Tips on Managing Diabetes
Managing diabetes during the
holidays can be a challenge for the 29 million Americans affected by the
disease. Between social engagements and extra slices of pumpkin pie, people
with diabetes need to plan accordingly.
“The holidays can be a time of anxiety for
people with diabetes because it is so focused on food,” said Kristen Gill Hairston, M.D., associate professor of endocrinology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “With
planning and preparation, they can stay healthy while traveling and enjoying
holiday gatherings with friends and family.”
Hairston offers ways to manage
diabetes from the American Diabetes
Feasts and Parties
- Minimize finger foods packed with calories and carbs and
instead try fresh choices like veggies and hummus.
- Select side dishes that are light on butter,
dressing and other fats and sugars.
- If everything looks appetizing, take small servings or
"samples" of several dishes.
- Offer to bring a dessert that is diabetes-friendly and easy
to portion out.
- Keep in mind that alcoholic beverages contain carbohydrates
and will affect your blood sugar.
- Keep a quick-acting source of glucose nearby along
with an easy-to-carry snack such as a nutrition bar.
- Try to minimize extended periods of time with no food intake.
- Don’t put insulin in checked baggage where it could be
affected by severe changes in pressure and temperature.
- Adjust your insulin pump’s clock if
you change time zones.
physically active is another component of staying healthy around the holidays,”
said Hairston. The holidays are a great time to catch up with loved ones during
an after-dinner stroll, enjoy several hours walking through shopping outlets or
deep cleaning your home in preparation for holiday guests. How you move is not
nearly as important as continuing to be active.”