Handling the Holidays with Diabetes

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the holiday season can be a dangerous time.

Our holiday celebrations often center around sugar and carbohydrate heavy dishes, which can make safely partaking difficult. And should you decide to overindulge, you could be facing trouble in the long run; a study from the American Diabetes Association found that the holiday season and holiday foods are associated with increases in both HbA1c and cholesterol in people with diabetes.

So how can you safely enjoy your holiday parties? We've got a few tips to help you manage your blood sugars:

Stick To Your Schedule

The idea of waking up on Christmas morning to exercise is outrageous to a good many people. However, if you work out every morning, why would December 25th be different?

When you have diabetes, you need to be very careful with your body. Often that means sticking to a routine – you take your medication, exercise, and test your blood sugars at the same time every day. Changing that routine could throw your blood sugar for a loop, leading to a high or low that you won't want to deal with while everyone else opens their presents. Do your best to keep your schedule as consistent as possible, even over the holidays.

Plan Ahead

If you are hosting the holiday dinner, you will have control over the menu. Take some time to plan your holiday meal, approximate your carb intake and determine how much insulin (if you take insulin) you will need to correct for the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. This way, a high or low can't catch you by surprise.

Even if you aren't the host, you can ask whoever is serving dinner what they plan to make. If you budget correctly, you'll be able to enjoy all your favorite foods without having to worry about how your body will react. Bon appetit, and happy holidays!

Source: Cleveland Clinic

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