Thursday, January 21, 2016

Diabetes and Frostbite


The look on the face of the man above is about how I feel during the winter. I am not a fan of being cold (or for that matter hot) and I think of winter as kind of thing one just lives through.

While I was doing some research the other day, I was reading about frostbite. Frostbite is one of those things that they talk about on the news when it is so bitterly cold.

Did you know that people with diabetes are more susceptible to frostbite? The article I was reading did not go into specifics as to why this would be true but I imagine it is because of reduced feeling in the feet of some people with diabetes. Also, people with peripheral neuropathy would have decreased circulation which would also cause the hands and feet to have a harder time warding off frostbite.


What can you do to avoid frostbite? The easy answer is to stay inside when it is bitterly cold. But that doesn't work for most people. You need to limit your time outside and dress in layers. Areas of the body most susceptible to frostbite are the hands, fingers, feet, toes, ears, and your nose. Make sure that you cover those areas when you are outside in the bitter cold. Keep them protected from the elements. Make sure that your clothing is not restrictive - as in not so tight that it obstructs blood flow. (If you are diabetic you should not be wearing tight shoes or socks at any time of the year.)

If you think you have frostbite, it is time to go see your doctor or the ER and have it checked. One of the important things is that if you have an area that you think might be frostbite make sure you don't thaw it and then re-freeze it. That is particularly bad. Also, if you think you have an area that has frostbite, warm that area slowly. You can soak it in warm water but not hot water.

Mostly, I hope you live somewhere that is not as awfully cold as it has been here. If you do live somewhere warm, how come I am not visiting you?

Thanks for reading!

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