By Dr. Binti Jhuraney
Temperatures can get out of control, and so can your blood sugar. With the changing season, everyone needs a little more care. If you or a loved one has diabetes, taking precautions becomes more important since diabetes is a chronic health condition requiring constant support and effort.
Most people with diabetes could have higher HbA1c levels in winter compared to the summer because the body tends to release more glucose to keep itself warm in winter, but this ends up being more harmful than helpful for those having diabetes.
Here are 5 practical tips diabetics must know for a healthy winter:
The cold weather makes you lazy, so you get inclined towards comfort and easy food. We automatically go the junk food route. However, it is essential to remember to eat mindfully; the basics of clean eating stay the same with the season change. Avoid processed and deep-fried food. If you are craving a particular thing, instead of ordering it, prepare it at home. Doing this will help in avoiding unhealthy refined oil from outside. Remember to count the carbs for all of the food that you are eating, and calculate your insulin correctly for what you eat.
Getting out of the warm and cozy room for exercise might not sound like a good idea; however, it is essential. Being active helps in increasing blood circulation and makes you feel warmer. There are lots of ways to get involved without ever leaving your home. Try yoga, climbing the stairs a few times, dancing, — even cleaning your room. Get your muscles moving to warm up, clear your head and lower your blood sugar.
Boost immunity to stay safe from infections:
Health issues like flu, cold, cough, joint pain, etc., are common in winter and can cause diabetics to get complications or more severe diseases. Being sick can cause stress, leading to fluctuating blood sugar levels. Therefore, keeping your body’s defense system strong is of utmost priority. Include many herbal and ayurvedic items like Herbal teas and chyawanprash in your diet to boost your immunity. But again, in a controlled portion.
Ensuring adequate hydration:
While the weather and eating habits bring a change in the sugar levels, there is another crucial factor that weighs in considerably; that is hydration. During winter, people drink less water because of the cold, but sustaining an adequate amount of bodily fluids is essential to function correctly. Water or alternatives like tea, herbal tea, and kadhas might help stabilize the body’s electrolyte needs. Diabetes patients are vulnerable to dehydration, which might result in diabetic ketoacidosis if left unmanaged.
Taking care of your skin, especially your feet:
Dryness in winter can cause your skin to lose moisture and crack, especially your feet. A cracked feet skin is more prone to wounds and infections. Keep the feet dry from sweat. While workouts, apply the cream to keep them healthy. Monitor any cuts, sores, or even dry spots on feet. If you notice any cuts or injuries which is taking time to heel, immediately consult your Diabetologist.
Enjoy the season while it lasts, keeping in mind all these precautions. Get your family to exercise these steps to maintain a healthy and fit winter.
(Dr.Binti Jhuraney is Health and Wellness Consultant at Chicnutrix)