Six Tips for Managing Diabetes during the Holidays

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Six Tips for Managing Diabetes during the Holidays

For many of us, the holiday season is a joyous time of festive get-togethers and gatherings with family and friends. For those with diabetes, it can also be a time of frustration and present added difficulties when trying to manage blood sugar levels. Many variables can affect blood sugar. Food, exercise, medications, illness, stress and pain are all factors that can contribute to lower or higher blood sugar (glucose).

During the holiday season, eating healthy can be particularly challenging with more desserts, larger portion sizes and increased social pressure. Diabetes Nurse Educator Lisa Levinson, RN, CDCES, shares her six tips for navigating the holiday season with diabetes.

  1. Watch your carbohydrates and eat smaller portions. Desserts can be high in carbohydrates, so keep portion sizes small. Remember, just because something is sugar-free does not mean it is carbohydrate-free. When possible, select protein options which can help you feel full quicker and have less effect on blood sugar.
  2. Bring a supportive friend to help you make healthy decisions.
  3. Practice politely declining if you are worried about being pressured to eat certain foods.
  4. Take a healthy dish with you to the holiday party.
  5. Forgive yourself for slip-ups. Too much guilt when having a treat can result in overindulging.
  6. Avoid consuming too much alcohol. The risk of low blood sugar increases when drinking alcohol. The effects of alcohol and low blood sugar may also appear similar and it can be confusing to distinguish between them. Feeling disoriented, dizzy and sleepy can be symptoms of both. If you plan to drink alcohol, always pair with food. Check your glucose levels if you experience low blood sugar symptoms, including shakiness, dizziness, irritability or confusion.

Overlake offers one-on-one education as well as two-part classes to help people learn practical skills to manage diabetes, including medication, meal planning, glucose monitoring and more. Classes are taught by certified diabetes educators. Please see your healthcare provider for a referral. Learn more about diabetes education at Overlake or call 425.688.5111.

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