Stephanie Alsbrook, RD, LD – Program Leader, Diabetes Self-Management Program
Many patients with diabetes become discouraged around the holidays. With all the pies, cookies, cakes and other no-no’s, managing blood sugar can be a real challenge. But there is so much to be thankful for.
- Technology has brought us blood glucose meters that can be used at home, insulin pens that are easy to use and transport, insulin pumps that provide insulin 24 hours a day, and so much more! This technology has improved the lives of millions of people with diabetes.
- Advancements in the understanding of how diet affects diabetes has led to carbohydrate counting. This method of diet management allows patients to enjoy a variety of foods. Patients can choose their favorite foods to include on their menus using carbohydrate counting and portion control. One patient may prefer baked chicken and whole grain rice, while another may prefer salmon and vegetables. As long as each patient stays within their carbohydrate limits, either dish is great. In addition, carbohydrate counting allows for small portions of desserts on special occasions, which is helpful this time of year!
The holidays can also be a hard time for patients with diabetes to maintain their exercise routines. However, this time of year, exercise is easy to find! Family often visits – go outside and play with the kids. Pull out your boxes of decorations and get busy! Go shopping – there is plenty of walking and believe me, good deals can get your heart rate up! Exercise helps to lower blood glucose and burn energy, so it is important all year long.
So, for National Diabetes Month – don’t get discouraged – get motivated and enjoy this special time of year!
If you need more help with your diabetes management, contact the Baptist Health Diabetes Self Management Program at (501) 202-1877.