NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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Over the winter months, people with diabetes are at increased risk as sugar levels can rise up as the temperature drops.

Here are some tips to help keep your blood glucose levels under control during a cold snap.

Keep testing your blood

The cold weather can leave you with cold hands which can make blood testing more difficult. Don't let the cold put you off doing your tests though.

Regular testing will help you to catch any highs, or lows, and keep your sugar levels under control. If your hands are cold, try warming them up on a warm mug or on a radiator with a towel or thick clothing over it, before doing your test.

Keep your activity levels up

Even just a little physical activity each day can help your glucose levels in a number of supporting ways.

  • increasing insulin sensitivity
  • keeping you warm
  • good for the mind

A little activity each day will help with insulin sensitivity (in all types of diabetes) which can help the body to better regulate sugar levels.

Particularly if you are using insulin, keep a watch of your blood sugar levels in case your insulin requirements go down. Bear in mind that activity can affect blood glucose for up to 48 hours.

A little bit of exercise helps to keep you warm. Exercising will heat you up, but the effects don't stop as soon as you stop exercising.

The longer term effects of exercise is to help with metabolism which can help to keep our body temperature up even hours after exercise and helps improve fitness levels.

If you tend to feel cold during the winter months, a little more activity in your day could be just the thing.

For more information and advice, visit NHS Choices Diabetes or ring NHS 111.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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