Weather effects?

For the past three days I've spent probably 90% of the time with my blood sugar in the 13-18 range (235-325). I've upped my pump settings (basal up 0.15 u/hr, I:C ratio from 1:12 to 1:9, ISF from 2.4 to 1.8), PLUS put a +20% temporary basal rate on top of that, and I'm STILL running high! And spilling moderate to large ketones, but only intermittently (they go away when my blood sugar goes down ... it just doesn't stay down for more than one test).

I've changed infusion sets and changed insulin in case that's it ... But I think it's just my body. Last winter something similar happened, where I ran high and had ketones for days at a time, just like now, and it kept getting worse until my pump settings were more than double what they'd been in the summer. Then in the spring it disappeared, just like that. Now, it seems to be coming back.

Can weather have that dramatic of an impact?! I mean, I live in Vancouver, which is extremely temperate. I'd hate to see what living in Toronto might do to me ... Last winter I was SURE I was sick or something and we searched high or low for some type of cause and found nothing. I seriously think it's just the weather.

Hi Jen. I'm glad you posted on this subject as it's something that's been driving me crazy. More so now since I can't ever seem to understand it. While I've read a bunch about it I've never seen any numbers stuck to it. So thanks. Though with changes of such magnitude (insulin up and carbs down) I can't help but think that Sandy has reached the west coast. good luck.

Cold weather causes insulin to not absorb as well. I have to always increase all my basal settings once the weather turns cold.

Weather change always does a number on me. It doesn't matter--warm to cold or cold to hot. Our AC went out last summer and it was 104 and about 90% humidity. My blood glucose levels raged the entire time. I just had problems over the weekend, because it got colder here.

So, yes. Weather definately affects my glucose levels.

For some reason, I never really had this problem much in the past. My insulin would go up maybe 5 units total between summer and winter, and my A1c was always higher in the winter, but that was it.

But last year (and it's looking like this year, too) I went from using 40u/day to using 80u/day and still running low/high (respectively)! If this is happening again, it's a bigger impact than hormones have for me (and I already thought THEY had a massive impact, since I need to change things by about 10u to compensate rises/falls). Which is especially annoying how mild the temperature changes are here. I often feel like my diabetes totally over-reacts to the smallest things!

I know I need a lot less insulin in the Summer, but I thought it was because I was more active. Never once thought that the cold could have an effect on it. Learning new things all the time. Hope this gets sorted for you Jen, and soon.

I woke up this morning at 7.6 (137), so hopefully I don't go so high today. Only took upping my basal 0.2 u/h and going from 1:12 to 1:8 and 2.4 to 1.6 on my ratios, plus a +20% temporary basal for eight hours, plus waking up in the middle of the night to correct. I think part of the problem is once I'm high it takes forever to get down, but once I'm down again I can hopefully stay there.

I knew temperatures affected BG but they are pretty mild here in Vancouver. Obviously there's a difference between summer and winter, but not nearly as dramatic as living in most other areas of North America!

We had frost here this morning, my bones let me know all about it. I used to have that prob of when I went high it took ages to come down, even days. Now for no reason that I know of its gone. As always its changing all the time, its like walking on quicksand. Hopefully you won't go high today Jen, stay calm and carry on.

Perhaps not the weather, but the season AND changes in your body as you age? For me, I have periodic changes to my dawn phenomenon, basals and I:C ratio. I have to always remember that life means change, whether it's diabetes or personal relationships or the graying of my hair ...

Yes, it could also be aging, hormones, and weather-related changes all coming together at once. The diabetes perfect storm! I have sometimes had points in time when my BG just went all out of whack, only to realize it was several things coming together at once to just wreak havoc.

Aging is a bit depressing! Although I am turning 31 in a month, which I suppose is older than being in my 20s was.

I think the part that I find frustrating/annoying is that this kind of "wreaking havoc" happens regularly, not only sometimes. If it was only a few times a year that would be one thing, but it seems my blood sugars go completely insane on average about once every few weeks or so, due to one thing or another (hormones, stress, activity, weather, illness, travel, etc.). And "insane" means 100% of readings out of range ... normal means maybe 50% of readings in range. It's one reason I find it hard to understand how people can ever get a great A1c, when I'm just trying to stay out of the extremes half the time! I feel like I never get a chance to "fine-tune" because I'm always working on the basics, even though I try to keep all the variables I can control (food, routine, exercise, stress) as consistent as possible in my daily life.

