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Can Cold Weather Affect Blood Sugar?

Cold Weather Tips For Diabetes

Cold Weather Tips For Diabetes

For people living with diabetes, cold weather may make it more difficult to maintain regulated blood sugar levels. Frosty temperatures stress the body, and that stress frequently causes blood sugar levels to rise. Don’t despair—knowledge is power. And with that in mind, we’ve collected some cold weather tips for diabetes to keep you healthy all season long. 1. Stay warm Avoid staying outside in cold temperatures for long periods of time. Chilly temperatures tend to thicken the blood and increase the risk for clotting. When in the cold, bundle up with warm sweaters, scarves, gloves, and other protective gear to keep your body temperature as stable as possible. You might also drink plenty of warm beverages, such as tea. Another cold weather tip for diabetes: falling mercury levels can damage prescription medications or testing equipment. Keep these items warm and in the house. If you need to take them with you while traveling, store them in the car instead of in the trunk, or in a handbag or backpack and keep them on you to ensure consistent, level temperature exposure. 2. Exercise more frequently Exercise is a highly effective tool for managing blood sugar levels. It raises the body’s temperature and also helps the body use insulin more efficiently. Exercise is so powerful that it can affect blood sugar for as long as 48 hours after a workout, according to Diabetes.co.uk, an online resource specializing in the condition. Exercise also invigorates the mind, giving you the energy and can-do spirit needed to take charge of diabetes and stay healthy. Maintaining an exercise regimen during cold, short days can sometimes be difficult. Ideas for staying active include joining a gym and hopping on the elliptical, treadmill, or taking an aerobics class. YouTube offers a w Continue reading >>

5 Tips For Managing Diabetes During Cold Weather

5 Tips For Managing Diabetes During Cold Weather

With the temperature dropping, it’s important to take better care of yourself. Learn how easy managing diabetes during cold weather can be with these simple tips. While Fall and Winter seasons are usually enjoyable and happier because of the Holidays, for those living with diabetes it can mean a lot of hard work and worry. But, managing diabetes during cold weather does not have to be a nightmare. We’ve rounded up the best tips to make the end of the year far more pleasant and stress-free. The changes in temperature can cause a wide number of changes in our bodies and our state of mind. These, are of course, a natural reaction to having less sunshine, being indoors more often, changes in levels of activity, etc. However, in the case of diabetes and cold weather, the seasons can be difficult because of the risk of increased blood sugar levels and viruses. During cooler months, the body goes through episodes of “strain” that causes hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to be released more often. These hormones cause the liver to release more glucose for energy and to keep warm, thus causing an increase on the sugar levels in your system. That is why winter care for diabetes is extremely important, as it helps you take the necessary preventive measures to ensure your stability. Managing diabetes during cold weather is not too tricky or tiring. In fact, some of the best tips for winter care for diabetes are things you do on a daily basis, like checking your blood sugar levels during the day and before your meals. While that particular one can be somewhat engraved in your routine, it’s especially important to keep reviewing it during the day as the cold has the effects mentioned above. Other easy tips that you can use for your winter care for diabetes include: Prot Continue reading >>

How To Manage Blood Sugar In Winter

How To Manage Blood Sugar In Winter

Are you a person who struggles to keep his blood sugar level in check all year long? Well, you should prepare yourself for a hard period since Winter is just around the corner and you’ll need to take better care of yourself. Seeing how we also had 2 big holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving) that encourage us to overeat sugary foods, it would be a good idea to keep our winter blood sugar level in check. If you didn’t know, weather is a big factor when it comes to blood sugar level fluctuation, but fear not – we will try to teach you how to keep your winter blood sugar level in order. How does weather affect the blood sugar level? People with diabetes and blood sugar level problems in general don’t seem to have a good relation with weather changes. Both hot and cold weather situations affect them and they have to take certain steps to stay healthy. When the weather is hot, many people will end up at the hospital because of heat related problems. In the same time, the number of deaths in diabetes patients rise during the summer. During the summer hot weather can pose hypo and hyper risks so you should be careful. If the weather is hot, try to avoid dehydration and drink water regularly during the day. Hot weather increases the risk of hypoglycemia if you’re on blood glucose lowering medication so you should pay attention to any hypo symptoms such as sweating and tiredness. Cold weather also affects people who see their blood sugar levels fluctuating. If you add the overeating of sugary foods for Halloween and Thanksgiving to the mix, no wonder that you can develop blood sugar problems. The Winter blood sugar level fluctuates during the cold weather because of various reasons. It can happen because: We inherit traits from our ancestors and our bodies lower insulin Continue reading >>

How Does Cold Weather Affect Diabetes?

