When people think of winter, they think of the white snow, snowman, cozy warm drinks and fun winter activities. But this season comes with many health challenges for people who have chronic illnesses and for those with diabetes.
People who have diabetes should be cautious when it comes to hibernating during this season, and they should take their health seriously. You should know that during the cold months people who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes have higher HbA1c levels.
This is in comparison to the warmer months during spring and summer, as the blood sugar levels might creep up as the temperatures get low.
Do you know how you can control your blood sugar levels during these cold months? All you need to do is follow these tips.
You should wash your hands in warm water, and then dry them every time before testing.
The winter air might crack and dry your skin, mainly the skin on your feet, and that might lead to infections and wounds. Make sure always to wear socks or slippers when you are at home and appropriate footwear when you are outside in the rain and snow.
It is vital for people with diabetes to have good walking shoes. Also, it is vital to use moisturizer to keep your skin healthy. Moreover, make sure to check your feet for possible cuts on a daily basis.
If you have a cut which doesn’t heal, it is important to contact your doctor right away.
It is crucial to exercise in the winter, especially if you have diabetes. You should exercise approximately half an hour from 3 to 5 days per week. If you can, it would be best to exercise every day for 30 minutes.
According to CDC, i.e., Centers for Disease Control, the flu is more risky for people who have diabetes. This is in comparison to the general public. This condition makes it harder to combat the flu, and the blood glucose goes out of control because of this.
The CDC gives few suggestions to avoid flu such as washing your hands, avoiding contact with sick people, not touching the face and getting the flu vaccine.
In winter many people make the same mistake, and they only drink warm beverages such as tea or coffee. Drinking at least 8 glasses of pure water is essential. Also, you should avoid alcoholic drinks.
The tendency in winter is to stay home, get cozy and eat. This usually leads to getting empty calories. You can avoid that by consuming only good healthy foods and calories.
You can log your calories in a notebook, and try not to have any junk food at home.
The same as the extreme heat, the extreme cold might impact your insulin and make your blood sugar monitor stop working correctly. You should not leave supplies such as pumps, insulin vials, and pens in the car in cold weather.
You can keep a thermos of warm tea or water in your diabetes supply case. This can help keep your supplies at the right temperature.
Make sure to not spend a long time out on the cold, particularly if you have neuropathy or cardiac problems.
You should know that the cold weather might cause for your blood to thicken and be more susceptible to clotting.
The snow and cold weather might keep you inside, that in turn can lead to less exercise and less sun exposure. Lack of both things might cause depression, and that can interfere with the management of your diabetes.
It is a fact that people get less sun in the cold months. You should go out on the sun as much as you can when it is not that cold, or you can take vitamin D. In case you are facing a severe depression make sure to ask for professional help.
Follow these tips and have total control over your blood glucose levels no matter the season.