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Tips for Managing Diabetes in Cold Weather

separator Extreme weather makes diabetes management a little more challenging. Here are some ways to stay on top of things: 

  • Be even more diligent about checking your feet than usual. The cold can cause frostbite, so if you notice any changes in your feet, see your doctor right away.
  • If you have a cold or the flu, remember that being sick can change the way your body uses insulin. Be sure to check your blood sugar frequently to make sure you know what your readings are.
  • If you tend to experience depression when the holidays are over, remember that depression can also affect blood sugar.
  • It’s tempting to stop exercising when it’s cold outside, but changes in your exercise habits can also mean changes in your blood sugar. Try to keep up with your activity. If you can’t get out because of bad weather, see whether you can figure out a way to work out inside. Exercise DVDs can help, or you can even do lots of vigorous dancing on your own.
  • A1C readings are often higher in the winter, but researchers aren’t sure exactly why. You can do your best to avoid higher readings by following the advice above—keep exercising, check your blood sugar more when your body is under stress (from illness or depression) and never forget to check your feet.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders.
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