How the Weather Affects Diabetics

Meg Penske Lifestyle Aug 21, 2020

Diabetes controls every part of your life. It even controls your outdoor activities! There are many factors to high and low blood sugar, but did you know that outdoor temperatures are a major cause for both high and low blood sugar levels?

When exposed to the the heat, your blood vessels dilate, which can enhance insulin absorption. Since insulin helps move sugar into cells, when this occurs, it could lead to low blood sugar. Though it’s important to stay hydrated when the temperatures rise, drinking more water assists in lowering blood sugar, which is why diabetics have to be more careful about watching your levels in the heat.

On the contrary, when it gets cold outside, blood sugar levels tend to rise, and that’s because when we are inside for long periods of time, we tend to exercise less and eat more. A little bit of activity each day will help with insulin sensitivity, but you have to be careful because activity can affect your blood glucose for up to 48 hours. The more sensitive your cells are to insulin, the more controlled your blood sugar will be. One helpful tip is bringing exercise indoors instead of feeling the need to leave your home to do so. Some of my personal favorite exercises include jumping jacks, lunges, and squats.

As I previously mentioned, exercising increases insulin sensitivity. This refers to how sensitive your body’s cells are in response to insulin. High insulin sensitivity allows the cells of the body to use blood glucose more effectively, reducing blood sugar levels. The more you exercise, the more controlled your blood sugar can be due to higher insulin sensitivity levels.

I’m sure we have all learned by now how to adjust our daily routines over the past few months, so this is the perfect opportunity to change up your workout routine. Do some cardio, run around the house with your dog (or maybe even your cat), have water drinking competitions with your family—there are endless ways to have fun, be active, and stay indoors.

For diabetics, no matter the time of year or even the temperature outside, it is important for us to check our blood sugar. No matter who you are, remember that if you get overheated or extremely cold, you should go inside and either cool off or warm up. Your health is important. Don’t take risks.

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