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: "#Levindale had a great time celebrating the season at their annual holiday party! Team members enjoyed some delicious food and great company with their colleagues. Check out below for some pictures from the festivities! #HolidayParty #Thankful #LifeBridgeHealth"
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    lifebridgehealth: "The Greater Baltimore Committee recently recognized #LifeBridgeHealth at the annual Mayor’s Business Recognition Awards Luncheon. LifeBridge Health was honored for our innovative partnership with Park Heights Renaissance in the creation of the LifeBridge Health Clean & Green Team, whose members were there and took a picture with Mayor Catherine Pugh. Executive Vice President Brian M. White accepted the award on behalf of the team.The LifeBridge Health Clean & Green Team helps improve the health of the communities served by LifeBridge Health by providing no cost landscaping services and taking on various neighborhood beautification projects.  #BmoreMayorsAwards @mayorpugh50"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Baseball Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. hit a home run during his recent visit with kids, families and team members at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. In honor of this special visitor from "Birdland," the kids had a bird-themed activity for their play date with Cal - painting birdhouses. Special thanks to the team at the Lenny "Batman" Robinson/Hope for Henry Foundation who brought baseball-related giveaways, including fleece blankets, hats and action figures. Take a look at the photos! @lbrhopeforhenry #calripken"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth was proud to be a partner for Festival of Lights celebrations this weekend. The 3rd annual JCC of Greater Baltimore’s Chanukah Hot Chocolate 5K, One-Mile Fun Run and Family Fun Day started things off on the right foot. The Celebrate Chanukah events at Foundry Row and Greetings & Readings at Hunt Valley Mall picked up the fun with lots of activities including candle making, dreidel games and singing songs. #team #chanukah"
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