For most Americans the upcoming holiday season has an emphasis on special meals, which can make it hard for people living with diabetes to feel like they can celebrate while carefully maintaining their health.
The American Diabetes Association has some tips for managing diabetes during the holidays, which include working with your diabetes educator to adjust to changes in mealtimes, staying physically active in between meals (for example go for a family walk), and plan your snacks, if necessary, bringing along snacks for yourself if you are headed to a party and know you will have to wait for the meal to be served.
When it comes down to sitting in front of that gorgeous holiday meal, diabetics should be mindful of eating smaller portions by thinking of “taking samples” of high-carbohydrate offerings, being selective about what they choose to put on their plates (remember you don’t have to eat everything offered!), and eat plenty of healthy vegetables, and offer to bring a low-carb vegetable dish if your host wasn’t planning one.
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is the best way for people living with diabetes to manage their health during the holidays and at all times. Continuous glucose monitoring is achieved with a wearable device that provides constant updates on blood glucose numbers. CGM can alert a diabetic to glucose spikes but even more importantly will help you avoid spikes in either direction. Consuming more carbohydrates of the “wrong” type during a holiday meal could elevate blood glucose levels but on the flip side, if you do not know how high the number is, too much insulin can create fatal lows.
CGM not only displays blood glucose numbers, but the device can reduce the anxiety of missing out on the holiday cheer when you need to stop and take a test.
Many people who have never had a CGM device before are hesitant to try it because the technology can seem intimidating. We can all be cautious about making a change when we’ve been doing it one way for a long time! Core Heath Partners diabetes education program, which is certified by the American Diabetes Association, teaches participants how to use a CGM device and the accompanying app on their phone.
Did you know most health insurance plans, Medicaid and Medicare pay for diabetes education? Core Health’s skilled nutritionists can take you through calibrating your device and teach you how to use it. The advantage of CGM is more information, which can be used to better manage your diabetes, improving your health and ultimately giving you a longer life with diabetes. For more information, contact us here.