According to the World Health Organisation, diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Over the years, a rapid increase in diabetes cases has been observed in India and worldwide. This increasing number is a cause for concern and requires urgent measures to control its impact.
If left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to some severe complications like cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, genetics, family history of the disease and age are some common risk factors for this condition. The intensive nature of the disease calls for preventive measures, effective treatment and active management to minimize its impact on the human body.
Managing diabetes can become a little difficult during winters. When the weather is cold, sticking to a diet and exercise plan is quite challenging. Winter-related ailments like common cold, cough and others can also cause difficulties for those with diabetes. On World Diabetes Day 2022, here’s a list of a few things people with diabetes can do to effectively manage blood sugar levels during the winter season.
World Diabetes Day 2022: Healthy tips for diabetics to manage blood sugar levels effectively
1. Check blood sugar levels regularly
The best way to understand and manage diabetes is to track it and know which foods and activities are helping the patient control their blood sugar levels.
2. Stay physically active
Being physically active can offer you several health benefits. It can help improve insulin sensitivity. Exercise will also help you stay warm in the cold weather. A good exercise routine affects your blood glucose for up to 48 hours.
Also read: Diabetes: Exercises To Overcome Insulin Resistance
3. Manage SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
SAD is a type of depression that affects individuals during the winter due to shorter days and a lack of sufficient sunlight. Symptoms include feeling anxious, irritable, fatigued, and losing interest in doing daily activities. Depression can easily interfere with diabetes management and have long-term harmful results. The best thing to do is manage depression before it strikes.
4. Take care of diabetes supplies
Supplies like insulin or non-insulin injectables can freeze and become ineffective in the cold. CGMs, meters and test strips can also be impacted by the cold; therefore, it is important to keep them in room temperature conditions.
Also read: World Diabetes Day 2022: Can Diabetes Lead To Heart Failure?
5. Keep overindulgence airing festive season at bay
The festive season during these months also hampers diabetes management. Consumption of sweets and unhealthy food items is usually high during the festive season. This can affect blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is essential for diabetics to make right food choices.
(Dr. Prashant Bhatt, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine, Manipal Hospitals, Patiala)
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