Glucose acts as a fuel to make the energy needed for normal activities. In order for this glucose to enter each cell of the body and function properly as a fuel, normal secretion of insulin is required. Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which blood sugar levels rise abnormally due to insufficient insulin secretion or failure to function normally. It is divided into type 1 diabetes in which insulin is not secreted due to a problem in the pancreas and type 2 diabetes in which insulin does not function properly due to various causes. It is known that diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic factors and environmental factors such as age, obesity, diet, lack of exercise, hormone secretion, stress, and drug use. Diabetes is known to worsen in winter when the weather gets colder. This is because when the weather gets colder, activity decreases and blood circulation slows down, which has a greater effect on worsening the symptoms of diabetes. In addition, reduced blood circulation increases the risk of diabetes complications such as various cardiovascular diseases, coronary artery disease, foot necrosis, and retinopathy nephropathy, and in the worst case, life-threatening fatal results. Therefore, if you are diabetic, it is very important to take extra care in winter and manage it carefully. So today, let’s learn how to manage diabetes in winter. How to manage diabetes in winter
1. appetite control
In winter, when the cold weather continues, the desire to eat food increases in order to maintain a constant body temperature due to the lowered outside temperature. If you eat too much to satisfy this increased appetite, your blood sugar will rise. In particular, if you consume foods high in simple sugars or trans fats, the risk of a sharp rise in blood sugar levels increases. Therefore, it is recommended to properly control the intake of carbohydrates, which are the main causes of the rise in blood sugar, and to eat foods rich in protein and dietary fiber that maintain a feeling of satiety for a long time in a balanced way. It is also important to eat foods high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as vegetable oils, fish, and nuts. In addition, stress caused by overwork, insufficient sleep, or stressful situations stimulates appetite by increasing the secretion of cortisol from the adrenal cortex.
2. Steady exercise
In winter, the amount of exercise decreases compared to other seasons due to external factors such as strong winds and low temperatures. Exercising increases the use of insulin in peripheral tissues, helping the smooth activity of insulin, which makes cells respond better to insulin and helps control blood sugar, so it is important to keep it constant even in winter. However, it is better to pay more attention to keeping warm because sudden exposure to cold wind during outdoor exercise in winter can cause various problems by constricting blood vessels. In addition, it is said that it is better to start exercising 30 minutes to 1 hour after meals rather than on an empty stomach, as winter consumes more calories than other seasons, which can cause hypoglycemia during exercise. Other exercises that can be done indoors, such as gymnastics, indoor bicycles, and squats, are also good ways to reduce the risk of external factors and produce appropriate exercise effects.
3. Skin Care
The skin acts as the primary barrier to protect our body. Cold and dry weather in winter not only affects the blood flow to the feet due to the constriction of blood vessels, but also heating devices used to avoid the cold lower the moisture content of the stratum corneum of the skin and cause dryness. If you have diabetes, these factors affect your risk of developing diabetic foot lesions. Therefore, it is important to wash your feet every day, check your feet frequently for scratches, and apply creams or lotions to keep them well hydrated to prevent dryness. In addition, if you have diabetes, the risk of low-temperature burns, which damages the skin due to bluntness of peripheral nerves due to complications, increases. Therefore, when using the electric blanket for a long time, it is recommended to put a thin blanket on it to avoid direct contact with the skin, and it is recommended to use the low temperature mode rather than the too high temperature.
4. Cold Prevention
In addition to the various management methods introduced above, it is also important to prevent a cold. This is because if you have a cold, your blood insulin function will drop and your blood sugar level will become unstable. In addition, if high blood sugar levels persist, the risk of complications such as pneumonia or bronchitis increases. Therefore, for stable blood sugar management in winter, it is important to keep an immune system management habit and pay special attention to preventing colds. And if symptoms such as fever continue after you catch a cold or if your blood sugar level is unstable, it is important to see a doctor for appropriate treatment.