How Does Cold Weather Affect Diabetes?

The fall and winter are enjoyable seasons thanks to all the holidays. But they come with cold weather, which can have a negative impact on those living with diabetes. By Susan B. Sloane, BS, RPh, CDE It’s that time of the year again. The trees are changing colors, days are getting shorter, and it’s getting colder by the day. While the fall and winter seasons do have their upsides, they are definitely a challenging time for everybody. As the days shorten, we experience less of the shining sun, which can be a real mental challenge. The lack of sunlight can be accompanied by increased levels of stress and tiredness. But autumn and winter also present those living with diabetes with real physical challenges. Excessive cold stresses and strains the body. This stress often causes the body to go into a flight-or-fight mode, releasing hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. These survival hormones cause the liver to release more glucose for energy, which can result in higher-than-normal blood sugar levels. If you’re going out for a walk or to spend some time outside, you need to remember not to stay out long in the extreme cold, especially if you have any cardiac issues or neuropathy, to avoid injury. Similarly, the cold weather can make blood thicker and more prone to clotting which can pose dangers because of increased blood pressure. As always, it’s of utmost importance to continually check your blood glucose to ensure you are within a healthy range. In fact, higher blood sugar levels make you feel warmer in cold temperatures since the sugar content in the blood makes it harder to cool down or freeze. Cold weather can also affect your medications and diabetes supplies. Don’t forget to protect your insulin and testing equipment from extreme cold, and keep them indo Continue reading >>

Weathering Diabetes: The Cold Can Impact Blood Sugar Levels And What To Do About It

Weathering Diabetes: The Cold Can Impact Blood Sugar Levels And What To Do About It

Diabetes is caused by difficulty producing or using insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating glucose. Diabetes sufferers are often very alert to their overall health, since self-management of the condition is so important. But did you know the weather can have a significant effect on blood glucose? It's true – cold weather can impact insulin needs. That's especially true of long, cold Illinois winters! When the temperature outside changes, review the facts about diabetes and body temperature so you can protect your health. Diabetes and Body Temperature For most of the year, insulin requirements tend to be more or less stable. Cold weather, however, can raise insulin needs. When warm weather comes on suddenly, by contrast, insulin demands might drop below the norm for a short time. Diabetes sufferers should be especially alert in peak winter and summer months. Extreme temperatures cause changes in the body that may lead to a drop or spike in blood sugar. During these times, testing blood glucose levels regularly is essential. Other steps you can take include: Keep Your Feet Warm, Dry and Safe Diabetes sufferers are prone to problems with their feet. Poor blood circulation can cause a number of secondary problems, and injuries to the feet may take a long time to heal. Always wear dry, sturdy shoes that will protect your feet from snow and ice. Maintain Regular Physical Activity Physical activity is a great way to support healthy insulin levels. Moderate exercise for even as little as 15 minutes can increase insulin sensitivity, sharpen your thoughts and improve your mood. Remember, activity can affect your blood glucose levels for up to 48 hours. Keep Your Hands Warm Sometimes, it's difficult to get an accurate blood sugar reading in the cold. Before taking a rea Continue reading >>

Cold-weather Foot Care Key For Diabetics

Cold-weather Foot Care Key For Diabetics

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Poor circulation and nerve damage leave people with diabetes at increased risk for potentially serious foot problems, especially during the cold weather, a foot and ankle specialist warns. "When it comes to your feet, rain, snow and slushy weather have something in common: they cause dampness. Moisture that collects between your socks and your feet and toes can form bacteria, which can lead to an infection," said Dr. Michael Ambroziak, a Michigan-based foot and ankle surgeon. "Patients with diabetes should change out of wet or damp socks, and towel dry their feet as soon as possible, remembering to pay close attention to the area between their toes," he advised in a news release from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. People with diabetes also need to moisturize their feet daily to prevent their skin from itching or cracking. But avoid areas between the toes because applying moisturizer there could lead to a fungal infection, he added. Diabetes can cause nerve damage (neuropathy) in the feet, which means it's important to keep them away from sources of direct and high heat, he said. "With the numbness caused by neuropathy, diabetic patients may not feel when their feet are burning. As a result, they can experience second- or third-degree burns, which can cause serious foot problems," Ambroziak explained. Avoid the use of warming aids on the feet, such as electric blankets, heated shoe inserts and heating pads. Also, test bath water with hands or a thermometer to make sure it's not too hot before putting your feet into the water, he said. Moisture-wicking socks can help keep feet dry and warm during cold weather. It's also important to have proper footwear, Ambroziak said. "In any climate, patients with diabetes s Continue reading >>

