High blood sugars and winters may have a connection!

Diabetes management can surely be very challenging! But, do you know winters can make it even more difficult?

With temperatures dropping down, sugar levels can actually creep up. Infact, during winters, many people tend to have higher HbA1c levels than during the summer months. This may be attributed due to various factors that can affect our glucose content in winters.

So, with winters approaching so close, let us have a glimpse of various common reasons that can contribute to our sugar spikes and prepare ourselves better to avert problems that may arise due to such escalations in blood sugar content.

Factors affecting blood sugar spikes during winters
1. Increased appetite during winters may lead to intake of more fat & carbs.

Winter often means eating more. Sometimes we even tend to deviate from our recommended diet to meet our appetite requirements. The increased intake of food may in turn increase the carbs and fat content, thereby affecting our blood sugars. The carbohydrate (carb) may lead to blood sugar spikes and the fat intake may lead to insulin resistance, making it harder for your diabetes medicine or insulin to do its job. As a result, blood sugars escalate.

2. Reduced workouts and physical activities.

We have been emphasizing in the past that staying active helps in blood sugar control. This is because moving more means that your body uses more glucose to fuel muscles. Also, the physical activity helps insulin work better. But, unfortunately, winters make us lazy and we tend to skip our regular workouts. Infact, for people in old age, it is difficult for them to move out for their workouts or walks in extreme winters. Moreover, it is not even recommended sometimes. But, then reduced activities and workout may accumulate more glucose in your body leading to blood sugar rise.

3. Getting trapped with flu or any other illness.

Winters are tagged with common cold and flu. Multiple reasons that attribute to this are:

Compromised immune system with drop in temperature.

Cold, dry winter air allows the flu virus to survive longer and easily be transmitted to others.

Flu virus is tougher in the winters as opposed to the warmer months.

All these factors make us more susceptible to catch cold in winters.

Infact, not only flu, any kind of illness/ infection can drive up your blood sugars due to the stress created in the body.

4. Not keeping yourself well hydrated.

Our normal tendency is to have water only when we feel the thirst. We drink more fluids in the warmer months because we probably feel thirsty and are more active. Whereas, in winters, our drinking pattern changes. We may not drink enough fluids. This may lead to dehydration as well, thereby increasing our blood sugar. Moreover, we get trapped in the viscous cycle of dehydration causing sugar levels to increase and high blood sugar content causes frequent urination that may further dehydrate us.

5. Not maintaining the right environment for your diabetic supplies.

When temperature starts to rise or dip, it can affect your testing equipments and medications. Extreme temperatures can change the consistency and degrade the insulin. Hence, it may not affect the same way in your body as usually it does. This can alter your sugar readings immensely.

6. Not keeping yourself adequately warm.

Change in temperatures can not only affect your supplies and medicines but can have a negative impact on your body

Kawaljit Kaur

Kawaljit is a healthcare professional with an experience of over 15 years in healthcare operations. Her last corporate position was Vice President-Operations at Centre for Sight. As a writer, she has an expertise in writing medical contents and those related to present healthcare scenarios for various platforms that include medical professionals, healthcare companies, web health portals, hospitals and at present also heading the editorial team of a healthcare magazine.

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