Must follow winter tips for diabetics

Winter has almost arrived in most parts of the country. With the changing season, everyone needs a little more care, a little more attention. If you or a loved one has diabetes, this becomes all the more important since diabetes is a chronic health condition that needs constant support and efforts in every season.

Winter and diabetes

As per a study, most people with diabetes could have higher HbA1c levels in winter as compared to the summer. This occurs because the body tends to release more glucose to keep itself warm in winter; but for this ends up being more harmful than helpful for those having diabetes.


Here are 8 practical tips diabetics must know for a healthy winter: 

1. Eat healthy without going overboard

Cold weather in winter may make you prone to comfort eating. Remember, the basics of mindful eating do not change with the changing weather. Avoid processed and deep fried food items. If you face craving for some hot ghee parathas with butter, opt for cooking that at home. This helps avoid unhealthy, refined oil in the outside food. 

2. Store your insulin and diabetes devices out of the cold

Similar to extreme heat, extreme cold may also affect your insulin and diabetes devices such as insulin pens, pumps, and glucometers. Avoid exposing your insulin solutions to temperature below 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Freezing temperatures can cause insulin to break down and lose its effectiveness. Your glucometer working might also be affected. Ensure it is protected in a safe case.

3. Don’t skip your health tests and expert consultations

As mentioned earlier, the season changes need you to monitor your blood sugar closely. If you experience any worsening of symptoms or a new symptom appears, consult with your healthcare team. You might need adjustments in your medicines and diet to help keep your sugar numbers within the desired range.

Check out our Diabetes monitoring profiles.

4. Keep an eye on your skin, especially feet

Dry air in the winter can cause your skin to lose moisture and crack. A cracked skin is more prone to wounds and infections. Take extra care of your feet. Keep checking the area in between the fingers. If you notice any injury or infection that isn’t healing or taking too long to heal, talk to a diabetes expert immediately.

5. Boost immunity to stay safe from infections

Health issues like flu, bronchitis, sore throat, etc, are quite commonly encountered in winter, and can cause diabetics to get complications or a more severe disease. Get your flu vaccination done to help keep yourself safe against the flu. Wash your hands often with soap and water, or keep hand sanitizer handy while going out. If you do get sick, follow sick day rules provided by your doctor.

Sick days can cause stress and result in blood sugar fluctuations. Amid COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to not ignore any kind of fever. As per experts, people with diabetes have an increased risk of getting a severe COVID-19 illness. Ensure to get tested well in time to seek early care.

Work on your body’s natural defense system as well. Include herbal teas and sugar free chyawanprash in your daily diet to boost immunity.

6. Keep your hands warm

Cold weather can leave you with cold hands, making testing your blood glucose more difficult. It gets a bit difficult to bring blood drop while pricking. Wearing hand gloves is one of the easiest ways to keep your hands warm. If your hands are cold before testing, warm them up on a warm mug or with warm soapy water.

7. Keep yourself physically active

Getting out of the cozy blanket for exercising might not appear as a good idea. However, keeping active helps increase blood circulation and makes you feel warmer. Don’t skip your exercise routine. Continue to keep yourself moving during the winter season to help keep your blood sugar levels under control. You can even choose to work out at home.


Feeling fatigued to work out? Check your health within the comfort of your home.

8. Use hot water bags correctly

Avoid keeping hot water bags in direct contact with bare skin. Your skin sensitivity may be impaired in people with diabetes due to diabetic neuropathy. Keep a barrier, such as a hand towel or a folded cotton dupatta, between the skin and the water bag.

Takeaway You can enjoy this cold weather in the best of your health by simply following these winter health hacks. Ensure to go out only when necessary. Stay at home. Stay safe. And, learn to keep your diabetes in check.

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Diabetes-test

“To Travel is to live” as said by Hans Anderson. Traveling is an important part of our life. Be it work related or a holiday – traveling is fun and it lets us explore new places, surroundings, meet new people, discover different kind of food and culture.

But for diabetics a crucial question while traveling is how to manage their diabetes and enjoy the travel without any hassle.

Hang on! A little bit of homework, planning, scheduling and packing properly can help you manage your Diabetes hassle-free.

Here are some tips that can help you before and during your travel –

Before you travel:

  • For longer travels that involve more than 3 or 4 days, meet your doctor and get a basic health assessment done.
  • Get the basics sorted. If on Insulin, get the dosages adjusted and carry your medical supplies likewise.
  • You also need a letter from the Physician and an ID card mentioning about Diabetes and so you need to carry certain medicines and equipment (like Glucometer/Insulin pens/pump)
  • You should have a travel insurance ready in case of emergency healthcare.
  • If traveling out of country be informed about the different time zones, set your watches accordingly. Inform the airline company about your diabetic condition and things that you need to carry.
  • Locate nearest pharmacies, health clinics at your destination.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India had 69.2 million people living with diabetes in 2015. And number of incidences of Diabetes are on rise – Get yourself regularly checked for Diabetes

Packing:

Make a checklist of the crucial things that you need to carry in your Diabetes Kit.

