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‘Tis the Season for Celebrating … with Diabetes!

Do holiday cookies make you feel like a diabetes rookie? Avoiding blood sugar spikes on your new exercise bike? Taking carbs into account while you shop holiday discounts? Doing a bolus calculation while enjoying a holiday libation?

… we could spend the entire day word-smithing diabetes and holiday phrases (and maybe we should), but it’s important to have the information you need to celebrate the holidays in style and good health, and we’re here to help.  Managing diabetes during the holidays might sound tricky, but it can be done. Here are some things to keep in mind while you work your way through December and into the New Year —

Be mindful of your grazing. It’s fun to graze and taste at holiday celebrations, and keeping track of those snacks can be a challenge when you’re being social, but do your best to be mindful of what you’re eating. Using an insulin pump, smart pen, or insulin-tracking smartphone app is a great way to keep tabs on what you’ve eaten and what you’ve bolused for.

Watch out for “sugar free” treats. Even if something is marked as sugar free, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t include carbs, so be sure to count carbs carefully and dose appropriately. (Also, beware of eating too many desserts that are sugar free, as they may contain sorbitol or other sugar substitutes, which can have a gastrointestinal effect that is decidedly less-than-festive.)

Keep moving. ‘Tis almost the season for new year’s resolutions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start early. One of the best ways to stay sharp and healthy this holiday season is to exercise regularly. Go for a walk after dinner each night, jump rope in your garage, or build a snowman with your family; not all exercise needs to be structured and timed! Get moving and do what makes you feel good.

Drink! Water. Drink a lot of water at your celebration. It will help keep you hydrated and for adults who drink alcohol, water helps keep dehydration and hangovers to a minimum.

Have visions of sugarplums. Yes, make sure you’re sleeping, too. It’s important to get a good night’s sleep, especially during the whirly winter season, so make sleep a priority by keeping screens out of the bedroom, stop using your computer or tablet at least an hour before bedtime, and keep your room cool and comfortable for sleep.

Our CWD family offered some tips on how they survive the holidays with diabetes along for the ride.  Here’s what they had to say:

“Guesstimate or measure but remember to check and treat the numbers … if you check regularly, you will have a chilled night time.”

“Keep mindset in the right place. The holidays are not a free for all. But must be enjoyed. Think of all the goodies like liquor…. ENJOY RESPONSIBLY. .. your future self will thank you … Big Hug!”

“When it all gets a bit much, take a deep breath and focus on one single happy thought.”

“Our T1D exchange student is on multiple daily injections and is interested in going untethered over the holidays so that she can more easily dose and still feel like she has the freedom to move around and do things. As it’s her first Christmas after being DX’d, we’re excited for her to try something new, but are still encouraging her to do what she feels is right for her self-management. As a T1D myself, I find that micro-bolusing and micro-(food) corrections are very helpful AND give me the feeling like I can still snack.”

“I’ve found that increasing the basal rate a little bit can help offer more coverage when I’m grazing at parties.”

“I find that party games and sing-alongs are very easy on my blood sugars, so I put more focus there than on the cookie tray!”

However you celebrate, we wish our CWD family a very happy holiday season!

Published: December 23, 2020
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The CWD Editorial team is always hard at work to bring you the latest in diabetes research and news, as well as the info you need to live well with diabetes.

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