Anyway, that was a bit of a rant ... :) At least I think I've gotten this latest issue worked out, hopefully! I'm hoping to go swimming tonight, so we'll see if that just messes everything up again or not.

My basal rate is creeping up too with the colder weather settling in. I almost double my insulin needs in the winter time.

That's really good to know I'm not the only one!!! My blood sugar was fine all morning and then I shot up to 200+ and stayed there all afternoon (and still have barely come down much) and was feeling so cranky and frustrated at work.

Yes, I did think you were quite a bit young to worry about aging, Jen!!

But seriously, I know you do have a lot of instability to cope with and you are well entitled to rant! I don't have nearly that amount of instability but I do seem to have cycles too (of blood sugar, I mean, I'm past the other kind!). Recently I had a moderate rise in insulin needs (I used to have basals from .375 to .500 and now they are all .500 to .550) and I had 3 explanations in a row for why! One of them was cooler weather, but that didn't make much sense as they started rising in September when it was still in the 90s during the day and they hadn't had a drop in the Spring!

I've got to get it through my head that "■■■■ happens" is a cliche designed for us in a sentence starting, "When you have Type 1...". I spend a lot of time trying to figure out why something is happening instead of just slowly increasing the basals because that's what I need whatever the reason. But that's just me, I keep expecting logic! Glad you've gotten your numbers worked out (this time!)

I think my idea with wanting to know the reason is that if I know it, then maybe in the future I could prevent it. I know there is always adjusting and tweaking, but for me if I knew WHY I randomly got a reading of 50 or 250, maybe I could prevent it next time. If my excursions were more like 70 or 150 I wouldn't care so much, but I see 50s and 200s every single day (at least one, and often both).

People talk about patterns and making adjustments for variables and I feel like my diabetes is broken somehow because I don't seem to HAVE patterns ... no endo or CDE, even those who have Type 1 themselves, has ever been able to give advice about what settings to change other than, "Just keep doing what you've been doing ... at least you test a lot so you can react quickly to highs and lows!"

In a way it's reassuring, because it's not just me, but it also drives me insane at the same time. I just do NOT understand how someone can put as much effort into control as I do and still not even be able to achieve the "loose" guidelines of control (like staying 70-180 most of the time and having an A1c below 7%, both of which I can't seem to do). My schedule is virtually identical day to day and there are still no patterns. To me, there must be SOMETHING, some variable or something (or probably multiple variables), that I'm somehow missing.

Anyway, another rant over. I'm sure being 200+ for the better part of the past four days hasn't helped my mood any! I thought my blood sugars were sorted out this morning, but apparently not. Maybe tomorrow ...

How about this for evidence that weaather affects blood glucose levels: I had the 5:50 am shift handing out sample ballots at my polling place. It was 28 degrees when I got there and has now warmed up to 34! My BG was 109 when I got up at five. Just checked when I got home and it was 355!!!!! I haven't had a reading that high in many years. I ate no breakfast, was on my feet the whole time walking around handing out ballots.

It was freezing cold out there!

Thanks for the timely post. This is my 1st winter on insulin, and I was trying to figure out whether to adjust my basals or my mealtime ratios. After reading eveyone's thoughts, it may be time for the basal tweak.

I would only adjust roodgirl based on what you actually are seeing in your blood sugars. If you do see a pattern of highs at fasting, bedtime and in between meals (more than 3 hours after) I would tweak the basals for those time periods.

I wrote recently about my basal needs going up across the board in late September without knowing why so I'll just assume it's the cooler weather.

Yeah, I've been going a bit nuts trying to figure out why my fasting BG has been about 130, before dinner about 120, and before bed varying bit higher than usual. Plus all post-meals not at mega-highs but higher than I like them. I would have already boosted the basal, but my pre-lunch and afternoon snack is almost always 75-100 - thus my confusion as to which # to tinker with 1st.

But thinking back on it, I had to lower my basal when the weather got warmer. Maybe my pancreas has a savings time - change the clocks, change your insulin level! (just joking)

Guessing that it might be a bit easier dealing with the lower mid-day basal need if/when I get a pump.... Still pondering that.

Thanks for the advice!

I've come to the conclusion that most PWDs experience a seasonal change in spring and fall, and that this change may very well be due to the differences in sunlight rather than the temperature or difference in activities. My own basals and insulin to carbs ratios have just completed their changes, which started about two weeks ago.