Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Enjoy your celebrations but watch your Glucose

Happy New Year to all Asians who are celebrating their Lunar New Year today

At some point, whether on special occasions or over periods of festivity, you may find that you have higher blood glucose levels than normal. Being less active, over-indulging or changing your routine could be the reason. The odd one or two high glucose readings shouldn’t affect your long-term diabetes control or health.
Your diabetes medication

Changes in meal times can have a big impact on your timing of medications. If your diabetes is treated with insulin and you’re going to eat a meal later than usual, you may be able to delay your insulin injection until you are about to eat. You may need to have a starchy snack such as a sandwich at your usual mealtime to prevent a hypo (hypoglycaemia).

If you inject just twice a day then you cannot significantly delay your lunch, as your morning insulin covers your lunchtime meal. Your diabetes care team can offer advice on adjusting the timing of your injections.

If you are confident with adjusting your insulin you may be able to increase the amount of insulin you inject to fit in with the food you eat. Your diabetes care team will be able to offer you advice on how to do this, although there will be some element of trial and error involved.

If your diabetes is treated with food alone or food and tablets, the exact timing of your meals isn’t so crucial and you can delay your meals within reason, as long as you keep an eye on your blood glucose levels.
Physical activity

Some form of activity after a meal will help to use up the extra energy you have eaten and help to control your blood glucose levels. A brisk stroll after lunch and dinner will make all the difference and get rid of that sluggish feeling after a heavy meal. Ask your friends and family to join you, as they will benefit too – not just those with diabetes.

Fitting in some other forms of activity at social occasions can help too – what about a boogie or jive on the dance floor?
Going to parties

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t eat out or make the most of a party. It’s worth checking beforehand whether food is going to be provided so that you can make any adjustments that you feel necessary. If there are just going to be nibbles, you may need to eat a meal before you go, or have a snack if food is going to be served much later than you usually eat. Some barbecues or buffets may not have many starchy foods. If this is the case, make a beeline for the bread and don’t be afraid to ask for something else if you need some additional carbohydrate food to keep your blood glucose at the right level.

If you are going to be dancing the night away, it may be more activity than you are used to. If you take insulin or sulphonylurea tablets this will increase your chances of having a hypo. To prevent this you may need to eat extra starchy foods like bread, pasta, chapatis, plantain, rice or potatoes at your meal before any extra activity and you may need a snack during the evening. What you have depends on what is easily available – for example, a bag of crisps from the bar. Reducing your diabetes medication may also help.

Remember to always carry treatment for a hypo, such as glucose tablets, with you. Check with your healthcare team if you are unsure which type of tablet you are taking and before making any changes to your diabetes medication, as this action may not be right for you.

A good lifestyle, diet, with Dbethics a plant based health supplement developed by Swiss scientists to help you reduce your blood glucose naturally and safely
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