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Winter is here and with that comes the arrival of a variety of seasonal challenges to do with diabetes management. Recently we held a holiday skate party outside in the cold.

Despite the chilly temps and an extreme cold weather alert we had about 25 friends and family brave the cold for a great evening in Nathan Phillips Square. With those icy winds blowing it became clear that the major challenge of the night would be testing our blood sugar in the cold. Many meters need to be in an operating range of 6 degrees Celsius or higher to get good results. So together as a team we brainstormed some tips and tricks so that we could keep testing despite the weather.

Some of the creative suggestions to keep your meter warm enough to test included storing your meter in the inner pocket of your coat, in any pockets close to your body heat or in a “spy belt”. Many suggested using an insulated bag, this works especially well when applying some heat like “hand warmer” packets to keep your bag warm enough after it’s been sitting outside for a while and been opened a few times, just be careful where you put your insulin as this can add danger if the heat is too close to either your meter or your insulin.

Those that didn’t plan ahead had to employ some strategies to get their meters warm enough fairly quickly. Some strategies to try warming up your meter might be sliding it into your mittens, under your armpit or rubbing between your hands. Try not to blow into the meter to warm it up… this can cause moisture which can change the results of your next tests!

We would like to commend all of our participants on their exceptional efforts for blood sugar control and diabetes management skills. Good diabetes management is possible even in the most extreme conditions with a little planning and creativity.  The cold weather may test your limits, but it should never limit your testing.

Can you think of a different strategy? Let us know how you keep your meter warm enough in the comments below.

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