Cold Weather And Type 1 Diabetes

Cold Weather And Type 1 Diabetes

Note: This article is part of our Daily Life library of resources. To learn more about the many things that affect your health and daily management of Type 1, visit here. Were you diagnosed during winter? Have you noticed that your CGM seems to resemble a rollercoaster when the weather gets cold? It turns out that you may not be just imagining things: climate and temperature are suspected to affect diabetes at nearly every stage, from a Type 1 diagnosis to a typical day in the life of someone who’s had the condition for years. Diagnosis of Type 1 Remember that notorious “environmental trigger” component we’ve all heard about? Factors like viruses along with genetic predisposition are important to consider in a Type 1 diagnosis. According to the NCBI, viruses may be triggering Type 1 “[…] via a direct cytolytic effect, or by triggering an autoimmune process leading gradually to β-cell destruction.” And viruses are more rampant in cold weather because they have a better chance of surviving when our immune system is slower to respond to their presence (Smithsonian). Type 1 diagnoses occur more frequently in colder places, too. According to the International Diabetes Federation, Finland and Norway lead the world in the highest rates of incidence of Type 1 in children (aged 0-14). It appears that cold weather may be putting us at a higher risk of contracting Type 1. Managing Type 1 Cold weather continues to affect after a Type 1 diagnosis and can interfere with management of the chronic illness. If you love winter activities like skiing, skating and snow-angel-making, and you just can’t wait for those first flakes to fall, make sure you’re prepared. Here are some tips on managing Type 1 when it’s chilly outside: Bring adequate snacks and water when embar Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Cold Weather: When Winter Knocks On Your Door

Diabetes And Cold Weather: When Winter Knocks On Your Door

The winter is here and cold days came to stay! So, there is any relationship to take into account between diabetes and cold weather? The answer is: yes! Everyone is getting ready: warm clothes out of the closet, heating on and having more of hot drinks. But what about diabetes and cold weather? Why is this an issue to be discussed? My experience says that most of the people with diabetes notice that their blood glucose control is worse during the winter. With no apparent reason, blood sugars are high even if you do the same things as before. Suddenly, what was under control is now getting out of hand. There are different theories about this but it is known that more individuals are diagnosed with diabetes on Winter months than other months. Also, winter time brings more people with diabetes to the hospitals. Both causes suggest that low temperatures induce blood sugars rise. Diabetes and cold weather: what to do about it All that said, it is very important you keep diabetes management as controlled as possible in order to prevent high blood sugars when worsening of your control. Here are the ultimate tips to survive this winter. Test your blood sugars more frequently If you know that the blood sugars are at risk to increase you must be on top of your blood sugars variabilities. Monitor the glucose levels more often to understand if the blood sugars are not in control. This allows you to make earlier decisions on what to do to prevent any drastic rise of blood sugars. Keep your testing strips, medication and meter on a dry, cool place Medications, such as insulin, can vary its characteristics if kept in higher or lower temperatures. Keep the insulin pen you are using away from a radiator or heat source. In other hand, the meters and strips can become faulty and shouldn Continue reading >>

How To Manage Your Diabetes In Extreme Summer Heat

How To Manage Your Diabetes In Extreme Summer Heat

We often look forward to changes of season, but if you have diabetes, you need to be extra careful when temperatures climb dramatically. Extreme heat can affect your blood sugar control. If you use insulin or if your treatment of blood sugars is inadequate, this can put you at higher risk. Often, worsening blood sugar control is the main concern. Depending on the situation and your level of physical activity, low blood sugars are also possible. Extreme temperatures can also damage your medications and testing equipment. I always remind my patients to take precautions to protect themselves and their supplies during both winter and summer. If a patient’s blood sugars are mostly higher than 250 mg/dl, I recommend improving blood sugar control before engaging in heavy physical activity — regardless of the climate and the temperature, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association. How heat can affect you The extreme heat of summer affects blood sugar levels. How the heat affects your levels depends on what you’ve eaten, whether you’re well-hydrated and your activity level. If the heat and your activity make you sweat profusely, you may become dehydrated, leading to a rise in glucose levels. If you become dehydrated, your blood glucose levels will rise. This can lead to frequent urination, which then leads to further dehydration and even higher blood sugar levels — a kind of vicious cycle. Further, if the treatment includes insulin, dehydration reduces blood supply to the skin and, therefore, less absorption of injected insulin dosage. Adjusting your insulin dosage Most types of insulin can tolerate temperatures from 93 degrees F to 95 degrees F, but any higher than that and the medication will degrade rapidly. Attention should be paid to the insulin you are c Continue reading >>

