Do Your Insulin Needs Increase During Winter?
I could feel my blood boiling.
With every single swipe of my FreeStyle Libre reader against the sensor on my arm, I felt increasingly frustrated.
Despite being pretty confident in what I’d eaten and covered with insulin for dinner, my levels dipped slightly before slowly but steadily ascending once again. A pattern that had become somewhat typical over the past couple of weeks following meals.
Despite correction after correction, my blood sugar levels were yet to budge.
My mind wandered back to the pump break I had taken in late April and May. I thought about how easy blood sugar levels had been to manage with pens and needles. How free my mind had been from frustration.
That pump complacency I felt on the night I disconnected my pump in late April had returned. I didn’t want to be feeling it, but it was there, plaguing my thoughts against my own will.
Then, I just had this sort of ‘epiphany.’
I set a temporary basal rate increase of 10% on my insulin pump, hoping that it would help my correction doses to start working better.
When my insulin still seemed ‘sluggish’ a few hours before bed, I increased it to 20%. After a few more days had passed, I went into my pump settings and permanently adjusted the basal rates upwards by 20%.
I’ve heard it discussed before in the diabetes community. I’ll be the first to admit that I never brought into the whole concept of insulin needs increasing during the Winter. And decreasing during the Summer, for that matter.
I don’t know what causes it. There’s been no significant change in my activity levels. I’m very active during my work day as usual, and don’t go anywhere near the gym or a pair of running shoes when I’m at home. My routine is the same. Admittedly, I probably spend less time outdoors or in the sunlight at the moment. Maybe there’s an increased inclination to drink coffee, eat cannoli and watch Australian Survivor.
More than anything, I think it may be an environmental or physiological factor.
I’m just grateful that my insulin is working again and that I can spend more of my day in range, fighting less of an uphill battle in doing so.
After eight years, I’m still learning new things about my diabetes. I truly believe that the more time and experience I have under my belt, the better equipped I am to live with it.