We have started the New Year! and I hope you are off to a good start so far! It’s already February, and it’s that time of the year where it can be blistering cold and snowy. During the winter season, diabetes management can be a bit of a challenge. Insulin protection, exercise, eating right, or just the impact of stress, are just a few things that can interfere with managing your diabetes well. During the next couple of weeks, we will be giving you some winter pearls (just quick tips) to help you navigate through the winter with diabetes.
Here are a couple of winter pearls that may be helpful:.
- Always protect your insulin from extremely cold temperatures: Whether you use an insulin pen or a MDI (multiple dose injections), your insulin is a hormone and a protein that must be injected into your body. Extreme temperatures whether hot or cold, destroy the molecular component (how the insulin is made) of the insulin, making the insulin not effective in lowering your blood sugar. Always check your insulin for icing, or frozen particles during the winter months. If you notice any freezing Do Not Use, discard and use a new pen or vial.
- Check your devices periodically: Insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems, and glucometers, are excellent computerized devices for managing diabetes. They have many built in safety features and alarms. However they are machines, and they need to be checked periodically to make sure they are functioning, programmed correctly and adhered properly. During this winter season, be sure to check your meters, infusion sets, and cartridges’. Remember to replace cartridges’ and infusions sets at least every 2-3 days, this will help in making sure your blood sugar remains stabilized.
- Check your blood sugar regularly during the winter months: It’s important to know that during the winter months; sometimes your insulin demands may increase. This may be due to the great food and yummy treats we tend to eat more of during the winter holiday season. Treats are always enjoyable, but just remember the amount of treats we eat is what we always want to monitor. So enjoy our treats, watch your amounts and check your blood sugar regularly!!
- Finally, don’t forget to MOVE during the winter: During the colder months it is easy to become a couch potato!! One reason is, because it’s just cold outside and we stay in more. Well, just because its cold, does not mean we have to forget to stay active. We have plenty of things we can do indoors that can still keep us moving. Games such as the Wii and X-box, have lots of fun activities that kids can do to keep them moving while indoors. Also parents, if your child is not already in a sport don’t forget about those community centers, many of them have a list of after school activities for kids, at a sometimes low cost. No matter what you decide to do.. Just keep moving!
Diabetes management in the winter months is essential. The better managed our blood sugars are, the better we feel and perform. Stay tuned for more winter pearls on diabetes management!