7 Surprising Causes That Can Send Your Blood Sugar Levels On A Rollercoaster Ride Of Highs And Lows

7 Surprising Causes That Can Send Your Blood Sugar Levels On A Rollercoaster Ride Of Highs And Lows

For those with diabetes, keeping their blood sugar levels in check can be a hassle. There are many variables that can contribute to spikes or crashes in your blood sugar levels, both of which are bad for diabetics – and some of the things that affect your blood glucose can be beyond your control. When it comes to regulating your blood glucose levels, awareness is one of the most important steps. The more you know about what causes changes in blood sugar levels, the better equipped you are to manage your blood sugar levels yourself. Here are some of the most surprising causes of blood sugar changes. 1. The Dawn Phenomenon The dawn phenomenon refers to the way your body releases glucagon in the mornings – for most people, this happens between 2 am and 8 am. You can help reduce the effects of this phenomenon by avoiding carbohydrates before bedtime(1). 2. Dehydration It’s a good idea to drink plenty of water in general, but that advice is extra important for those with diabetes. Pay attention to when you feel thirsty – higher blood sugar levels can make you feel parched(2). 3. Steroid Medications While steroids are often used for inflammatory conditions, certain autoimmune diseases, and asthma, they can cause significant spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels – even leading to the development of type 2 diabetes in non-diabetic individuals(3). It’s a good idea for people with diabetes to be careful when it comes to these medications. 4. Menstruation Studies have shown that when it’s that time of the month, you can expect not only cramps, bloating, and mood swings, but for your blood glucose levels to be affected as well(4). 5. The Weather Hot weather and cold weather can both cause an increase in blood sugar levels, as your body has to work harder to cool it Continue reading >>

How To Manage Your Blood Sugar In Cold Weather

How To Manage Your Blood Sugar In Cold Weather

More tips for managing diabetes while traveling around the world from Cazzy Magennis, of Dream Big Travel Far! Last time I wrote about managing your type 1 diabetes in the heat…but what about when we visit all those lovely cold destinations, or even managing winter at home? Here is how to manage your blood sugar in cold weather! Diabetes affects us all differently and some people find that their insulin doesn’t work as well in cold temperatures, meaning they find themselves with higher blood sugars. Scientifically this has something to do with the cold temperature limiting blood supply to your veins and thus insulin into your body. The simplest solution would be to keep yourself warm. When your body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures it can go into shock and stress mode. When your body is under stress your blood sugars can rise, therefore making you feel more ill. Take precautions when out in the cold by wearing extra layers of clothing, gloves and thermal wear. Don’t be silly and go out with your hair wet or think just because there is a bright sun shining that you’ll be okay. If it’s cold you need to prepare. Generally the higher altitude you go, the colder it gets. There are lots of different elements to contend with when hiking with diabetes because you need to adjust to the new altitude, the exercise and the cold. Make sure you keep your insulin at the correct temperature because just like insulin can die when it’s too warm, it can also die when it’s too cold. Insulin begins to freeze at around 26°F (-3 °C). When it freezes, it forms clumps and crystals. Under no circumstances can you use this insulin. I’ve actually had a few near misses when I’ve put my insulin in hostel fridges. The fridges were turned up so high that my products starte Continue reading >>

Wintertime High Blood Sugars: Causes And Solutions

Wintertime High Blood Sugars: Causes And Solutions

As I write this, the temperature near Boston, MA, is a balmy negative 9 degrees. So far, we’ve lucked out with a relatively mild winter. But Old Man Winter is certainly paying us a visit. Unless you’re spending time in warmer climates or perhaps shushing down the ski slopes, chances are, you’re spending more time indoors and maybe being less active than usual. If you have diabetes, you might also notice that your blood sugars are higher than usual or, at least, higher than your target. Let’s look at some possible reasons for these high readings and some steps you can take to lower them. 1. More carbs and comfort foods. If you’re unhappy with the numbers on your meter, especially a few hours after a meal, it might be time to take stock of what you’ve been eating. The winter holidays can be one of the culprits: stuffing, pies, cookies, candy, and eggnog are yummy treats and part of family traditions, but (no surprise here), they’re high in carbs and, for the most part, fat. Winter often means eating more comfort foods, like homemade bread, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and more. These foods may seem good for the soul, but they can do a number on your blood sugars. The carbohydrate (carb) in these foods can lead to blood sugar spikes; the fat, in turn, can lead to insulin resistance, making it harder for your diabetes medicine or insulin to do its job. As a result, blood sugars climb and stay high. Action steps: You don’t have to stop eating your favorite foods. But it helps to be aware of what, how much, and how often you eat carb-laden goodies. Keeping track of your food intake and your carb grams is a smart move. Plain old paper and pencil works, or try a smartphone app (Lose It!, Calorific, Evernote) to help you stay aware. Taking a balanced app Continue reading >>

