Manage your sugar in winter


Dr Kapil Agrawal, Bariatric & Laparoscopic Surgeon, Habilite Bariatrics & Apollo Spectra Hospital, lists tips for diabetes care in winters

Winters have begun and managing Diabetes can be an added challenge for the diabetic patient as over the months of cold weather diabetic patient’s blood glucose levels creep up much higher than summer. Then changes in diet and exercise and the stress of the holidays can make managing blood sugar even more challenging. However by following few precautionary measures you can get through the Diabetes with ease. These tips will help you to keep blood glucose levels under control during a cold snap.

Keep checking your blood: The cold weather can leave you with cold hands which can make blood testing measurement more difficult. Despite that, regular testing is must as it will ensure to catch any highs, or lows, and keep your sugar levels under control. If your hands are cold, try warming them up on a heater or with a towel or thick clothing over it, before doing your test.

Keep your activity levels up: Freezing temperatures combined with holidays can make it difficult to exercise and stick to healthy meal plan, and depression can threaten to derail your motivation. Even just a little physical activity each day can help your glucose levels in a number of supporting ways.

If the cold outside restricts your exercising, spend some energy inside the home. Dancing, jumping, indoor aerobics, yoga, climbing the stairs and even a bit of house hold work will all get your muscles working.

Keep an eye on your diet: Colder weather can upset your diet in a number of ways. Normally, people tend to eat more during the winter. Your body may ask for more calories to fuel itself against the cold, this is a natural response from the body. So just make sure you don’t over eat and stick to right foods.

Keep illness at bay: Becoming ill makes diabetes harder to control. Prevent illnesses by keeping yourself warm, eat healthily and keep a watch over your sugar levels for any rising trends in sugar levels.

Keep depression out in the cold: Cold, unpleasant weather, a lack of sunlight and other day to day life’s worries can all contribute to a drop in mood over the colder months. If you can keep to as much of the advice above, you’ll be in a good position to keep the winter blues at a greater distance. Having a discussion with family and friends can make a real difference to your mood.

Proper foot care during winter: Keep your feet dry. When it comes to your feet, rain, snow and slushy weather have something in common that can cause dampness. Moisture that gathers between your socks and your feet and toes can form bacteria and that can lead to an infection.

Use a moisturiser daily:  To keep dry skin from itching or cracking. But, don’t moisturize between the toes-that could encourage a fungal infection.

Avoid direct heat to your feet: The best way for people with diabetes to minimise dryness and the chance of burning their feet is to keep direct heat away from that area.

Beware of the flu: Diabetic Patients are vulnerable to flu during winter. Catching a flu gets your body stressed which leads to an increase in blood sugar level. Hence, this winter, keep yourself healthy by maintaining proper hygiene before eating or touching anything so that the germs doesn’t get entered in your nerves.

Stay hydrated: It is very essential to stay hydrated, both inside and outside during winter as cold weather makes your skin dry and dehydration can lead to rise in blood glucose levels. Apply medicated moisturizer on doctor’s advice to keep your skin moist.

Surgery for Diabetes:  Bariatric and Metabolic surgery can be one of the very good option to say good bye to diabetes permanently especially for obese patients. there are various surgical procedures that can be performed in individuals suffering for diabetes and metabolic syndrome. you must contact a good and experienced bariatric surgeon for proper evaluation and to find out if you are a candidate for such surgery.

(as appeared in  The Pioneer  newspaper and online at 

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