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Type 1 Diabetes And The Cold

People In The Know: Cold And Flu Season

People In The Know: Cold And Flu Season

Q: I know it’s almost inevitable that my 7-year-old will catch a cold at some point this winter, so how will this affect his type 1 diabetes? It’s our first cold and flu season since his diagnosis. A: When children with type 1 diabetes catch a cold or flu, typically the biggest concern, beyond coughs and runny noses, is keeping blood sugar levels well managed. When a child becomes ill, stress hormones released by the body can interfere with insulin and lead to high blood sugar levels. At the same time, if a sick child can’t keep anything down or has very little appetite, it’s common for low blood sugar to develop. No one is able to predict ahead of time exactly how a bug will affect a child’s blood sugar. However, parents can put together a good game plan before that first case of the sniffles strikes. Talk to your child’s doctor about extra steps to take when monitoring blood sugar on sick days. In general, checking more frequently can be very helpful for detecting highs or lows before they get out of control. Ask your child’s doctor for a specific timetable for monitoring sugars; testing every three to four hours or so may be recommended. To help blood sugar levels stay as normal as possible, keep your child eating and drinking when he’s sick; even small amounts of food given every few hours may be enough to stave off a low. If it’s too difficult to keep solids down, try drinks or soft/liquid meals with carbohydrates in them, such as juice, Jell-O®, Popsicles®, or broth. Drinking plenty of fluids also helps keep kids hydrated while they have a cold. Even if your child doesn’t want to eat or is vomiting, it’s important he or she continue to receive insulin, as insulin is needed to prevent the formation of ketones. In this case, your diabetes tea Continue reading >>

Eight Ways To Manage Diabetes In Cold Weather

Eight Ways To Manage Diabetes In Cold Weather

Eight Ways to Manage Diabetes in Cold Weather Cold weather can throw off your diabetes management. Here are eight ways winter can present a challenge, and what you can do to maintain your blood sugar control. 1. Be aware that cold environments can raise your A1C A1C levels (a measure of average glucose over the previous 23 months) often increase in cold weather. To some degree, bodies seem to do this on their own, perhaps as an evolutionary adaptation that helps raise their freezing point to survive the cold , according to Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD. Pharmacist and diabetes educator Susan B. Sloane says that higher sugars may make you feel warmer in the cold, but they are still unhealthy. Sloane says, Remember not to stay out long in extreme cold, especially if you have any cardiac issues or neuropathy. The cold weather can make blood thicker and more prone to clotting. Diabetes may reduce circulation to feet, leaving them less able to keep warm in cold weather. Winter may increase your chances of infection and nerve pain in your feet. Wear the warmest socks and well-fitting shoes or waterproof boots you can get. Pay extra attention to your foot care ; inspect your feet carefully every day and use moisturizer if the skin is drying (except between the toes). Wear warm gloves or mittens. 4. Keep your diabetes supplies at the right temperature Like extreme heat, extreme cold can affect your insulin and cause your blood glucose monitor to stop working properly. Joslin Diabetes Center advises not leaving supplies in the car in very cold weather. The same applies to insulin vials, pens, and pumps. Cool is generally OK; very cold or freezing is not . Some experts advise keeping a Thermos of warm tea in your diabetes supply case you have one of those, dont you? to keep supplies wa Continue reading >>