How Cold Weather Can Affect Your Blood Sugar

How Cold Weather Can Affect Your Blood Sugar

As the seasons change, most of us are exposed to extreme temperatures of one variety or another. Whether you're sweating or shivering, you should always take precautions to avoid temperature-related blood sugar spikes. When temperatures start to get out of control, so can your blood sugar. Both hot and cold weather extremes can affect your testing equipment and your medications, and have a negative impact on your body’s ability to produce and use insulin. As summer ends, and we move toward the freezing winter temps that many of us have to deal with, it’s important to take a few easy steps to make sure your diabetes care plan is winter-proofed. Freezing temps and inclement weather can make it more challenging to stay on top of diabetes. Here’s what to watch for during the colder months: Keep your supplies out of the cold. Just like extreme heat, extreme cold can affect your insulin and cause your glucose monitor to stop working. Don’t leave supplies in a car when temperatures outside are below freezing. 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. 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. Also, be sure to get vaccinated against the flu. 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 next spring a few pounds heavier. Even a small weight gain makes it more difficult to control your diabetes and blood sugar levels. Keep an eye on your feet. Diabetes can cause a Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Weather

Diabetes And Weather

The weather can have a significant impact on people with diabetes as blood glucose levels can be affected in hot and cold weather. In hot weather, the risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia is increased, while people with diabetes tend to have higher HbA1c levels during the winter months. Diabetes and hot weather Hot weather can cause several problems cause for people with diabetes. These include: Increased hypo and hyper risks Dehydration Carrying medication Blood testing Heat exhaustion Increased hypo and hyper risks Hot weather can increase the risk of hypos and hypers for people on blood-glucose lowering medication. Whether it is a blood glucose raising or lowering effect can vary from person to person. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, the body’s metabolism is higher in hot weather, and this can increase the absorption of medication such as insulin. Increased activity in hot weather can exacerbate this risk, and you should test your blood sugar more often if taking part in exercise or physical activity. You may also need to adjust your insulin levels in hot weather, especially if you are experiencing erratic blood sugar levels. This should be discussed with a member of your health care team. Hypos might be harder to spot in hot weather, and you should take extra care to prevent hypos from occurring. Steps that can be made include: Don’t disregard hypo symptoms – sweating and fatigue, which can occur in hot weather, could be signs of a hypo Take extra care when driving – test your blood before and after each journey, and stop regularly on longer journeys Keep sugar on hand at all times – such as glucose tablets, or some quick-acting carbohydrate Dehydration Hot weather can increase the risk of dehydration, and so can having higher than normal blood Continue reading >>

Winter Weather Affects Blood Sugar!

Winter Weather Affects Blood Sugar!

Though I love writing about health tips and fun events in the local area, sometimes it is important to have a more informative post. This post is regarding how the cold winter weather can change blood sugar levels and affect diabetes. First, let’s start with a quick diabetes refresher. Diabetes is considered a chronic condition that has two forms. Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is a condition most children are born with, their bodies cannot produce insulin and therefore need insulin injections to regulate blood sugar levels. Type 2 is a condition that evolves over time and typically is found in adults. Type 2 diabetes results in high sugar and fat intakes with a lack of exercise. This causes blood sugar levels to rise and insulin production is reduced. Both types of diabetes are affected by the shivering weather this time of year. The icy weather causes many people to be less active, diets change in the winter, and many stress more due to planning holiday parties budget, gift ideas and budgeting. All these things have an affect on our blood sugar levels: DDS SafetyNet has a great article describing how these things can affect our blood sugar levels. Here is a brief summary of what it states: Cold weather can make peoples blood sugars change very rapidly. Being less active due to the cold weather can affect how people need to regulate their blood sugar. Becoming sick in the winter is common, getting the cold or flu causes stress on the body and can affect blood sugar levels. So now what? How do I help regulate my blood sugar levels better in the winter and prevent this from happening? Well, also in the article it gives some helpful tips that include: Staying active! This will keep you warm and also help people who are more anxious and depressed during the winter. You can do Continue reading >>

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