How to survive the Ski season with Diabetes

overhead_view_of_mt_buller_gallerylargeMany of my readers already know I live in Australia, and some may know that here the seasons are reversed, which means that instead of the middle of summer, we are about half way through our winter season.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a weekend skiing in the Australian alps, and decided to share some of the tips that others gave me and that made this incredible fun experience possible.

I’m on a pump, and that made a lot of difference. Skiing is quite a strenuous spot, so I initially set my basal at 50% of normal rate.  I still ended up going lowish (not quite hypo but lower than I wanted) so I lowered to 20% and that worked better for me.  (note, this is me so no guarantee it would work for anyone else).

Australian ski resorts are a bit warmer than those in Europe or the US, but still go subzero regularly. Skiing on these conditions means that extra measures have to be taken to prevent insulin from freezing. In my case, I decided to keep my pump on the inside of my jacket, in one of the pockets (mine has a ipod pocket, which is perfect). Having the pump in my jacket meant I could also feel the vibrations, which is easier than trying to listen to alarms while in a loud chairlift.

On one of the other pockets, I had a few muesli bars.  I aslo carried my Freestyle lite meter, which behaved well in the cold. Also, beware you may test more than usual as sometimes being cold can be confused with the symptoms of hypo. I actually ran out of strips so beware.

Overall I had a great time in the snow, and will hopefully come back later in the season, hopefully better prepared.

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One Response to How to survive the Ski season with Diabetes

  1. susan f says:

    I have had trouble with meters not functioning in the cold on a ski slope in utah. They make ‘travel pockets’ for money et al that are designed to be worn next to your body – either hanging off your belt or they come with an elastic strap. I use this and no meter case in order to keep both my pump and meter close to body heat.

    For that kind of exercise, it is important that I start the day with very little insulin on board – no big breakfast for me! I run my basals at 50% and bolus for approximately 50% of carbs. I’m anal retentive so if the runs are long, I check my blood sugar on the way up. Yes, that means I test a lot!

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