Christmas is a Mixture of Things

by Susan Klick, MSN, RN, CNL

Christmas 2015

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





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