Controlling diabetes over the holidays

Controlling blood sugar over the holidays

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The temptation of holiday meals can be especially hard for patients with diabetes.

But, Dr. Anupa Patel, an endocrinologist, says there are a lot of problems that can sneak up on people during the holiday, whether they are faced with diabetes or not.

For one, a lot of people skip meals before the big one on Thanksgiving Day, thinking that will at least cut back on calories. But Dr. Patel says that is not a good plan. She says eating a big meal with nothing in your stomach can shoot blood sugars way up whether a person has diabetes or not.

Another typical holiday plan is to buy sugar-free items, especially as gifts for patients with diabetes.

She says it is thoughtful and likely appreciated, but she says don't be fooled by sugar-free products.

"It's a trap," she says. "These foods would contain sugar alcohols which would also raise blood glucoses. And oftentimes, they would indulge in these so-called sugar free foods to result in diarrhea."

In fact, Dr. Patel says diarrhea can be a side effect of sugar-free indulgence even if you do not have diabetes.

Dr. Patel says if you're looking for a holiday gift for someone with diabetes, a good idea would be a basket with fruits and nuts.

And the best plan for anyone with diabetes, she says, is to enjoy your favorite foods, but in moderation. Instead of that favorite slice of pie on Thanksgiving, take just a sliver.

….good advice for the rest of us too.

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