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-mak Continue reading