Diabetes And The Ice Age

Diabetes And The Ice Age

Did you know that more people are diagnosed with diabetes in the colder months of the year? Also, type 1 diabetes is more common in European countries than in African or South American countries. And Finland has the highest rate of type 1 diabetes in the world. What do these things have in common? Yes, it seems there's a connection between diabetes and cold weather! Would you believe that in the book Survival of the Sickest, Dr. Sharon Moalem theorizes that type 1 diabetes is actually an evolutionary adaption to the cold? By way of explanation, here's a quick history lesson: Way, way back in prehistoric days, there was a severe drop in temperature called the Younger Dryas, in which the temperature dropped violently in a matter of a few years. While many thousands of people likely froze to death, humans clearly survived. Dr. Moalem theorizes that there might be a genetic trait that helped certain humans withstand the cold. "Just because we can't survive a true deep freeze doesn't mean our bodies haven't evolved in many ways to manage the cold," Dr. Moalem says. "Not only is your body keenly aware of the danger cold poses, it's got a whole arsenal of natural defense." To get a real quick picture of how this relates to diabetes, Dr. Moalem illustrated his point with a story of ice wine, created in Germany 400 years ago. A German vintner discovered that if he used nearly-frozen grapes to make wine, the wine was incredibly sweet. How did this happen? A grape naturally does two things at the first sign of frost: first, it reduces water to prevent ice crystals from forming inside the grape (which would puncture the delicate membranes of the fruit) and second, it raises the sugar concentration of the water that remains. Why raise the sugar concentration? Because sugar is a natu Continue reading >>

Battling Winter Colds And Illness When Type 1 Diabetic

Battling Winter Colds And Illness When Type 1 Diabetic

My carefully laid training plans were recently axed by a “stinking cold” that seemed to go round amongst colleagues and friends. What started off with body aches on a Friday, feeling cold and having headaches on a Saturday, had turned into a proper cold by Sunday with all the common symptoms: Runny nose, cough, congestion, headaches, sneezing and feeling generally quite lousy. And with that started a new challenge altogether: Managing my diabetes! From incubation to outbreak – Blood sugar observations As the weekend progressed, my sugar levels became gradually harder to manage until, eventually, with the outbreak of the cold, they were staying up at around 200-220mg/dl (11-12mmol/l). Any slow-release carbohydrates I would eat and cover with short-acting insulin (bolus) would send levels even higher within 30-60 minutes of injecting. My body had become highly insulin resistant and my diabetes an uncontrollable beast! Real life example: Day 2 of the cold and blood sugar levels My target range is shown in gray; levels between 85-140mg/dl (4.7-7.5mmol/l). I generally have good control with HbA1c results of ca 6.2%. When illness strikes however, chaos rules: Below graph shows how elevated glucose levels were despite: A temporary basal rate at 140-150% from waking up throughout the day until early evening an additional circa 15 -20 units of correction with short-acting insulin over the course of the day Little carbohydrate intake Notice the spike from 160mg/dl (8.9mmol/l) to 271mg/dl (15mmol/l) around 19:00 (7 pm)? This came after eating 12 grams of COH in form of Pumpernickel bread – and carbohydrates were measured correctly. This required significant correction with short-acting insulin (no ketones present). Illness, food and Type 1 don’t go well together. The bod Continue reading >>

5 Tips For Managing Diabetes In Cold Weather

5 Tips For Managing Diabetes In Cold Weather

Over the winter, people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes tend to have higher HbA1c levels than during the warmer summer months, as blood glucose levels can creep up as the temperature drops.1 Help control your blood glucose levels during the cold months with these 5 tips: 1. Help your immune system If people with diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2) get the flu, this can weaken the immune system even if your condition is well-managed.2 People with diabetes are more at risk of potentially serious complications of flu infections such as pneumonia. High blood glucose levels, caused by infection, can increase the risk of conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or Hyperglycaemic Hyperosmolar State (HHS).3 The flu vaccination is offered free of charge on the NHS to people with diabetes, to help prevent contracting flu this winter. Contact your GP or healthcare team for further information. 2. Test, Test, Test Cold hands can make blood testing more difficult, but don’t let the cold put you off testing your blood glucose as required! 3. Stay hydrated Keep your fluid levels up during the winter months as being unwell and having diabetes can be made worse if you are not hydrated. Some medications mean you need to eat regularly, so try to eat a little and often. Remember, carbohydrate-based drinks, like milk or juices, may help you manage your blood sugars alongside any medication.4 4.Keep moving Just a little physical activity each day to get you a little bit out of breath, can help your body better regulate blood glucose, keeping you warm and helping your mental health. 1 Don’t be scared by the cold weather, either move your workout indoors or dress properly for an outdoor workout! Physical activity can affect your blood glucose level during and after exercise, so make sure you Continue reading >>

