Holidays Can Be Happy and Healthy with Diabetes

Getting together with friends and relatives is a favorite part of the holidays.

If you have diabetes, though, it’s best to add some caution to your holiday cheer. Sweets abound, and there is usually more food around than we need.

Add too much alcohol and you could be headed for trouble. Usually, when your blood sugar level drops, your liver changes stored carbohydrates into glucose to raise the level again. But if the liver is busy breaking down alcohol, it can’t help when your blood sugar level falls.

As a result, you can wind up with very low blood sugar. Alcohol also may interfere with some diabetes medications. It’s best to talk with your doctor about alcohol. You may be able to drink some alcohol — or none.

holiday foodTry these tips for happy — and healthy — holidays:

  • Eat first. Always eat before drinking any alcohol. Emphasize complex carbohydrates or proteins that will be digested and release sugar into the bloodstream slowly.
  • Take a close look. Check out everything at the dessert table before you take anything. Then make a conscious decision about what you’ll pick.
  • Balance your choices. Desserts with sugar can still be part of special occasions when you have diabetes. But remember that they count toward your total carbohydrates. You shouldn’t just add holiday desserts to what you would usually eat. Instead, cut carbohydrates elsewhere in your meal so that you can have dessert without adding to your total carbohydrates.
  • Try alternatives. Keep a nonalcoholic beverage, like a diet soda, in hand.
  • Keep alcohol in a safe range. Mix club soda with dry wine for a low-alcohol, low-sugar wine cooler.
  • Make a nighttime check. Check your blood sugar level before bed. You may need to eat a bedtime snack to avoid nighttime low blood sugar.

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

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    lifebridgehealth: "As part of national #EMSweek (May 20-26), #LifeBridgeHealth is proud to recognize and thank our many wonderful partners who work in Emergency Medical Services. We held celebration events across our system, including breakfasts at #SinaiHospital and #NorthwestHospital."
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    lifebridgehealth: "Some teams at #SinaiHospital swapped scrubs for uniforms as the "O.R. Blades" took on the "Radiology Renegades" in a recent charity basketball game. The Renegades defended their title and toppled the Blades 75-45. The game raised $1,300 to benefit the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. Thanks to everyone who played, served as referees and came out to support the teams for this great cause! #Community #Team"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Dogs may be man’s best friend, but thanks to the incredible generosity of the Adam Michael Kodeck Fund, a dog named Buddy and his handler Gigi will become best friends with families at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai. Buddy is the first dog in the pediatric pet therapy program.  The fund was established in Adam Kodeck’s memory to help children and their families going through difficult illnesses. #doglovers #dog #mansbestfriend"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Members of the #LifeBridgeHealth Leadership Academy recently installed more than 35 smoke detectors in homes as part of the American Red Cross “Sound the Alarm” initiative, a campaign to end house fires. The teams also tested smoke detectors and provided fire safety education, including evacuation plans, to families along the Liberty Road/Northern Parkway corridor. #EndHomeFires #community @americanredcross"
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