Tip for you going skiing and cold weather
Protect your insulin and diabetes devices from stop working in cold weather. Carry all your equipment in the pockets of our tank top or T-shirt close to your body.
The Winter time is lovely, but as an insulin dependent diabetic this could also mean trouble. Mostly because of three things: the cold, activity during several hours and many days in a row and your insulin sensitivity and energy consumption increase at the same time.
Winter vacation filled with activities outdoors is wonderful and fantastic for those with diabetes, you don’t want to miss it. Being a diabetic doing winter activities in the ski slopes and going cross country skiing requires some planning. We spend a lot of time outdoors in cold weather and therefore we would like to take the opportunity to share our tips about how to manage diabetes in the cold, in a safe and smooth way.
Please note: We are not medical professionals, but are writing these texts as fellow type 1 diabetics.
Challenges as a diabetic going skiing in cold weather
It’s extra tricky to keep insulin and CGM warm to make sure they function properly. Extra activity and often during a longer time, will also make you more insulin sensitive and require more energy than normal. Cold temperatures also means that you require more energy to heat the body. All this means that you need to adjust your insulin intake and supply energy in a different way than when you are hanging around at home, at work or at school. Now we’ll tell you how we solve this.
Storage of blood glucose meter in the cold
Glucose meters must always function. In cold weather you could have trouble to get it to function properly and you will have to wait until you can warm it enough. It’s not nice when you can’t measure your blood sugar, so your blood glucose meter needs to be kept at normal temperatures. The safest way is to always keep the blood glucose meter close to the body, this keeps it warm and working. We always keep the blood glucose meter (and even mobile phone) in a tank top or T-shirt with integrated pockets directly under the winter jacket. To access everything and also to easily close the pockets we often wear the tank top with pockets on top of other layers of clothes (see picture above).
We have read about lots of other tips to keep blood glucose meters and insulin warm, such as putting diabetes equipment in a sock, or a small bag and put it inside your clothes. All these ways works as long as blood glucose meter is close to the body. The advantage of tank tops or T-shirts with pockets is that they are specially designed to cope with these situations. You have your devices safely in pockets, they are easy to access and everything is in the pockets without none noticing all the stuff you carry with you.
Anna skiing in Åre, Sweden
Please check the film below and see how easy it is to access the insulin pump during skiing.
Our Anna, has a Freestyle Libre and she always keep the scanner in a tank top or T-shirt with integrated pocket, regardless of cold weather or not. Earlier, Anna had a Dexcom CGM and as all other diabetic devices they are also convenient to have in the AnnaPS tank top or T-shirt. It is so nice to always know where to have the diabetes equipment and to always have it handy. It is also good to know that if you wear a sensor at a place on the body that can be cold during skiing, e.g. the arm, it sometimes happens that it is not possible recommend it sometimes happens that it’s not possible to read glucose levels (error message: Cold sensor). We therefore recommend that you protect the sensor a little extra from the cold and then, Anna use an armband protecting the sensor. The Armband as additional protection can be found here.
Bringing an extra meter
We would also advice you, as a parent, to bring an extra glucose meter. You or other accompanying persons can have this in tank tops with pockets as well. Remember it is always good to keep the cold-sensitive mobile phones close to your body also.
Storage of insulin in the cold
Insulin pen and pump need protection from cold, as do handsets (e.g. the OmniPod pump). All these are perfectly possible to store in the tank tops or T-shirts from AnnaPS. If it starts to get limited space in the pockets, you can have the pump in the underwear pocket, or in a sports bra with pockets.