Spring guide for people with diabetes

Man walking in a field

Spring welcomes blooming flowers, chirping birds, and longer sunny days. There’s also going to be a lot of pollen. You may be considering how diabetes and seasonal topics like allergies, outdoor fun, and spring cleaning fit together. With the warmer weather approaching, it’s a great time to get out and get active – which is one of the best ways to stay in range of your sugar targets. 

Spring cleaning can also give you a chance to go over your selfcare habits. This means you can use this opportunity to stock up on any necessary supplies that may help you put your best foot forward the rest of the year.


Allergies and diabetes

Did you know some allergy medications may affect blood sugar levels? Many people take allergy medications to help them enjoy spring without watery eyes and a runny nose. If this sounds like you, here is some important information related to the effects that these medications may have on your blood sugar levels.

  • Antihistamines: These can make you drowsy and less able to respond to changes in your blood glucose (BG).
  • Decongestants: These allergy medications can raise blood sugar, blood pressure, and your heart rate.
  • Steroids: Also known as corticosteroids, these can raise your BG. Always keep a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) or glucometer handy when taking steroids.

None of these medications are off-limits for people with diabetes, but it’s still advised to check with your healthcare team to form a strategy for managing both allergies and diabetes.


Ventures in the great outdoors

Once you’ve taken care of your allergies, or perhaps you’re lucky to not have any, you’re ready for fresh air. For people with diabetes, it takes some extra planning before heading out for a long hike. Make sure to take the most important things you’ll need.

  • Extra water Dehydration can increase blood sugar levels. Keep a few bottles of water handy at all times.
  • Pack emergency supplies Have backup supplies just in case anything happens. Bring extra insulin, syringes, alcohol swabs, testing strips, etc. in a separate bag to avoid running out of pump supplies.
  • Wear the right shoes People with diabetes are more prone to infection and can lose circulation in their feet, making it more difficult for wounds to heal. A few tips to remember:
    • If you get blisters or cuts on your feet, you’re at a higher risk of serious infection than someone without diabetes.
    • When you’re hiking, wear comfortable boots and good socks.
    • If you’re swimming, bring flip flops or sandals – even if it’s just poolside.
  • Apply sunscreen The sun may just be peeking out from the clouds, but it’s still possible to get a sunburn if you’re outside all day. The pain from a sunburn can stress you out and stress raises your blood glucose.


Spring cleaning

The practice of spring cleaning is done all over the world for various purposes, but we all take this as an opportunity to deep clean and declutter.  Try some of these spring cleaning tips:

  • Reorganize your diabetes supplies Do you need a new meter? Have your test strips expired? What about your medications? Are you using the “first in first out” method for your supplies? Answer these questions while you do an inventory of your diabetes supplies. Reorganize your storage cabinets and emergency supplies so you can find what you need, when you need it.
  • Cleaning out the fridge Warmer weather means fresh fruit and vegetables may be available at your local market. Throw out any expired food in your fridge and replace it with fresh veggies, whole grains, and lean protein that will put a spring in your step. Asparagus, apricots, peas, berries, and rhubarb are all in season — so get it while it’s fresh!


Start a new outdoor hobby

You’ve been inside for months — there’s no better time to get a hobby that will get you outdoors and active for the spring and summer. Gardening, outdoor sports, and jogging are all fantastic options to get moving! What’s your favorite way to get active outdoors? How do you manage allergies and diabetes? Let us know what you’ll be doing this spring in the comments!      



Related Articles

About Author

Blog comments

Submitted by Teresa Cave (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I will NEVER take steroids ever again unless, I am on an insulin drip in the hospital. Was prescribed steroids for an ear infection/hearing loss, I use a 770g pump and no matter how much insulin I pumped I couldn’t get blood sugars below 300! Stopped taking the steroids but ended up with AKI. Was released from E/R too soon and was sick for an additional 2 weeks.

Post a new comment

Required fields are marked *
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.