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.
1. Stay active
A little bit of physical activity each day goes a long way to help you regulate your sugar levels. It keeps you warm, boosts insulin sensitivity and sharpens your mind.
Dress in warm clothes when working out in the outdoors, keep your insulin pump – assuming you use one – protected from the cold and stay hydrated.
If it gets too cold to do the types of exercises you enjoyed during the spring and summer, look for a gym with an indoor pool, or borrow some workout DVDs from your library.
2. Keep your hands and feet warm
People often have trouble keeping their hands and feet warm due to reduced circulation, and diabetes and cold weather can only make this situation worse. This is a good time of year to invest in warm, well-fitting diabetic socks, waterproof boots and cozy gloves or mittens. Follow the rules of diabetic foot care whenever possible.
3. Do regular blood tests
Regular blood testing is essential all year round but diabetes and cold weather can make this tricky. Having cold hands can skew your blood sugar readings. You may want to wash your hands in warm water before doing a test.
4. Healthy comfort foods
Let’s face it: fall and winter are prime comfort food seasons. Between traditional holiday fare and standard cold-weather soups and stews, every meal can feel like a feast.
We’re not saying you can’t enjoy any of those foods. Just stick to your meal plan and eat in moderation. The American Diabetes Association also recommends getting plenty of seasonal produce vegetables, such as citrus fruits and root vegetables.
5. The dangers of indoor heat
Your heating system can turn the air in your home from moist to dry, which can, in turn, cause your skin to crack. Make sure you apply moisturizer regularly – especially to your feet – and keep hydrated.
6. Preventing the flu
Getting the flu is considerably more dangerous for people with diabetes than the rest of the population. First of all, diabetes makes it tougher to fight off the flu virus. And it can cause blood sugar levels to spike. Try to get a flu vaccine this year, wash your hands and avoid touching your face, and try to avoid coming in close contact with people who have the flu.
Are you searching for the right diabetic sock to help keep your feet warm this winter? Creative Care can help. Visit our online store to find the pair that works for you.