Winter is coming! We all have to prepare for the cold days to come, and having diabetes is an additional challenge. During the winter, these people usually have higher HbA1c levels than over the warmer months.
The temperature might drop, but the blood glucose levels increase.
The stress of the holidays, changes in diet and exercise, and cold and flu can all make your diabetes management harder than usual.
What’s more, statistics show that more people are diagnosed with diabetes during the cold months than during the warmer months.
However, you can take the following precautions to keep your blood sugar levels under control during the winter season.
7 Tips to Manage Diabetes in Cold Weather
1. Keep Testing Your Blood Sugar Levels
Don’t allow the cold weather to put you off checking your blood glucose levels by leaving you with cold hands which makes the testing more difficult.
By checking your blood glucose levels regularly, you will have control over your diabetes. Warm your hands on a radiator or a warm mug with a towel over it before testing your blood sugar.
2. Stay Physically Active
The cold weather might make you want to stay at home, laying on your couch wrapped up in your cozy blanket. But, you must be physically active every day to help your diabetes management.
Besides keeping you warm and your mind active, a little activity every day will help increase your insulin sensitivity. This, in turn, will help your body to better deal with your blood glucose levels.
You don’t have to go out in the cold weather to exercise. You can jump, dance, climb stairs, do some yoga, aerobics, tai chi, or even do some house cleaning. All these activities will help you stay active and get your muscles working.
3. Stick to Right Foods
During cold days, your body might require more calories to protect itself against the cold. But, instead of snacks, takeaways, and ready meals that give short-term satisfaction and raise blood glucose, choose healthier options.
For example, eat fruits and nuts in moderate amounts as a snack, as well as home-cooked meals.
4. Stay Hydrated
Most people don’t feel thirsty during the cold months, and keeping your body well-hydrated is important for proper diabetes management. So, make sure you drink plenty of sugar-free fluids, preferably water, during the winter season.
5. Avoid Getting Sick
People with diabetes who fall ill have a harder time controlling their blood glucose. Colds, flu, and viruses leave you without energy and with higher levels of blood sugar.
Therefore, make sure you keep yourself warm and follow a healthy diet. Also, keep testing your blood glucose levels to notice any rising trends.
6. Prevent Depression
The lack of sunlight, cold weather, and inconsistent blood sugar levels can all make you feel blue over the cold months. Depression makes diabetes management even harder than it really is.
So, if you have depression, talk to your friends or family to improve your mood.
7. Pay Attention to Your Cold Medications
Did you know that cough syrups, lozenges, and teas are full of sugar? This is why people with diabetes should consult a pharmacist for sugar-free alternatives.
Take these tips into consideration for the cold days that follow!