Diabetes and Cold Weather

diabetes and cold weather

As we write this, we’re watching summer tick slowly away. Pretty soon we’ll be welcoming crisp fall air, digging sweaters out of our closets and preparing for the winter holidays.

And while this can be an enjoyable time of year, fall and winter can often be challenging for people with diabetes, as the cold weather months often bring with them higher blood sugar levels.

That’s why we put together this brief guide to diabetes and cold weather, with the aim of helping readers with diabetes live well while the temperatures drop.

Here are six things you can do in the next few months to remain healthy.

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What Can Diabetics Eat for Snacks?

snacks for diabetics

Living with diabetes means making a lot of changes. You need to monitor your blood sugar, get special diabetic socks, and change your diet.

That includes snacking. When most people think of snacks, they picture the little package of M&Ms waiting for them in their desk, or the bag of chips calling to them from the pantry.

But when you have diabetes, snacking becomes trickier. You need to choose things that will help you control your blood sugar levels.

That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a lifetime of bland, boring food. Here are a few snacks for diabetics that are as healthy as they are enjoyable.

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7 Things to Do After Being Diagnosed with Diabetes

how to live with diabetes

Getting diagnosed with diabetes can be a shattering experience, but it’s not something you have to handle alone.

Other people have been where you are now, and they’ve gotten through it. It’s just a matter of finding the right resources. If you’re wondering how to live with diabetes, it starts by following these steps.

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Why Foot Health & Body Weight are Important to Diabetics

diabetic footwearIt seems to be fairly common knowledge that living life as an especially overweight or obese person is a situation that can lead to diabetes.

According to medical professionals, in fact, more that 25 percent of all obese people have diabetes, whether they know it or not.

Much lesser known, however, is the fact that foot complications are extremely prevalent in individuals with diabetes. If you happen to be diabetic yourself, practicing proper foot health is extremely important.

If you’re an obese person who hasn’t been diagnosed as diabetic, there are a number of actions you can take right now to keep your feet healthy and in good shape. Caring for your feet regularly may even help you discover the beginning of a potential problem before it gets worse.

Regularly Checking and Caring for Your Feet

If you’ve ever wondered why people who suffer from diabetes are also at high risk for various foot issues and complications, there’s actually a fairly simple explanation. Diabetes, especially when it’s not being properly treated, can lead to serious cases of nerve damage in the extremities, especially the legs and feet.

Because the nerve damage condition suffered by diabetics leads to losses in pain sensation, many people with this issue don’t notice dangerous issues until it’s too late. If they can’t feel the pain of a wound, in other words, they may not know it’s there.

Unfortunately, nerve damage also causes poor circulation, which doesn’t allow the body to self-heal as quickly as it otherwise would. Nerve damage also makes infection much more likely, because it leads to the body having a harder time fighting bacteria.

All of which is to say that diabetics, or anyone who thinks they may be at risk of developing the disease, should take especially good care of their feet on a daily basis. Wearing diabetic footwear, especially diabetic socks, AFO liner socks and compression socks developed specially for people who suffer from these issues is probably the best place to start when it comes to proper foot care.

The Importance of Dry Feet

You should also check your feet daily, preferably with a mirror, for cracks, sores, areas of discoloration, or cuts or bruises you haven’t noticed. Again, any nerve damage you may be suffering from could keep you from feeling pain if you’ve somehow damaged your feet.

That’s why diabetics are also advised to stay out of hot tubs and steer clear of extremely hot baths or showers—it may not be possible to tell if the skin on your feet or legs is being scalded.

You’ll also want to do your best to regularly keep your feet dry. That’s because bacteria are naturally attracted to dark, wet places on the body, and feet that are wet—from either sweat or water—make for ideal candidates where bacteria is concerned. An overabundance of bacteria on the feet can lead to infections, which can be dangerous for diabetics.

To keep your feet dry, always towel off thoroughly after showering, especially between the toes. If your feet are naturally sweaty, try using baby powder. And while it’s generally fine to use moisturizer on your feet if they’re often dry and cracked, take care not to moisturize the area between your toes. If your socks or shoes become wet, either from sweat or water, do your best to remove them as soon as possible.

