Planning between holidays to beat diabetes
’Twas the week after Thanksgiving and all through the house the decorations were hung and she couldn’t fit into her blouse. The stockings were hung and the lights turned on bright; she couldn’t believe all that she gobbled down last night.
Aunt Ginny’s casserole was gone long ago; she tried all the desserts because someone said so. The potatoes and rolls were ancient history and why her blood sugars were high was just a mystery.
Well, if you found yourself in that short rhyme, you are not alone. Unmindful eating over the holidays is something that takes many people by surprise when checking blood sugars or stepping on the scale.
Here are some facts. A person without diabetes or even prediabetes is able to handle fluctuations in the amount of sugar in the blood; please note that I said a person WITHOUT diabetes. All of the body systems function on a delicate balance. Its like having a digestive system and pancreas that sees 20/20 or has excellent hearing.
The figures are closing in on one in three people have a genetic trait and a certain lifestyle that upsets that delicate balance between what is eaten and how the body uses the food or fluid. When that apple cart is wobbling and turned on its side, all bets are off. The balance is broken and will need a lot of attention to stay stable.
If someone broke their leg, they would use crutches to get around. If they can’t see road signs or fine print, they need glasses. If they can’t hear well, they use hearing aids. With diabetes correcting that delicate balance between blood sugar and insulin in the body is not that simple.
Unmindful eating can rock the apple cart and send blood sugars sky high. Not taking certain medications at the correct time and amount can cause those apples to shoot for the moon. The stress of the holidays often tosses a person with diabetes and their blood sugars into another universe.
If only that person realized that moving their body with regular exercise could keep the apple cart on a steady and stable course. Just getting worked up and worrying about extra pounds and elevated blood sugars can make the situation worse.
Thanksgiving is behind us. There are many family gatherings ahead before the first of the new year. Friends and neighbors often show their love and appreciation with food and drinks. I am as guilty of this tradition as anyone else.
Now is the time for planning and commitment. Between now and January 1 plan to keep that delicate balance in check. With or without diabetes plan to eat every 3 to 5 hours; a meal should not last for 3 to 5 hours. Stop swallowing everything in sight. Make a conscious effort to control your intake with mindful eating.
She sprang to her scale, to herself gave a shout, and that delicate balance was what she was excited about. But I heard her exclaim, ‘ere she checked on her sugar meter, “Happy Christmas to all, and diabetes won’t beat her!”
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator and a registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital, Orrville. Contact her at email@example.com or 330–684-4776.