Cold Weather and Diabetes

weather map usa

Baby, it’s cold outside.  Not only are they lyrics to a song, but are a very real truth.  Places are cold!  Just take a look at the map of the United States.  (I did try to get maps of other countries, but they showed such little detail.)

And, okay, I know this only holds true for that part of the world north of the Equator.

So, what do cold temperatures mean for diabetics?  It generally means a rise in A1c levels due to less exercise and eating from the Holidays.  We need to be watching our diet, exercising even if it takes a bit more effort to do so, and regular glucose testing.

Read this article from Everyday Health.  It not only covers cold temps, but summertime temps, as well. (Yes, I know it’s warm south of the Equator this time of the year.)  This article from Diabetes UK only covers cold weather.

Winter means that we have more hours of darkness and you may not be getting out to do a bit of exercise.  This is really a dangerous trap to fall into.  If you don’t exercise, you are giving up one of the weapons you have to fight the disease.  Exercise increases a cell’s sensitivity to insulin, which gets the glucose out of your blood stream.  VERY important.

Another benefit from exercise is the release of endorphins.  This is a hormone released by your brain and body that will actually give you a sense of well-being and happiness.  And, if you are anything like me, a bit of stress relief is a good thing – also facilitated by…Yes, you guessed it – Endorphins.  Don’t believe me?  Read this article.  It’s short and to the point.

Oh, yes, one more benefit from exercise is that it helps keep you warm.  Remember I wrote about my cold feet?  After exercising (walking) for a few months, my feet were no longer cold.  I had improved my circulation!

Better insulin receptivity. A general sense of happiness and well-being.  Improved circulation and being warmer.  Huge benefits.  All from just doing a bit of exercise – which for me has been walking 30 minutes a day.  Read this post about exercising in the cold so you can be prepared for it when you get out.

Something you may need to do is to check your glucose often so it doesn’t get too high.  Those Holiday meals can creep up on you.  If you can do this, it will really help you in your battle.  If it does go up, you can increase exercise, adjust your diet, or adjust medication after talking with your doctor.  Do you really want to give back the ground you have gained just because the weather changes?  I think not.  The War still rages on even in Winter.

And, if you have been told you have Prediabetes, now is the time to fight.  Just because it’s cold outside, Diabetes does not take a break.  In fact, if you are not exercising and watching your diet carefully, this is a growth season for the disease.  Think about it.  Those big Holiday meals.  Plenty of sweets around the office and home.  Office parties.  Holiday parties.  The opportunities to eat and drink are almost endless.  You might take a holiday, but the disease will continue to grow.  Stay to your diet and exercise…and you can beat back the diagnosis of Prediabetes.

You can win your War On Diabetes.

As always, thank you for reading.





I am not a doctor or health professional. I am just a guy who is working everyday to control Type 2 Diabetes. My goal is to offer hope, help and solutions for day-to-day living for the diabetic. The disease can be controlled. It can be managed. And, you can do it!

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Posted in Exercise & Diet
One comment on “Cold Weather and Diabetes
  1. beetleypete says:

    Good advice Phil, and I found the map of US temperatures interesting too. 77 in Florida! I think I should be living there.
    Regards from England. Pete.

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