Sick Day Management Tips When Your Child Has Type 1 Diabetes

Sick Day Management Tips When Your Child Has Type 1 Diabetes

Having a sick child can be challenging—getting time off work and securing a last-minute doctor's appointment isn't always easy. But when your sick child also happens to have type 1 diabetes, it presents a separate set of complications relating to insulin and blood glucose (blood sugar) management. This article covers some important considerations to keep in mind the next time your child with type 1 diabetes feels under the weather. Checking Blood Glucose and Ketones Even the most common ailments, such as a cold or flu, can cause your child's blood glucose levels to rise. Plus, some over-the-counter medications can cause blood glucose levels to increase even more. Complicating matters, your child's blood glucose levels may actually drop too low if he or she is vomiting or has stopped eating. You just can't be certain how an illness will affect your child's blood glucose—that's why it's important to check their levels more often than you normally would. A general guideline to shoot for is to check their blood glucose every 2 to 3 hours, but remember—that's a guideline. Your child may require more or fewer checks, depending on your health care professional's recommendations. In addition to checking blood glucose levels, you also need to check for the presence of ketones in the urine. In people with type 1 diabetes, common illnesses can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition characterized by acidic blood caused by the release of too many ketones. Ketones are released when your body doesn't have enough insulin, so it's important to check your child's urine regularly (usually every 4 hours) until there are no ketones detected. If ketones are still present, that's a sign that your child needs more insulin. There are 2 ways to check ketones: using urine ketone strips Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Colds

Diabetes And Colds

Colds aren't fun for anyone, but if you have diabetes, all that sniffling and sneezing comes with an extra risk. When you're sick, there's a chance your blood sugar levels could go up. Some smart strategies can get you back on track. Why Is My Blood Sugar Going Up? When you have a cold, your body sends out hormones to fight the infection. The downside: That makes it hard for you to use insulin properly, and your blood sugar levels may rise. If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar levels get hard to manage, it can lead to problems like ketoacidosis. That's a buildup of too much acid in your blood and it's potentially life-threatening. If you have type 2 diabetes, especially if you're older, very high blood sugar can bring on a serious condition called diabetic coma. How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar? Check it at least every 3 or 4 hours when you're sick with a cold. If your levels aren't near your target, you can tweak your diabetes management plan -- your doctor may tell you to use more insulin if your blood sugar levels are too high. What Should I Eat and Drink? You may not feel hungry when you first get sick, but it's important to try to eat something anyway. You can have foods from your regular meal plan. The American Diabetes Association recommends you try to eat something with about 15 grams of carbohydrates every hour or so. Some foods to try: 3-ounce fruit juice bar 1/2 cup frozen yogurt 1/2 cup cooked cereal If you don't eat, your blood sugar might fall too low. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not performed, may result in hypoglycemia. Please see important risk and safety information. If you have a fever, vomiting, or diarr Continue reading >>

Know The Signs Of Hypoglycemia

Know The Signs Of Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia can be a very serious condition, with extreme cases causing seizures, coma, and even death. It occurs when blood sugar levels drop too low, and it is most often experienced by people with diabetes. As you learn about diabetes management, being well versed in low blood sugar symptoms will enable you to detect the signs of impending hypoglycemia and act quickly to head it off or minimize its impact. Diabetes Type and Hypoglycemia Risk Hypoglycemia risk varies across the three different types of diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes People with type 1 diabetes experience hypoglycemia most often, as their diabetes management often requires a lot of attention and careful planning. The average person with type 1 diabetes who is attempting aggressive disease control may still experience low blood sugar symptoms frequently, and a full-blown case of hypoglycemia will require close medical attention. "When it comes to type 1 diabetes, the body can't make insulin on its own, so it must be administered," notes Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, Everyday Health contributor and author of Belly Fat for Dummies. Paying close attention to your diet is important, too. "If the correct amount of insulin is given based on the amount of carbohydrates consumed, blood sugar levels can remain in a healthy range." Type 2 Diabetes These patients experience hypoglycemia less frequently than people with type 1 diabetes; the rate of hypoglycemia for type 2 diabetes patients taking insulin is about one-third that of type 1 diabetes patients. But research shows that the frequency of hypoglycemia in people with type 2 diabetes increases as the disease becomes more advanced. "In people with type 2 diabetes, the body may produce adequate insulin, yet the cells are resistant to it, making the insulin ineffecti Continue reading >>

How Does Cold Weather Affect Diabetes?

