Diabetes mellitus is a pathology that affects the way the body regulates glucose in the blood. Glucose is essential for the body as it is considered as one of the main sources of energy for the cells. Therefore, when its levels are either too high or too low, the body compensates.
Also, certain factors like temperature can increase this change in blood sugar levels. And it is that, as they explain from the Spanish Society of Clinical, Family and Community Pharmacy (SEFAC), the cold affects people with diabetes. And it does so by various mechanisms, as explained by pharmacologists.
Illness worsens in winter
We have been for the last few months. The temperature has started dropping and respiratory infections like flu, covid, cold have reached a critical level. And all these pathologies directly affect diabetics, in fact, they are considered a risk group and therefore should be vaccinated against the flu.
They can increase blood sugar levels.
During flu and catarrhal processes, there may be changes in mood and, as a consequence, variations in diet and adherence to diabetes treatment.
Finally, pharmacists point out that some medicines against respiratory infections, such as flu medicines, can cause glucose levels to vary. Therefore it is best to consult a pharmacist before taking any of these medicines.
cold affects devices for measuring sugar levels
There are many ways in which diabetics control their sugar levels. Classic lancets or those that measure continuously using a sensor placed under the skin, which transmits the measurement to a phone or smart watch.
Well, SEFAC warns that if the thermometer drops, the operation of these devices could be affected. And it’s not just the equipment, low temperatures can also affect the effectiveness of insulin.
change in winter habits
Although we are not aware, the drop in temperature affects our daily routine and in case of diabetic patients, these changes can lead to changes in their glucose level. SEFAC gives some examples:
If we look at food, there is a change in diet as more plentiful and filling food is eaten.
Physical exercise is an essential part of treating diabetes. And the change in schedule, combined with less daylight, can reduce physical activity.
In the psychological field, a drop in temperature can cause a change in state of mind, what does it mean for the patient apathy, lack or excess of appetite …
take special care of hands and feet
One of the effects caused by diabetes are vascular problems, especially in the lower extremities, the feet. Since the blood does not circulate well, ulceration, infection and/or gangrene of the foot can occur.
Well, with cold, the sensitivity in these organs decreases, due to which the patient does not detect any injury in the feet in time.
For the hands, SEFAC pharmacists point out that cold hands can lead to inaccurate results in glucose control.