Winters!! The season to wear warm clothes and indulge in warm comfort meals. And when a person is a Delhite, having intense and smoggy weather conditions is nothing new. With this ongoing pandemic, people may be more anxious than excited for winters. For a diabetic, the winter season might hamper normal routines. Also, it might make a person stay inside. Yet, it is good to understand the problems and exercise precautions. By doing so, a person can handle the challenges of the winter months. Read this blog to know about “Diabetes Management in Winter Season.”
Diabetes may bring about changes in a person’s diet, lifestyle, exercise regime, and medicines. Diabetes has an effect on a person’s overall living. With a dropping temperature, things would only get worse for diabetic patients. It may increase blood glucose levels and might even put health at risk.
Diabetes management may require modification once the temperature starts falling down. Diabetes management can be difficult during winters than summers or rains. Chilly temperatures may increase difficulty in sticking to a particular diet and an exercise plan. Catching a cold or the flu might be more than just a disappointment when a person is diabetic; it may also result in severe health issues later on. In diabetics, preventable infections such as flu and pneumonia might develop quickly.
Managing Diabetes in Cold Weather Conditions
While dressing for cooler temperatures, it is a must to take care of feet; for diabetics. Ensure that they are dry and warm and a person is wearing suitable shoes. Diabetes can reduce circulation to the feet. This leaves them less capable of being warm in cold weather. Winter might also enhance the possibilities of infection and nerve pain in the feet. Diabetic people must:
- wear warm dresses
- do daily foot checks for cracks, sores, or any discolouration
- check feet daily
- moisturize them after bath
- protect them using warm, dry shoes or boots
Colder weather might also affect diet in several ways. People eat more during winters as they like eating more comfort foods. Winter menus packs delicious soups, stews, or casseroles. Also, a person may take advantage of diabetes-friendly seasonal fruits and veggies.
Also Read: Normal Blood Sugar Level
Perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-severe aerobics per week. Also, doing exercise half an hour each day for most days of the week helps. But, when the temperature falls, physical exercises also may fall. A person may begin an indoor workout routine like a gym with a pool, power yoga, Zumba, or some aerobic classes.
Just like intense heat conditions, intense cold might have an effect on insulin and might increase the need for glucose monitoring. Cold conditions may leave a person with cold hands which might increase the difficulty of blood sugar testing. It is important not to let the cold put people off their testing. Regular testing helps a person keep track of highs or lows, and helps in keeping the glucose levels controlled. If hands are cold, try warming them. Using a radiator with a towel or thick clothing over it is helpful before a test.
Keep reading to understand the potential problems that diabetics experience. Also, the precautionary measures suggested are given below:
It feels quite difficult to avoid a comfortable bed on a cold morning. Yet, carrying on to stay active is one of the finest things a person can do for himself or herself. If a person is a runner or habitual of a morning walk, winter months are sure to deliver an easier time. Without the scorching heat, a person may even find the cooler weather to be refreshing. Although, a person does not go off the house, a good home exercise routine may wake him or her up. This also might let him or her get-set-go for a fruitful day. Exercise helps reduce the glucose level as per the ADA. Even if, snowstorms or cold snaps keep a person inside.
Healthier Winter Comfort Food
During cold temperatures, a good cup of warm chai is a boon. Or, a person might prefer taking some hot chocolate or even pakodas. While a person’s body settles in for the winter, it is natural to desire more soothing foods. But a person can skip heavy foods and sugary beverages. It’s good to consume a cup of lime tea, or even some warm veggie soup. The most significant thing is to find substitutes of the comfort meals that don’t feel enforced. Healthy substitutes can be found for winter favourites. People should treat themselves with them rather than the unhealthy versions.
Carrots and cucumber also contain vitamins and antioxidants. These help to boost a person’s immunity. The nutritionist recommends diabetic people to choose lower-calorie and lower-carb snacks. These snacks can be popcorn, raw veggies, popcorn, or hard-boiled eggs.
Dry fruits such as almonds, walnuts, figs, pine nuts also assist in keeping the body warm. Individuals also love to sip tea and coffee all day long during the cold weather. Still, diabetics should ensure that they go after healthy options.A high protein meal at night helps keep a person full for a longer while. This meal can be eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, lentils, etc. Also, add one teaspoon of ghee in a diabetic diet daily. It offers immunity and keeps the body warm and nourished.
Pay attention to Winter Diseases
The seasonal flu is no easy matter when a person has a history of pre-existing health problems. Common cold may make a person feel less active and even inferior. His or her sugar levels can fluctuate in response to colds, flu, or viruses. Take care to keep the body warm while stepping out. Consume healthy options. Track the blood glucose levels in case of infection.
Keep an Eye on Feet
Cracked or dry skin during winters might go much beyond vanity. A diabetic person already knows how vulnerable their feet are. Too much moisture loss might cause peeled, cracked, or even infected skin during the winter months. These steps guard feet. Wear appropriate footwear. Keep the feet dry from sweat. While workouts, apply cream to keep them healthy. Monitor any cuts, sores, or even dry spots on feet. In case of any tender lesions on feet, reach out to a healthcare provider to know the next steps.
Don’t Just Guess, Keep a Track on Vitals
A bit of flu, some holiday fun, or even missing daily workout might affect the levels of blood sugar tremendously. It would do well for a person to constantly track sugar levels, irrespective of how lifestyle is coping. Tracking the sugar level over a period of time might assist in a better understanding of its trends.
Even when a person is keeping up with a normal routine, the lower temperature might have an effect on the readings. Hence, a glucometer must be kept handy, and be prepared to make some wintertime alterations as per the doctor’s suggestions.
Prioritise Mind too
The winter blues are a big deal. For a majority of individuals, colder weather might influence their mental health. The bluer weather, not getting to step out sufficiently, or even the standard deficiency of Vitamin D from sunlight might add on to a drop in a person’s mood. But practicing the above-stated steps such as moving more, consuming healthy, and taking care of physical health might aid mental health also. If in spite of all this, a person may find it difficult, and may connect with a dear one, or even look for therapy options.
Ensure Proper Hydration
While the weather, diet, and activities might impact diabetes, there is another factor that weighs in considerably; a person’s hydration. Most individuals are expected to forget the significance of sustaining a perfect fluid level in the body. Filling up on water, or alternatives of it such as tea or infused waters might assist in stabilizing the electrolytes present in a person’s body.
Diabetes patients are susceptible to dehydration and this might result in risky issues such as diabetic ketoacidosis if left unmanaged. Make a habit to swallow sugar free drinks while sitting at work or sips such as chamomile tea, green tea, jasmine tea, ginger tea as they aid in burning an added fat and simplify the digestive process.
Also Read: Breakfast Ideas For Diabetics
Continue Being Alert About COVID-19
While a person may be thrilled about the approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, he or she might be still far from being safe. It’s significant to carry on following all the suggested safety tips that may keep him or her safe from COVID-19. Carry on staying at home as much as possible, take remote session for routine appointments, and get doorstep delivery of medications and ensure that a person’s condition is well managed.
While few of these above guidelines are common, it’s vital to go back to them through the winter months. Get the whole family involved in exercising these healthy steps and help every person in sailing through the season with a better approach to their physical and mental wellbeing.
So, what you do during winter to stay safe as well as manage your diabetes in an improved way?
Also Read: Benefits of Smoothies For Diabetes
Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.