By Rhonda Pfaffly, Referral Coordinator for Lee’s Summit Physicians Group
National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country team up to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. An estimated 30.3 million people have diabetes, that’s 9.4% of the population! It was the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015.
Today I’d like to give you some tips on how to manage living with this disease and also to bring a little bit of awareness. November is a perfect month to spotlight Diabetes, not only because it is Diabetes Awareness month, but we’ve also just ate our kids stash of Halloween candy! This will be followed by Thanksgiving, which always includes Grandma’s pumpkin pie and Aunt Lois’s sweet potato casserole. Then we turn around and we have all the holiday parties, cookie exchanges at work or church(darn those cookies), Christmas dinner, oh my goodness, food overload! So as you can imagine these next few months are torture for people with diabetes with all these temptations.
Staying on Track During the Holidays
A registered dietician with Abbott states that a few simple planning strategies and nutrition swaps can help you enjoy the festivities and stay on track.
- Plan Ahead – look at restaurants online menu’s ahead of time or ask the host what they are planning on serving and suggest bringing a side dish that is a healthy addition. Stay away from dips or sauces can have hidden sugars/calories.
- Don’t skip meals – skipping meals can impact your blood glucose levels. Again, pre-planning is the key.
- Stay hydrated – Drinking water no matter if you have diabetes or not is one of the most important overall. It flushes out toxins, helps you stay hydrated and researchers have found that drinking water helps with eating fewer calories by making you feel fuller, as well as less sugar intake and cholesterol.
- Pay attention to portions – *One cup=a fist,*3 oz. = palm of your hand,*1 tablespoon= your thumb
- Move – after that turkey dinner take the kids for a walk, not only will that burn some calories but it will wear out those little ones so you can enjoy the game!
- Get back on track – if you had a little food slip up, it’s ok! Don’t feel guilty just remember to be aware at your next meal.
Since you literally have the world at your finger tips these days with Google, all kinds of helpful websites and apps on your smart phone that makes it easier for diabetics to help manage their disease. Listed below are a few websites and smartphone apps that are endorsed by our very own Cindy Aldrige, APRN, who offers special one on one Diabetic education in our office.
- www.DWLZ.com (restaurant carb information)
Helpful Smartphone apps:
- Diabetes Goal Tracker (free download)
- My Fitness Pal (free download)
- On Track Diabetes
- Glucose Buddy
Diabetics should be proactive in making sure they’re getting the proper care. This includes regular office visits to your provider every three months or as your physician advises. Each year, a physical should be done with foot exam, diabetic eye exam, immunization review, and annual lab work. These recommendations are based on the American Diabetes Association guidelines.
Lee’s Summit Physicians Group prides ourselves in taking the extra measures that insure you’ll be given the best care when it comes to any of your healthcare needs. If you would like to discuss diabetes, or have a family history and would like to be tested, please call our office at 816.554.1918 to make your appointment today!