The Cold Doesn’t Impact Diabetes……uhm……Think Again!!!

coldWinter.  For those who will be experiencing cold weather over the next few months, do not fall into the misunderstanding that your children, with diabetes, will use less energy in the winter than when the weather is warm.

For some reason, and I may be alone, seeing my child all bundled up meant that she would certainly move less, spend less energy, and certainly her blood sugar would be less likely to drop…..right?

Well, actually, because they are bundled up, they may use more energy because they try harder to move all bundled up.  If your child is going sleigh-riding; it may take more energy to go up and down the hill than swimming in a pool.  Clothes restrict movement, clothes add weight,  more clothes translate to trying harder to move which may impact blood sugars.  So if they are doing an actual event like skiing or sleigh riding, keep an eye on those blood sugars.

On the other side of the spectrum, colder days can translate to less activity because children are not out running around in the warmer weather.  So just when you think you have their day figured out, their numbers seem askew again.

Blood sugars tend to be higher in cold weather as well.  The physical response is not too unlike what happens to blood pressure and heart rates which also rise in colder weather.

If it is your first ‘go round’ with the colder months, just a note to remind you of the impact the cold can have on your child’s diabetes.  If you are a pro and have this all figured out…….this is a reminder.  And if you do have it all figured out, please contact me because after 22+ years at this; I still scratch my head sometimes trying to figure out why things happen the way they do.

Also, insulin will freeze.  If you see ice crystals inside your insulin, chances are that the molecular structure of the insulin might have been impacted, and the insulin will not work as you think.  Since most insulin pumps are worn so close to the body, your body-warmth will keep the insulin in the device at a correct temperature, so that is not to worry.  I’m speaking more about insulin being carried around in the cold, left in the car etc. etc.

And for those who live in warmer climates; you may be visiting colder areas (why? I am not exactly sure why you would do that 🙂 ) and this information might come in handy.

If anyone else has any tips, please feel free to chime in—-we could all learn something new.

So bring on the cold…………………..and be ready.

I am a diabetes dad.

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