Diabetes Management in the Winter

With the winter coming up you can look forward to the holidays associated with it. Or you can look towards the coldness and shortness of each day. Whatever your opinion of winter is, it is important to focus on your diabetes management in the winter.

Make sure to keep warm

Along with making sure to keep warm. You will need to check and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Having higher blood sugar may make you feel warmer than you actually are which can lead to problems like nerve damage. You can make sure to stay warm by dressing properly for the temperature outside. Also by consuming warm items like coffee or soup. Along with keeping yourself warm also follows doing your best to not get sick.  

Do your best to not get sick

By keeping yourself warm, you will need to prevent yourself from getting sick. First, you can practice proper preventative measures such as washing and sanitizing your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom. Along with avoiding touching your face. Second, be up to date with flu and covid shots. Getting sick may make diabetes management in the winter more difficult to properly take care of yourself or use your diabetic supplies at the same consistency. Along with using your diabetic supplies consistently, it is also important to take proper care of them. 

Keep diabetic supplies at the right temperatures

It is important to keep diabetic supplies at the right temperatures. An example would be insulin and blood glucose meters and strips. Keeping insulin in a cold place like your car may cause it to freeze if temperatures drop below 32 degrees. Also, blood glucose meters and strips usually do not work below 40 degrees, so make sure to keep them out of cold places such as your car. Keeping your supplies functional will allow you to check your blood sugar levels consistently. 

Check blood sugar levels

As stated before, elevated blood sugar levels may make you feel warmer than you actually are which means it is important to keep your supplies on you and functional. The cold weather may cause cold hands which makes it more difficult to draw blood. This issue can be avoided by warming up your hands prior to testing. One way you can keep your hands warm is by carrying gloves or mittens along with hand warmer packets and if available, washing hands in warm water is a good idea as well. This will help make the process of checking your blood sugars a bit more pleasant and keep you from having to experience medical emergencies during the holidays. 

Stay active 

 Staying active will help keep you warm as well as help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Even though the weather is cooling down, days are getting darker earlier, and the weather may not be optimal, this should not stop you from staying active. If you have a gym membership, you can use that to quickly and easily avoid darkness and coldness. If not, you can start by finding ways to stay active at home or you could look for large indoor areas such as an indoor mall or even just a grocery or department store to walk around in for a short time. Choosing to stay active means you will be on your feet often, this makes it important to check your feet and other extremities. 

Check your feet

Persons with diabetes may develop nerve damage, especially along the extremities such as the feet. It is even more important to check your feet during the winter as the cold weather will draw blood and warmth away from places like the feet and hands first. Some ways to prevent any foot problems is to make sure to check your feet daily for any changes or damage such as cuts, bruises, or blisters. Make sure to wear properly fitting shoes and warm socks made of wool. Lastly, ensure to check for any small objects like pebbles that can be lodged in your shoes or socks. 

Diabetes management in the winter involves a few extra steps and it is important that you follow them so you can be healthy and safe.

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