  • Carry extra medicines
  • Glucometer, test strips and needles, batteries
  • Insulin pens (if using), gel packs (to store them) 
  • Healthy Snacks in case of delays in meals
  • Glucose tablets/powders to avoid Hypoglycemia
  • Contact details of the Endocrinologist who is treating you
  • Basic First aid kit

      If traveling by air, you can keep the above things in hand luggage.

During the travel:

  • Keep checking your sugars more frequently than regular, especially if you are in a completely different climate and time zone.
  • While you travel by road or railway try carry a whole day’s meal and some snacks with you to avoid eating anything unhealthy. It can be Theplas/Parathas/Khakra/Lemony Daliya with Chutney can stay fresh for a day or two.
  • Keep some snacks ready if you tend to miss the meals like Dried fruits/Nuts/Fresh Fruits/Homemade snacks.
  • You can get Healthy food at the airport too. Discuss about the available options there with the help of Dietitian.
  • Healthy food is not difficult to find, know about the local healthy cuisines and try them.
  • Stay Hydrated especially in hot climate areas to avoid dehydration.
  • Try not to miss your regular exercise routine. Stay Active.

Insulin care:

  • For keeping Insulin cool, gel packs and Insulin cases are available which keep the Insulin cool up to 40 hours.
  • You can also wrap the Insulin bottles in thick cloth napkin dipped in cold water.

It is true that Diabetes makes day-to-day life a bit more challenging but do not let it come in the way of enjoying life.

Happy Travelling!

To know more about Diabetes Monitoring Tests & Profiles, click here

Contributed by Mayuri Joshi – Dietitian

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterised by high blood glucose due to lack of insulin secretion or action or both. Today, the ratio of diabetes is rapidly increasing worldwide, and India would be ranking number one by 2030. Not only adults’ toddlers and kids are also at risk of getting diabetes

Let us understand in simple terms why Diabetes occurs and how it can be prevented or managed.

The food we eat is digested and converted to glucose, which is then utilised for energy production (or stored in liver and Muscles) through a chain of process mediated by insulin hormone secreted by Pancreas.

Change in production levels or action of insulin hormone leads to increase sugar levels in blood which is termed as hyperglycaemia (excess blood glucose) or hypoglycaemia (sudden decrease in the levels of blood glucose). Increased blood sugar level is not a one-day game it starts years before in your body but after a certain time it shows it’s presence by damaging some of our systems. Many a times apparently visible healthy individuals with good lifestyle may also have disturbed glucose levels.

Diabetes is only caused by eating too much sugar is one of the biggest health myths.

What can trigger Diabetes in an individual?

  • Excess intake of carbohydrates
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Junk food
  • Overeating
  • Obesity
  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Hormonal disturbance in body
  • Poor sleep

In hyperglycaemia fasting blood sugar > 126 mg/dL, Post-prandial > 200 mg/dL and HbA1c > 5.7 whereas in hypoglycaemia blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL.

When fasting glucose is between 100-125 mg/dl and /or PP is 140-199mg/dl this is termed as prediabetes. Normal blood glucose as defined American Diabetes Association is Fasting less than 100 and PP less than 140 mg/dl.

The bitter truth is that Diabetes develops silently for years in your body. Most of the time people surprisingly come to know during some or other health check-up that they are affected with irregular blood sugar.

For consistent and accurate monitoring of your blood sugar levels at regular intervals check out the DIABETES tests and profiles offered by Metropolis here

Signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia –

  • Increased thirst
  • Lack of appetite
  • Frequent urination
  • Frequent infections
  • Feeling tired or fatigue
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Numbness or tingling in limbs
  • Poor vision

Signs and symptoms of hypoglycaemia –

  • Fatigue
  • Excess hunger
  • Shakiness
  • Bouts of confusion
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Excessive sweating

To manage or prevent hypoglycaemia, keep an eye on blood sugar levels at regular intervals and take proper balance diet and exercise. Known diabetics who are on medication must carry sugar/candy pouch for contingencies.

If not taken care of in time diabetes will damage your vital organs like kidney, nervous system, heart, eyes, brain and would lead to fatal diseases like heart attack, renal failure and stroke.

3.4 Million deaths in India occur due to high blood sugar. So, if you consistently see any of the above signs and symptoms particularly those mentioned for hyperglycaemia please visit a doctor and get your sugar test done and take a proper diet and exercise guidance from qualified dietitian to prevent yourself from this silent killer.

Learn more about Types of Diabetes and its Signs & Symptoms:

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
3