Why Maintaining Your Body Weight Can Reduce Your Chance of Developing Diabetes

If you’re interested, there is a scientific reason obese people are so prone to developing diabetes. This may be a bit of an over-simplification, but essentially, the individual cells that make up your body will be forced to work much harder than they’re normally expected to if you’re overweight. The heavier you are, the more stress you’re placing on each of those cells.

Your cells have a response to this stress: They cause your body’s insulin receptors to malfunction. Once that happens, unnaturally high levels of sugar glucose will begin circulating throughout your body. That’s definitely not a good thing. It’s also why more than 80 percent of people who suffer from diabetes are also overweight.

If you’re overweight and feel you may be at risk of developing diabetes, you will, of course, want to exercise more (after first consulting your physician) while significantly lowering your consumption of junk food and other processed foods. In particular, you’ll want to keep your sugar intake as low as possible. Lowering your carbohydrate intake is also a good idea, because both sugar and carbs cause high levels of insulin to be released.

The Highest Quality Diabetic Socks on the Market

No matter what you plan to do to battle your diabetes—or to lower your chances of developing it in the first place—owning a few pairs of the highest quality diabetic footwear on the market is a very wise place to begin.

Take a look at the wide range of diabetic footwear sold by Creative Care, and take a look at the company’s “Frequently Asked Questions” page and “Resources” page while you’re there. With Creative Care’s diabetic footwear, you’re only steps away from a diabetic’s best defense against foot issues.

The Essentials of Diabetic Foot Care

proper shoe fitIf you’re someone living with diabetes, you probably spend more time than most people think about proper foot care.

That’s because the blood vessel and nerve damage that come from this illness can lead to serious health concerns if left unchecked.

The key phrase here is “if left unchecked.” You can avoid injuries and keep your feet healthy and happy by adhering to these “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of diabetic foot care.

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Supporting Individuals Diagnosed with Diabetes

Worried mature couple with doctorDiabetes can be a difficult illness to manage by yourself. If one of your loved ones has recently been diagnosed with this condition, it’s understandable that they might feel upset, scared or confused.

But there are ways you can help them cope with their diagnosis, and help them understand their new lifestyle. In this blog post, we’ll look at some ways of supporting individuals diagnosed with diabetes.

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How to Take Early Control of Your Diabetes

Diabetes is a diagnosis that stays with you for the rest of your life. But by taking the right measures early on, people with diabetes can live longer and healthier.

According to the National Institutes of Health, people who have type 1 diabetes who intensively control their blood sugar early in their illness are likely to outlive those who do not.

“The outlook for people with type 1 diabetes continues to improve,” said
Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which funded the study, released in 2015. “These results show that by tightly controlling their blood glucose, people with type 1 diabetes can live longer.”

Once known as “juvenile diabetes”, type 1 typically affects younger people and occurs when the body does not make insulin. People who have type 1 must take daily doses of insulin to live.

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Is There a Stigma on Type-2 Diabetics?

Socks for Type-2 DiabeticsIs there a social stigma attached to type 2 diabetes?

Many people living with the illness would say yes.

In fact, surveys show that many people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes feel judged. According to research from the marketing firm dQ&A:

 

  • 76 percent of type 1 patients felt stigmatized, compared to 52 percent with type 2.
  • 83 percent of parents of type 1 children said they felt stigmatized.
  • More than half of people with type 2 diabetes who used intensive insulin therapies – multiple injections or a daily pump – felt stigmatized.

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Facts about Diabetes and Poor Circulation

diabetes & circulation issuesHaving diabetes can complicate your life in many ways. In addition to having to watch what you eat, you also need to worry about your circulation.

When you have high blood sugar, it can damage your blood vessels, leading to plaque build-up, which in turn lessens your blood flow. Diabetics can also develop neuropathy, or nerve damage, which can mean a loss in feeling.

Leg cramps, pain while walking, or numbness in your feet or toes an all be signs of poor circulation.

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Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure For Diabetics

Controlling diabetic blood pressureWhile Creative Care makes its living selling diabetic support socks, we like to use this space to provide a different kind of support to people with diabetes.

We know that living with diabetes can mean dealing with several other health issues, including high blood pressure. Hypertension affects two-thirds of all diabetics, and can lead to more serious problems – like strokes and heart attacks – if left uncontrolled.

That’s why we’ve compiled these tips from The Cleveland Clinic and WebMD for keeping your blood pressure low when you have diabetes:

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