to differing blood glucose levels. We recommend talking to your doctor to check whether you should be getting your annual flu shot to protect yourself against the flu. Make sure you keep practicing personal hygiene by washing your hands and using hand sanitizer.
8. Test blood glucose levels regularly
Dramatic changes in temperature may affect your blood glucose levels. As we transition into cooler seasons it is important to pay close attention to your CGM trend. A change in season may mean a shift in activities or schedule so blood glucose levels can fluctuate. If you notice a shift in levels, talk with your healthcare team about adjusting your basal rate or turning on a basal pattern to help keep your insulin stable.
9. Keep your hands warm
Having cold hands can make testing your blood glucose levels more difficult as the blood tends to drift away from your fingers. We recommend wearing gloves when you are outside as it is one of the easiest ways to keep your hands warm during the cold months. Some gloves/mittens have features that allow you to only expose one finger which is particularly useful for testing in colder months. If your hands are cold, warm them up before you test for more accurate results.
10. Keep an eye on your feet
Winter air can dry out and crack your skin, especially on your feet, which could lead to wounds. Make sure to protect your feet with the necessary footwear. Our Glucology copper socks are interwoven with Cupron to keep your feet healthy.
The hypo-allergenic blend of fabrics draws sweat and moisture away from the skin helping keep feet dry and comfortable and improves skin appearance. Also try our DiaBalm made with Aloe extracts to help moisturise and soothe skin.
Glucology Store was born in Sydney Australia. Our mission is to help improve the lives of people living with diabetes by providing the best possible support products and information.
Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is NOT medical advice.