Winter is coming and as the days dwindle down we inch closer to finals week.
This is what I would consider school hell week. Throughout my four years in high school and now my three years of college, I have always thought the week before finals was worse than finals itself.
All teachers pile on the end of year curriculum on their students all at once and we are all stuck with projects and tests the week before finals. It doesn’t make much sense, you would think they would finish their lectures and leave those assignments for the last week … but they don’t.
Now we essentially have two very challenging weeks to get through before the fun of winter break. This time of year is always very challenging for me and I wonder if other diabetics feel the same.
As the sun goes down earlier, the weather gets worse and I get more and more assignments. I find it very challenging to stay active and go outside as homework and stress piles on. This can greatly affect my health as a diabetic.
The first issue arises if I remain stagnant. Not being active can be a big contributor to high glucose levels. A new study from the University of Bath shows that long-term inactivity significantly increases blood sugar levels even if you reduce your food intake. They found that inactivity in their non-diabetic participants raised blood glucose levels by 6% during the day and 10% at night.
Since I am a diabetic and I don’t naturally produce insulin, being inactive can affect me even worse and it shows. When I don’t work out or get outside throughout the day, I can see on my Dexcom G7 that my blood sugar is significantly worse.
Another issue I face during finals week is stress.
According to the National Library of Medicine, experiencing persistent high glucose levels could be influenced by stress. Blood sugars rise due to hormones released in the body in response to stress. They also found that general stress can raise hemoglobin A1C levels, (three-month average of a person’s blood glucose levels) while major stress can be a leading contributor to rapid rising of blood sugar levels.
These things add up and can greatly affect diabetics. It is hard to be active when hiding from the cold in a library while grinding out homework constantly. It is also nearly impossible to just magically get rid of stress when getting good grades is the constant standard that we are taught.
I try to get up and move around when I can but that sometimes just simply is not enough. Throughout the years I always see trends of worsened blood glucose levels around winter time and it is now my goal to find better ways to combat this growing issue.
Maybe by next semester I’ll find an answer and I’ll make sure to give it to the public. As I said before and as the Starks always say, “Winter is Coming.” But as I always say, “It’ll be chill.”
Header Photo: Courtesy Luke Jackson
Write to Luke Jackson at Luke.email@example.com