Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Diabetes Doesn't Have to Put a Damper on the Holidays


WebMD Health News

Dec. 20, 1999 (Atlanta) -- A holiday that highlights visions of dancing sugarplums is not exactly ideal for a diabetic. But when everybody else is feasting on the season's excess, it's hard not to climb on board. Whether a diabetic is worried about waistline, sugar intake, or both, making some resolutionsbefore New Year's may be all it takes to keep the holidays healthy and fun.

Diabetes is a disorder that affects about 16 million people in the United States. There are two types, type 1 and type 2. The first is what's generally known as insulin-dependent, meaning the patient must self-regulate the amount of insulin in the body, generally by injecting it. Insulin is a hormone that the body uses to break down sugar, or glucose. Type 2 diabetics produce insulin, but not enough to properly convert food into energy. Both types of diabetes can be dangerous.

A key to enjoying the holidays, according to many experts, is not a matter so much of what is eaten, but how much; in other words, moderation, not denial. If there is a certain food a diabetic craves, go ahead -- indulge, live a little. But that person should stay aware of his or her glucose level and regulate it as necessary.

And remember, food is not always the 'be-all and end-all' of the holidays. Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center nutritionist Gloria Elfert, MS, RD/LD, tells WebMD, "The whole thing is to enjoy the holiday, but don't go to great excess. No one expects perfection. And people can look for other ways of enjoying [the holidays], and not always with food."

Elfert says holiday or not, a diabetic should stick to their schedule. "[They] can't expect perfection during the holidays, they're going to be off a little bit, but if they test their blood sugars, they're going to be a little more aware. If they're going to take something they know is high in sugar, just take small amounts, so they don't overdue it. Keep to a routine as far as timing of ... meals and ... medication are concerned; the routine is important," she tells WebMD.

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
kenneth fujioka, md
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Article
 
Middle aged person
Tool
Home Healthcare
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
feet
Slideshow