Saturday 15 June, 2019

Tips for Diabetics during the Holiday season

Blood sugar monitoring tools. (Internet image)

Blood sugar monitoring tools. (Internet image)

Everyone needs to watch their diet at Christmas, but for diabetics there's a special need to be vigilant during the Holiday season.

Loop learnt that a recent sudden death victim was a 22-year-old diabetic. According to reports, he experienced Hypoglycemia, however, an autopsy has not been conducted as yet. Hypoglycemia is a condition which m ay happen if you don't eat as much food as usual after taking diabetes medication, or if you exercise more than you normally would. Apparently, the young man had spent the day prior golfing. Hypoglycemia occurs when a diabetics blood sugar dips too low. 

He passed away in his vehicle on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. 

In light of the Holiday season, the Barbados Diabetes Foundation has offered a series of tips for diabetics to abide by to navigate this period safely.

1. Stay active and hydrated

Staying active and well hydrated can help you control your blood sugar during the holiday season.

Increasing physical activity during the holiday season can help you prevent holiday weight gain and also help your body to utilise food a bit better. 
Also, enjoy holiday drinks in moderation. Staying hydrated and drinking water is important for our overall health and well-being plus it will help you reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume through liquids. 

2. Check your blood sugar more frequently during the holiday season

It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities with friends and family, but don’t forget to check your blood sugar levels. Leading up to Christmas Day, many people are working extended hours and performing additional tasks and chores at home. Be mindful of these changes to your daily routine and make the necessary preparations. Don’t let longer work hours prevent you from eating and taking medication on time (especially if you take insulin). The extra activity at work and at home can also cause your blood sugar to drop. Always check your blood sugar frequently and have fast acting carbohydrates nearby in case of Hypoglycaemia.

On Christmas Day, carbohydrates can quickly add up and overindulging can skyrocket your blood sugar levels. Be smart about your portions and cut back if your blood sugar is on the high side.

3. Pay attention to portions

It's not just what you eat, it's also about how much when looking to control your blood glucose. 

The size of your portions will play a crucial part in controlling your blood sugar. Another thing to remember is that small portions of several foods can add up to quite a bit of carbohydrates which will raise your blood sugar. For example, small portions of rice, macaroni pie, sweet potato pie, potato salad, stuffing and a glass of sorrel can easily add up. Don’t forget to be mindful of the sauces (such as BBQ or honey glazed).

4. Know your own limits

Every diabetic is different and you need [to] figure out the balance of different foods that work for you.

With just [days] left until Christmas Day, we are putting together tips to help you control your blood sugar level throughout the season. 

It's easy to get carried away around this time. Knowing how certain foods and portions affect your blood sugar will play an important role in blood sugar management.

Loop extends sincere condolences to the family of Frederick Mulligan.

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