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What is diabetes?
- Your body changes the food you eat into sugar.
- Your body uses the sugar for energy.
- If you have diabetes, your body cannot use sugar in the right way. (The sugar stays in your blood instead of being used by your body)
You can manage your diabetes and stay healthy.
- Managing diabetes means learning to control the amount of sugar in your blood.
- Your doctor will give you advice, which may include:
- A special food plan
- An exercise plan
- Blood sugar tests
- Regular check-ups
The winter season brings certain challenges to managing your diabetes.
- The cold weather and winter holidays can cause:
- More colds and flu
- Changes in your blood sugar
- Changes in your diet and exercise plan
- More stress
- Let’s talk about ways to deal with these challenges
Stay warm when it is cold.
- Diabetes can cause problems with your blood flow. These can get worse in the cold weather.
- Wear layers of clothing to protect yourself from the cold.
- It is especially important to keep your feet warm.
- Wear comfortable shoes and socks.
- Keep your head and hands covered and warm.
Protect yourself from getting too dry.
- The cold weather can dry out your skin, eyes, and insides.
- Use a moisturizing lotion on your skin.
- If your eyes feel dry, ask your doctor about using eye drops.
- Drink lots of water.
- Use a humidifier to keep your home from getting too dry.
Find fun ways to exercise in the winter.
- Cold weather and rain may make it hard to follow your regular exercise routine.
- Exercise is important in managing your blood sugar
- Find different ways to exercise in the winter:
- Join an indoor exercise class
- Use an exercise video
- Walk laps around your local mall
Remember your diet plan.
- Holiday treats can make it hard to stay on your meal plan.
- Look for healthy snacks and party foods.
- It is important to find a diet that is right for you.
- Talk with your doctor about how you can enjoy special holiday food while staying healthy.
Check your blood sugar often.
- Changes in the weather can cause changes in your blood sugar.
- Ask your doctor if you should increase the number of times you check your blood sugar.
- Make sure to test your blood sugar regularly.
Be aware of stress and your emotions.
- The holiday season can be busy and stressful.
- The winter weather can also affect your mood and emotions.
- Stress and strong emotions can change your blood sugar level.
You can manage your stress and emotions.
- Stay healthy and in a good mood by:
- Managing your time
- Eating healthy
- Staying active
- Doing things with others
- Talking to others about your feelings
Your doctor can help you manage your diabetes.
- Talk with your doctor to plan what you can do to stay healthy in the winter and all year long.
You can learn more about diabetes on the DDS Safety Net.
Check out these other resources on living with diabetes!
- American Diabetes Association
- Learning About Diabetes
- dLife – For Your Diabetes Life