When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I wasn’t told how each season would impact this disease. I was told about how medication can go “bad” in high temperatures but that was pretty much the extent of it. Now that I’ve lived with the illness for over 10 years, I am well aware of the patterns and changes my body goes through when the temperature fluctuates. Being in the “know” has helped me enjoy the seasons much more.
Each season presents different kinds of challenges to become accustomed to. While every person living with type 1 diabetes has their own unique lifestyle and health choices, there are a couple of key elements to be aware of as the seasons change that impact all people with diabetes.
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Transitional Seasons (Fall/Spring)
These seasons are among the most enjoyable, but the worst when it comes to diabetes management. While the more moderate temperatures mean diabetes gear will function at a normal, uncompromised level, the unpredictable temperatures during these seasons can make it hard to keep a consistent exercise routine.
As well as finding it hard to maintain a consistent exercise schedule, sleep and meal times may change as well due to the longer/shorter days. All of which will affect blood glucose levels.
So, while basal rates (normal background medication dose) may not have to be changed or considered too much during these seasons, routine and making sure your life has some sort of consistency is key to enjoying them.
- Make sure you have an outdoor and indoor exercise routine so if the weather is too cold or rainy, you don’t have to skip out on your movement.
- Try and keep mealtimes within a 1-2 hour bracket each day.
- When enjoying a social outdoor activity, make sure to keep an eye on blood glucose levels and bring extra glucose tabs and snacks.
- Do your best to keep a consistent sleep schedule, wear and eye mask, earplugs and use white noise if needed.