How cold weather affects your blood sugar levels?
The slight nip in the weather might come as a sign of relief from the scorching summer heat, but people living with diabetes should approach it with caution. It is believed that the peak of both the winter and summer months can cause severe fluctuations in a diabetic’s blood sugar levels. Most importantly, the weather transformation can impact their body functioning, and the how body produces and uses insulin.
Raising awareness about the issue, Padma Shri Awardee Dr. KK Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, IMA and President, HCFI said, “There exists a lack of awareness of how the winter months can affect our blood glucose levels. When the temperature drops, the body requires an increased amount of insulin to function effectively. It is not uncommon that diabetics experience a sudden drop in their insulin requirements when the chilly winters give way to the spring. The exact reason behind this is not known, but this change has continuously been associated with an increased delivery of glucose and insulin to peripheral tissues. People also tend to be more stressed during the winter months and are prone to depression. As a reaction to this stress, the blood sugar levels of diabetics often go up. The cold weather can make your blood thicker and aggravate shifts in blood sugar levels. It is therefore advised that all diabetics consult their consulting doctors before the onset of the winter for any change in their medication and also ensure that they stay warm and consume a healthy diet."
Follow certain tips to manage diabetes this winters:
· Take precaution against the cold and flu: A cold and flu infection can prove to be harmful if proper precautionary measures are not taken. It is important for diabetics to get a flu vaccine after consulting their doctor. It is also important that proper hand hygiene is maintained, the body is given adequate rest, and a healthy diet is consumed.
· Stay warm to stay protected: It is important to keep oneself warm to avoid the adverse effects of the chilly winters. Make sure you wear enough layers of clothes to keep your body warm and dry. In addition to this, one must cover his/her feet properly especially if the individual has blood circulation related problems. It is also important to keep a check on your blood glucose levels.
· Consume a healthy diet: People have a tendency to indulge in high-calorie food during the winter months. The reason for this is the onset of the festive and wedding season as well as winter depression. It is extremely important that diabetics watch what they eat and consume ample amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits with a high sugar content should be avoided. Alcohol consumption also tends to go up during these months, and a strict watch is a must to ensure good health.
· Get physical exercise: Shorter days and longer nights shouldn’t be your excuse for not working out this winter season. For diabetic patients, it is essential that you exercise daily. One can go out for a walk to the nearby shopping center or a park. Medical experts advise that in case you join a gym, you should always consult your doctor as to what kind of exercises you can do.