How Does Cold Weather Affect Diabetes?

Dario doesnt just log and track glucose levels, it charts carb intake, insulin doses, exercise, moods, and more and gives you insights to help understand what may be effecting your blood glucose. The user-centric design of the Dario app allows logbooks, timelines, and charts to be easily shared with loved ones and healthcare providers. Download the Dario App today and scroll down for more information on how to get started. For questions regarding the set up and use of your Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System, orders, or other technical support issues, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-895-5921, Monday Friday, 9AM 5PM Eastern. For general inquiries about the Dario Blood Glucose Monitoring System, please fill out the form below and a representative will reach out to you. This form is not for technical support or medical advice. For technical support issues, please call our toll free number 1-800-895-5921 for assistance. If there is an urgent medical issue, please contact your physician. 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. Its that time of the year again. The trees are changing colors, days are getting shorter, and its 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-o Continue reading >>

Handling Diabetes When You're Sick

Handling Diabetes When You're Sick

Whether your head feels like it's stuffed with cotton because you have a cold or you're spending a lot of time on the toilet because of a stomach bug, being sick is no fun for anyone. For people with diabetes, being sick can also affect blood sugar levels. The good news is that taking a few extra precautions can help you keep your blood sugar levels under control. When you get sick whether it's a minor illness like a sore throat or cold or a bigger problem like dehydration or surgery the body perceives the illness as stress. To relieve the stress, the body fights the illness. This process requires more energy than the body normally uses. On one hand, this is good because it helps supply the extra fuel the body needs. On the other hand, in a person with diabetes, this can lead to high blood sugar levels. Some illnesses cause the opposite problem, though. If you don't feel like eating or have nausea or vomiting, and you're taking the same amount of insulin you normally do, you can develop blood sugar levels that are too low. Blood sugar levels can be very unpredictable when you're sick. Because you can't be sure how the illness will affect your blood sugar levels, it's important to check blood sugar levels often on sick days and adjust your insulin doses as needed. Your diabetes management plan will help you know what to do when you're sick. The plan might tell you: how to monitor your blood glucose levels and ketones when you're sick what changes you might make to your food and drink and diabetes medications In addition, people with diabetes should get the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against some serious infections. You should also get a flu shot every year. These vaccines may help you keep your diabetes under better control and cut down on the number of sick d Continue reading >>

Winter Woes: T1d And The Flu

Winter Woes: T1d And The Flu

When the days grow shorter and the snow starts to fall, theres no mistaking winters arrival. Most people look forward to this season filled with holidays, sledding, and hot chocolate, but theres one aspect of winter that no one enjoysthe flu. Getting sick with a cold or the flu can sideline anyone, but when you have type 1 diabetes (T1D) its even harder to manage. Here are some common challenges and helpful solutions for battling cold and flu season this winter. Challenge: Keeping blood-glucose in your target range The biggest challenge when youre under the weather is maintaining healthy blood-glucose levels. You may think that since youre feeling crummy and have no appetite that youll have to watch for low blood-glucose levels. In fact, the opposite is true: when youre sick, the body produces stress hormones that actually raise blood-glucose levels. Solution: Eat regularly and check your blood glucose often You may have no desire to dig into a big meal, but its important to at least nibble every few hours. Try to take in your normal number of calories by eating foods like crackers, soups, regular gelatin, and applesauce. And if solid foods are too hard to eat, try drinking liquids that contain carbohydrates like juice, sherbet, pudding, fruit-flavored yogurt, and broth. Aim for 50 grams of carbohydrates every three to four hours. Youll also need to monitor your blood-glucose levels more frequently than usual to stay in your target range. Experts suggest testing every two hours until you are feeling better. Its important that you continue to take your insulin when you are ill. In fact, often you will have to increase the amount of insulin to counteract the infection in your body. Work with your healthcare team to develop a plan that covers how much extra insulin to tak 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 >>

