Holidays Bring Special Challenges to People With Diabetes - 8 News NOW

Paula Francis, Anchor

Holidays Bring Special Challenges to People With Diabetes

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Channel 8 is expanding our commitment to community health with a weekly feature called Dealing with Diabetes. We will look at causes and treatments, and daily maintenance in hopes of spreading the word about this serious disease.

Thanksgiving begins several weeks of holiday festivities, most of which are celebrated with a big emphasis on food. For those with diabetes, holiday eating comes with special challenges.

Everywhere you go this time of year desserts are in abundance and while it's not good for anyone to overdo it, it is critical for someone with diabetes to know their limits.

Las Vegas dietitian Cindy Closser says none of the food groups need to be excluded. The key is moderation because many different foods are loaded with sugary carbohydrates.

Cosser said, "It's mainly found in your grains -- breads, rolls, potatoes, rice, pastas. Of course, your cakes, sweets, desserts, fruits, and also dairy - milk."

With a traditional holiday feast coming up, many of us will try to skip meals to save room for the big feast. But this can lead to an unhealthy drop in blood sugar levels.

"So, it's really important to follow your meal plan and try to get exercise," Cosser continued. 

Bob Maxwell is publisher of Diabetic Life of Las Vega. He is himself a diabetic and the disease runs in his family. Bob has learned to be especially vigilant this time of year.

"I check my blood 4 to 6 times a day during the holidays cause I've got to figure out what my body's doing," Bob said.

Diabetics should try to follow these tips:

  • Maintain consistent meal times.
  • Increase glucose monitoring times.
  • Look for dessert recipes that contain less sugar.
  • Use portion control, smaller is always better during the holidays.

Overeating can also cause headaches, or lead to something much worse.

Bob Maxwell continued, "So, if your blood sugars go high, it's like pumping sludge through your body. If it's 300 for example, it's like caro syrup going through your body. You don't want that. You want to stay in your range, 80 to 120 in that area. So, you've got to take the responsibility."

Cindy Closser also points out that just because something is sugar-free, doesn't mean it's healthy. Some sugar-free pies, for example, can still be high in fat.

Click here for information and holiday recipes from Diabetic Life of Las Vegas.

You can email your comments to the Eye on Health team:
Anchor Paula Francis or Medical Producer Rick Andrews

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