Published on: Dec 15, 2023

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Are You Prepared for Winter’s Impact on Your Blood Sugar?

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Ever wondered what happens when blood sugar levels rise? Uncontrolled high blood sugar can lead to a condition called ketoacidosis. This results in the buildup of ketones in the blood and urine, showing symptoms like dry mouth, abdominal pain, nausea, blurred vision, confusion, and even loss of consciousness.

Long-Term Risks of High Blood Sugar

For those with diabetes, it’s crucial to manage blood sugar because prolonged high levels can lead to heart disease, damage to blood vessels, nerve damage, kidney damage, retinal damage, and issues with bones and joints.

Why Blood Sugar Rises in Winter

Blood sugar goes up during winter due to:

  • Reduced Activity: Cold weather often leads to less physical activity as people stay indoors, causing lower demand for glucose and a subsequent rise in blood sugar levels.
  • Hormonal Changes: Winter triggers stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, impacting insulin function and potentially causing high blood sugar, especially in diabetics.
  • Increased Calorie Intake: Winter cravings for comfort foods high in carbs can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes.
  • Illness: Winter illnesses release hormones that interfere with insulin production and glucose absorption, making blood sugar management more challenging.

Tips for People with Diabetes in Winter

For those with diabetes, taking specific steps during winter is essential:

  • Stay Warm: Wear warm clothing to counter the effects of cold, which can trigger stress hormones and raise blood sugar.
  • Get Your Flu Shot: People with diabetes should get a yearly flu shot to reduce the risk of complications that can be more challenging if blood sugar isn’t well-managed.
  • Manage Stress: Combat winter-related anxiety and depression through activities like yoga, staying mentally engaged, and socializing, which helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  • Choose Balanced Foods: Increase your intake of veggies, soups, nuts, and seeds, avoiding excessive refined carbs that can spike blood sugar.
  • Control Portions: While occasional treats are okay, limit portions of sugary drinks and snacks to avoid negative impacts on blood sugar.
  • Exercise Regularly: Include indoor activities like yoga or Zumba in your routine, and have a small snack before exercising to prevent low blood sugar.
  • Stay Hydrated: Counteract indoor heating dehydration by drinking seven to eight glasses of water daily. Consider alternatives like fenugreek water, coconut water, or buttermilk.
  • Regular Health Check-ups: People with diabetes should check blood sugar levels frequently to make timely adjustments to insulin and diet.

While prioritizing blood sugar management in winter, remember to enjoy the season responsibly.

- By Fitterfly Health-Team