How To Manage Your Diabetes In Cold Weather

How To Manage Your Diabetes In Cold Weather

How To Manage Your Diabetes In Cold Weather A guide to managing your blood sugars in the cold and diabetes in cold weather. From how it affects your body, and tips on achieving level blood sugars. Note: Some posts may contain affiliate links. Read more here There is currently a big freeze in the UK, although coming from living in Austria for 5 weeks, they really exaggerate, but I thought, in the spirit of cold weather, let's look how to handle our diabetes in the cold weather and the different ways that the cold can affect our blood sugars. Below is your full throttle guide to managing your diabetes in cold weather. How does the cold affect diabetes and blood sugars You probably know by now that pretty much everything affects type 1 diabetes, its one of those simple joys. (I hope you can detect my sarcasm), even so, its important to be prepared in cold weather, because it can have a significant effect on our blood sugars. Actually, we tend to have a higher HBA1C in the winter months...and there is a lot of factors that contribute to that. Firstly, we tend to have weaker immune systems in colder weather which means we can catch sickness easier, even a simple cold and a cough is enough to send our blood sugars higher. Not only that but the cold in general means our general blood flowing around our bodies is reduced and this can put us at risk of a number of things and reduce the effectiveness of our insulin. Then, on top of all that, our insulin can die in the cold AND our diabetes equipment can break. It hardly seems worth it now eh? :P Not to worry, below are some tips to help you manage your blood sugar and diabetes in the cold weather. A lower immune system means you are more prone to illness, illness means your blood sugar runs higher, your blood sugar running highe Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Cold Weather

Diabetes And Cold Weather

Cold weather can be fun but can also make blood testing 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. With this in mind, we've compiled some tips to help keep your blood glucose levels under control during a cold snap. 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 clothing over it, before doing your test. Even just a little physical activity each day can help your glucose levels in a number of supporting ways. A little activity each day will help with insulin sensitivity (in all types of diabetes) which can help the body to better regulate sugar levels. Particularly if you are using insulin, keep a watch of your blood sugar levels in case your insulin requirements go down. Bear in mind that activity can affect blood glucose for up to 48 hours. A little bit of exercise helps to keep you warm. We all know that whilst exercising we heat up, but the effects don't stop as soon as we stop exercising. We may feel cooler after stopping, if we've built up a sweat, but the longer term effects of exercise is to help with metabolism which can help to keep our body temperature up even hours after exercise and helps improve fitness levels . If you tend to feel cold during the winter months, a little more activity in your day could be just the thing. The saying 'healthy body, healthy mind' rings true. If you keep y Continue reading >>

9 Dos And Don’ts Of Managing Diabetes When You’re Sick

9 Dos And Don’ts Of Managing Diabetes When You’re Sick

Type 2 diabetes doesn’t take a day off — even if you’re feeling lousy because you have a cold or the flu. In fact, when you’re sick, you need to be extra mindful to stay on top of your diabetes self-care. That’s because a cold, sinus infection, or the flu can put your body under stress, causing it to release hormones that help fight the illness — but these hormones can also affect your blood sugar levels. Infections, particularly serious ones, can lead to diabetes complications. The most dangerous — although it’s rare in people with type 2 diabetes — is diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to a diabetic coma, according to endocrinologist Alan Garber, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine in diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and president of the American College of Endocrinology. "Infection is a metabolic stress, and it raises your blood sugar," Dr. Garber says. It can be hard to know how you will respond to each infection, he adds. Being sick can also lead to dehydration, eating differently, oversleeping, and losing track of your schedule — all of which can make diabetes management harder. However, there’s a proactive step you can take to prepare before your next cold or flu: Discuss a sick day plan with your doctor. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), this plan should outline the general steps you need to take when sick, such as: How often you'll need to test your blood sugar What to do if your blood sugar gets high When to test your ketones What medications to take What and how to eat When to call your doctor Put your plan in writing, include your doctor’s contact information, and make sure the plan is available to a loved one or friend in case you need help. There are also many t Continue reading >>

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