Many people find it hard to refuse the onslaught of sweet and creamy
temptations during the holiday season. Diabetics, who must watch their sugar
intake, are no different.
They may say "No, thank you" to the department-store
Santa offering a candy cane, but then succumb to the pumpkin pie, Grandma's
cheesecake, and maybe the fruitcake that inevitably serves as the finale of any
traditional holiday feast.
Getting diagnosed with prediabetes is a serious wake-up call, but it doesn't have to mean you will definitely get diabetes. There is still time to turn things around.
“It’s an opportunity to initiate lifestyle changes or treatments, and potentially retard progression to diabetes or even prevent diabetes,” says Gregg Gerety, MD, chief of endocrinology at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, N.Y.
Making these seven changes in your daily habits is a good way to start.
But with the right game plan, people with diabetes can maintain their blood
sugar without completely depriving themselves.
In the old days, doctors thought sugar enters the blood rapidly
and aggravates already temperamental blood-sugar levels, so they warned people
with diabetes to avoid sugar at all costs. However, the majority of scientific
evidence does not support this recommendation. In fact, studies have found that
blood sugar rises no higher in response to sugar than it does to white bread,
rice, carrots, potatoes, and many other foods. Although various types of foods
do cause levels of blood sugar to respond differently, the total amount of
carbohydrates consumed is more important than the type.
Because of these findings, the American Diabetes Association
loosened its recommendations on sugar. According to the association's 1999
recommendations, sugar and sugar-containing foods can be a part of a diabetic
diet, but they shouldn't be
simply added to the diet. Rather, they should be substituted for other
carbohydrates already in the diet.
And while the green light may be music to the ears of anyone
with diabetes, it is not a license to go overboard. That's especially true
during the holidays, when worrying about gaining
weight can in itself raise blood-sugar levels. In other words, if you want
a small serving of pumpkin pie, then you must give up the baked potato with
toppings at dinner. Or have half a serving of each. You can't have one serving
If you're taking insulin, you must eat at consistent times
synchronized with the action of the insulin you're using. If you're not taking
insulin, spreading your food intake -- such as the day's allotment of
carbohydrates -- throughout the day helps you avoid large increases in blood
sugar that might otherwise occur.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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