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 those who have chronic illnesses and for those with diabetes.
Those who have diabetes should be cautious when it comes to hibernating during this season, and they should take their health seriously. People should know that during the cold months those 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 most people know how they can control their blood sugar levels during these cold months? All they need to do is follow these tips.
9 Tips to Control Blood Glucose During Winter
1. Cold Hands Might Impact Blood Glucose Readings
People should wash their hands in warm water, and then dry them every time before testing.
2. Take Proper Care of the Feet
The winter air might crack and dry one’s skin, mainly the skin on the feet, and that might lead to infections and wounds. Make sure always to wear socks or slippers when at home and appropriate footwear when outside in the rain and snow.
It is vital for those with diabetes to have good walking shoes. Also, it is vital to use a moisturizer to keep the skin healthy. Moreover, make sure to check the feet for possible cuts on a daily basis.
If notice a cut that doesn’t heal, it is important to contact a doctor right away.
3. Exercise at Least 30 Minutes
It is crucial to exercise in the winter, especially for those with diabetes. Exercise approximately half an hour from 3 to 5 days per week. If possible, it would be best to exercise every day for 30 minutes.
4. Avoid Flu and Colds
According to the CDC, i.e., the Centers for Disease Control, the flu is riskier for those 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 a few suggestions to avoid flu such as washing hands, avoiding contact with sick people, not touching the face, and getting the flu vaccine.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
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, people should avoid alcoholic drinks.
6. Avoid Overeating
The tendency in winter is to stay home, get cozy, and eat. This usually leads to getting empty calories. People can avoid that by consuming only good healthy foods and calories.
They can log the calories in a notebook, and try not to have any junk food at home.
7. Keep the Diabetes Supplies at a Proper Temperature
The same as extreme heat, the extreme cold might impact the insulin and make the blood sugar monitor stop working correctly. People should not leave supplies such as pumps, insulin vials, and pens in the car in cold weather.
Keep a thermos of warm tea or water in the diabetes supply case. This can help keep the supplies at the right temperature.
8. Do Best to Stay Warm
Make sure to not spend a long time out in the cold, particularly in case of neuropathy or cardiac problems.
The cold weather might cause the blood to thicken and be more susceptible to clotting.
9. Treat or Avoid Depression
The snow and cold weather might keep people inside, which 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 diabetes.
It is a fact that people get less sun in the cold months. People should go out in the sun as much as they can when it is not that cold, or they can take vitamin D. In case they are facing severe depression they should make sure to ask for professional help.
Follow these tips and have total control over the blood glucose levels no matter the season.