Living with Diabetes: Tips for a Safe and Joyful Winter Season
This entry was posted on January 3, 2012.
The winter season brings with it many joys: holiday parties, family reunions, presents, and cold weather activities like sledding and snowman building. For people living with diabetes, however, the winter also presents challenges: changes in blood sugar and circulation due to the cold, changes in activity level and diet, and also more stress.
Everyone loves to build a snowman and to go sledding down a snowy slope. Colder temperatures, however, can cause slower blood flow, increasing the risk for frostbite. Diabetes can also cause trouble with circulation, making it especially important to monitor this symptom in the winter. Luckily, there are many ways to protect oneself from the elements. People with diabetes need to pay special attention to their extremities. Wearing warm, comfortable mittens or gloves, a hat, and well-fitting shoes and socks is essential.
When going outside, people with diabetes should be certain to wear medical alert jewelry that can be readily located on their body. Wearing a medical ID bracelet or medical alert necklace ensures that, if an emergency occurs, responders will be able to identify the person’s condition accurately and provide potentially life-saving treatment immediately.
Thirst and dry skin is a common symptom of diabetes. The dryness that comes with the cold can worsen this problem. Using a humidifier and drinking plenty of water is helpful in combating this. Body moisturizer will help ease skin dryness.
For people with diabetes, exercise is an important tool for managing blood sugar. The storms and cold of winter can limit opportunities for outdoor activity, which can make maintaining an exercise routine more challenging. If you have diabetes, planning indoor activities is important in the winter. Some activities might include following exercise videos or joining a gym. Combining holiday shopping with exercise by spending some time speed walking in the mall is a fun solution.
Diet plans are easily disrupted over the winter due to the abundance of food at holiday parties. Eating a planned meal just before going to a party can help one to avoid eating too many treats. Look for the party foods that fit better into a diabetic meal plan. Focusing on reconnecting with friends and relatives will also keep one from overindulging on party food. It is important to monitor blood sugar carefully while celebrating at family functions. In addition, it is essential for people with diabetes to wear their medical id jewelry to parties. This will ensure proper diagnosis and treatment in an emergency.