As the weather becomes colder and colder you can’t just resist the craving for some hot delicious desserts.A routine blood test and you just get to know that your blood sugar has already gone out of control.Is it the desserts or the cold responsible? The answer is both.
When the temperature gets out of control, so can your blood sugar. Cold weather can have a negative impact on your body’s ability to produce and use insulin.
Taking some precautions at this time of the year can help people with diabetes stay healthy and better manage their blood sugar levels.
Keep testing your blood
- The cold weather can leave you with cold hands which can make blood testing more difficult. Don’t let the cold put you off doing your tests.
- If your hands are cold, you may have to warm them up so that it becomes easier to prick and get the blood for the test and one of the ways is to wash them in warm water before testing.
- Regular testing will help you to catch any highs, or lows, and keep your sugar levels under control.
Keep your activity levels up
The saying ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ rings true. If you keep your body active you’ll find the mind stays more active too.
Even just a little physical activity each day can help your sugar levels in the following ways:
- Increased insulin sensitivity which can help the body to better regulate blood sugar levels.
- Apart from the direct benefits on your blood sugar, exercise can help you stay warm and help you stay motivated and happy.
- Bear in mind that activity can have a good effect on your blood sugar level for up to 48 hours. So if you are using insulin, your insulin requirements may go down and this requires you to monitor your blood sugars closely.
Keep an eye on your diet
- Your body may ask for more calories to fuel itself against the cold, this is a natural response from the body. Just make sure you don’t over-eat and stick to the right food.
- Low fat options are often recommended as a lower calorie option but check the carbohydrate content as well, as the reduction in fat in some meals may be compensated with extra carbohydrates!
- Home cooked meals and natural snacks such as fruit and nuts are a great basis for a healthy diet, regardless of the season
Do your best to avoid getting sick
Becoming ill makes diabetes harder to control.
You’ll feel less well, have less energy, and just to make things worse, sugar levels often rise significantly in response to colds, flu and viruses.
To prevent illnesses from taking hold, wash your hands often so that you prevent spreading germs, keep yourself warm, eat healthily and keep a watch over your blood sugar levels for any rising trends in sugar levels.
Keep an eye on your feet
- Over a period of time, diabetes can cause some loss of feeling in your toes and feet.
- Protect them with the right winter footwear.
- Apply moisturizer to your feet to keep your skin healthy.
- Keep your feet dry and remember to trim your toenails
- Inspect them regularly, and if you notice an injury that doesn’t heal, seek medical attention.
By planning ahead and being more cautious you can enjoy this season!
Do you have any special suggestions and tips to take care of diabetes during winter? Feel free to post your tips below.