As winter rages on, people with high blood sugar need to be careful. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when the temperature around you is cold, the body releases stress hormones like cortisol to increase your energy levels. These hormones reduce the production of insulin, which helps the body’s cells absorb glucose (blood sugar) from the blood. As a result, more glucose remains in the blood. Stress hormones can stimulate your liver to make and release more glucose, all of which can raise your blood sugar levels.
As people with diabetes face unique challenges in maintaining their health during the cold season, Dr MK Singh, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Merengo Asia Hospital, Gurugram, shares valuable insights on managing diabetes during the cold months.
1. Regular monitoring: Dr. Singh emphasizes the importance of regular blood glucose monitoring. Frequent checks enable individuals to detect any fluctuations, allowing them to quickly adjust their management plans.
2. Balanced Nutrition: A balanced diet is very important. “Inclusion of seasonal fruits and vegetables in the diet, ensuring a mix of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats is crucial. Maintaining portion control and consulting a nutritionist for personalized advice is essential,” says Dr Singh.
3. Stay hydrated: Although cold can reduce the feeling of thirst, hydration is key to diabetes management. Dr. Singh advises diabetic patients to consume adequate amounts of water and herbal tea throughout the day.
4. Regular Exercise: Winter should not be an excuse to skip physical activity. Regular exercise helps control blood sugar levels and promotes overall well-being. Indoor activities such as yoga, brisk walking, or workouts tailored to individual fitness levels are recommended, suggests Dr. Singh.
5. Layered Clothing: Controlling body temperature is very important for people with diabetes. Dr. Singh recommends wearing layered clothing to effectively regulate body temperature, especially when moving between indoor and outdoor environments.
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6. Foot Care: Cold weather can affect circulation, making foot care optimal for diabetics. Check the feet daily for any signs of dryness, cracks, or sores, says Dr. Singh. Moisturizing and wearing warm socks and shoes are essential preventive measures.
7. Vaccination and Health Examination: Doctors stress the importance of staying up-to-date with vaccinations, especially during the winter months when the risk of infection is higher. Regular health checkups, including eye exams, are important for early detection and management of diabetes-related complications.
8. Consultation with healthcare professionals: Regular communication with health care providers is crucial for diabetes management. Individuals should schedule regular check-ups with their healthcare team to discuss any concerns, adjust treatment plans, and address emerging issues.
9. Medication Adherence: Strict adherence to prescribed medication is essential. Patients must take their medications as directed and consult with their healthcare provider before making any changes to their treatment regimen.
10. Stress Management: Stress can affect blood sugar levels, says Dr. Singh. Incorporating stress-reducing activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises or hobbies is important to maintain mental well-being during the winter months.