Although the thermostat says otherwise, we are approaching winter. The winter season brings with it additional issues to be concerned with if you are diabetic. Because diabetes affects our immune system, it becomes more important to make sure that we’ve gotten our flu shot, as well as a pneumonia shot – especially if you are over 65 years of age. Although it’s not always a fashion statement, diabetics should make sure that they dress appropriately so that they don’t catch a chill. I know my grandmother’s advice is still speaking to me, but it is important to take care of yourself. The words “safety first” come to mind.
One thing that I’ve never considered in the past is the importance of keeping your blood glucose monitor warm. Not doing so can cause incorrect glucose readings when testing your blood glucose level. Additionally, you should not test your blood glucose levels when your hands are cold. If your hands are cold, try warming them up by holding a mug of warm beverage in your hands.
Foot care in the cold weather is extremely important. When going out into the elements, you want to make sure that your feet are warm and dry. Playing in the snow is fun – ending up with wet feet is not fun. It can lead to ulcers and infection in your feet. So be sure to wear the appropriate footgear.
Keeping your body well-hydrated during the cold weather is important. The heat in your home and in your car can dry out your feet and your entire body. Use moisturizer after bathing so that the lotion can penetrate your skin. Remember, as a diabetic, you should not use lotion between your toes.
Having diabetes requires a massive change in your lifestyle. It requires planning, but it can be accomplished. Diabetes affects every portion of the body. Diabetics can look healthy while their body is deteriorating from the inside out. Thinking about what you’re eating and even what you’re wearing will help you to control your blood glucose levels. Do you have any cold-weather strategies that you use to stay healthy during the winter months? I would love to hear about it. Please place your comments below.
By Lorraine Castle
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