‘Tis the Season: Managing Diabetes During the Holidays


Farah H. Morgan, MD

By Farah H. Morgan, MD
Endocrinologist, Ripa Center for Women’s Health and Wellness

For those who have diabetes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle around the holidays remains just as important, as optimal diabetes control helps to reduce the risk of complications from diabetes and minimizes the medications needed to control diabetes. Being in control of your diabetes is a daily challenge and managing diabetes around social events and family gatherings, especially during the holidays, can be particularly challenging.

Making family and friends aware of your restrictions may help, as they may be less likely to pressure you to have a second helping or try that dessert. You can still enjoy the foods you like but monitor your portions and eat more vegetables than carbohydrates. If you feel you need seconds, go for a second portion of non-starchy vegetables or protein. If you eat more than usual on an occasion, get right back on track. And make sure to stay active through the holidays, as exercise is very important to good glucose control. If you maintain a few ground rules, you can have control through the holidays and all year round.

Over 29 million people in the United States have diabetes and about 8 million of them don’t even know it. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented, especially if risk is recognized early. Increasing age, weight, race, family history, and history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) are all risk factors for type 2 diabetes. It is important to know your risk because you can prevent development of type 2 diabetes with weight loss, healthy eating, and increasing physical activity. Regardless of your risk, it is recommended that everyone over the age of 45 be screened for prediabetes. Prediabetes is early insulin resistance before glucose levels are high enough to be called diabetes. At this stage, lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by more than 60 percent.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Morgan, call the Ripa Center at 856.673.4912.

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