All of these tips are from my personal experience. I have lived in the French Alps for four winter seasons, so I hope these tips help you!
1. The cold can increase insulin absorption time
When it is cold our blood vessels constrict. This means there is a smaller surface area for insulin to absorb into the blood.
This can cause spikes after eating, so it might be a good idea to inject a little while before eating to allow absorption time.
2. Everyone’s sugars react differently
Skiing uses a lot of energy, so most expect more hypo’s. However, with slower insulin absorption and potential adrenaline spikes from nerves, sugars can spike unexpectedly.
Remember sugar levels do not have to be in range 100% of the time, so my advice is to keep a close eye on your levels and take small correction doses when necessary. Try not to rage bolus if you have high levels!
3. Carry a decent snack
Don’t just shove a couple biscuits in your pocket and think this will be enough (speaking from experience here).
Take fast acting glucose, like glucose tablets or Kendal Mint Cake which are easy to fit into a pocket.
Also take some complex carbs with you like a energy bar or some biscuits.
You are going to need access to a substantial snack, so make sure you have money with you to buy food/drinks.
4. Store your insulin right
When skiing, keep your insulin in a pocket closer to your body to prevent it from freezing.
Thermal pockets might be better than pockets in your outside layer!
Another tip is to consider the temperature of your accommodation. Often chalets, apartments and hotel rooms are really hot, so make sure your insulin is in a cooler part of the room or the fridge.
5. CGM’s/FGM’s and the cold
Sometimes CGM’s/FGM’s do not like the cold and might display ‘sensor too cold’.
Always carry your finger stick monitor so you have a way of checking your levels. And of course make sure you have strips and needles for the duration of your day and trip!
Thank you for reading my top tips on skiing with t1d! I hope you found this useful. Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!