by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL
First, we at the Outpatient Diabetes and Nutrition Services office at St. Anthony’s Medical Center would like to wish each of you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy 2016!
Christmas is a mixture of many things – presents, excitement, food, drink, travel, guests, worry, stress – especially if this is your first Christmas with diabetes. Celebrating Christmas is not just a time for presents but also about food. We all eat a lot more than we should and we tend to eat more of the sort of food that is not exactly ideal for people with diabetes. You can’t really take a day off from diabetes but it is also important to remember that Christmas is a time to be enjoyed with family and friends.
Thing to Remember!
- Stress tends to raise blood sugars
- Eating more than usual can raise blood sugars
- Exercise lowers blood sugars, so a walk after a big Christmas dinner will help to lower them.
- Avoid keeping extra food around to nibble on.
- Stay active – exercise reduces stress, burns excess calories and helps control blood sugars.
- Pamper yourself! Whether by taking a relaxing bath or curling up with a book, make time for yourself. Get plenty of rest to prevent holiday tiredness.
- Plan! Make sure that you have enough medication/insulin to cover the Christmas/new Year holidays.
If you take insulin or medications that can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) remember the following tips:
- Excitement tends to lower blood glucose levels (especially if you take insulin).
- Try to keep meal times as near as possible to your usual times but if meals are later, then you need to remember to have a snack.
- Maintain your blood glucose testing schedule as much as possible and test more often if you are eating more frequently or at irregular times.
A word (or two) about Alcohol:
- Alcohol lowers blood glucose levels, not just while drinking, but for 24 hours afterwards!
- Drink in moderation (good advice for all).
- Limit yourself to 1 or 2 drinks
- Drink alcohol with food, not by itself. Make it part of a meal.
- Do not drive after drinking alcohol
Be safe and healthy this Christmas!
Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust