Five Things :: Diabetes and Cold Weather


Cold weather can be fun but can also make blood sugar control difficult

Over the winter months people of all diabetes types tend to have higher HbA1c levels than during the warmer months. With snow, ice and frost all threatening, sugar levels can creep up whilst the temperature drops.

1) 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 though.

Regular testing will help you to catch any highs, or lows, and keep your sugar levels under control. If your hands are cold, try warming them up on a warm mug or on a radiator with a towel or thick cloth over it, before doing your test.

2) Keep your activity levels up

Even just a little physical activity each day can help your blood sugar levels in a number of ways:

  • Increasing insulin sensitivity
  • Keeping you warm
  • Good for the mind

A little activity each day will help with the body regulate sugar levels.

It can be hard to get motivated to exercise in winter.  Exercise is an important part of keeping blood sugar in check. Join a gym where you can work out indoors or exercise at home by taking the stairs, lifting weights, and exercising to videos. Here is a suggestion – Jane Fonda’s workout routines on Youtube via BeFit.

3) Do your best to avoid getting sick.

Winter is cold and flu season. When you’re sick, you’re stressed, and being under stress can raise your blood sugar. Also, when you don’t feel good, you’re likely to not eat properly. Wash your hands with soap and water often so that you don’t spread germs.

Dr. Flo recommends prepare a “sick-day kit” at home and fill it with soup, sugar-free cough drops, tea — things that will make you feel better and that you can access easily.

Also, be sure to get vaccinated against the flu.

4) Avoid packing on the pounds.

Managing type 2 diabetes during the holidays can be tricky. Many seasonal treats are loaded with carbohydrates that cause your blood sugar to rise. Plan your meals and pace your special treats so that you don’t greet spring a few pounds heavier. Even a small weight gain makes it more difficult to control your diabetes and blood sugar levels.

5) Keep an eye on your feet.

Diabetes can cause a loss of feeling in your toes and feet. Protect them with the right winter footwear, especially in snow. Apply moisturizer to your feet to keep your skin healthy. Inspect them regularly, and if you notice an injury that isn’t healing, seek medical attention. Don’t wait to seek medical attention.