Tips to Manage Diabetes During The Holidays: November is American Diabetes Month For a Reason

November 7, 2022

Person testing their blood sugar levels before heading over to AFC Urgent Care Saugus for a full checkup

In light of American Diabetes Month, AFC Urgent Care Saugus wants to help educate those at risk of developing diabetes so that they can manage their blood sugar levels and prevent full blown diabetes. Are you worried about developing diabetes? Or how about making sure your loved ones are managing their diabetes during the holiday season? 

  • 37.3 million people have diabetes
  • Approximately 96 million adults aged 18 years or older have prediabetes (This is approximately one third of the U.S Population)
  • 23.1 million adults aged 65 years or older have prediabetes

Here’s what you should know about diabetes and tips on how to manage it in time for the holiday sweets and treats.


What is diabetes and how does it affect the body?

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which a person’s blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels are higher than normal. Insulin (a hormone produced in the pancreas) normally helps to lower blood glucose levels. When a person has diabetes, they either don’t produce enough insulin or their body cannot use the insulin it produces. Diabetes can be either type 1 or type 2.


Types of Diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Both types of diabetes can cause similar symptoms, including increased urination, extreme thirst, and unexplained weight loss. However, the causes of the two types of diabetes are very different. 


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. This means your own immune system attacks the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin. It usually begins to develop in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood. Type 1 is thought to be caused by a combination of genetics and an environmental factor that has not yet been identified. 


The most common type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas is able to produce insulin, but the cells in the body are unable to use it properly. This happens when fat builds up and blocks insulin receptors on the surface of cells. Type 2 diabetes is generally a result of poor lifestyle choices (specifically, a diet high in sugar and fat and low in exercise).


Managing diabetes during the holidays

People with diabetes may worry about being able to manage their condition during the holidays, when there is a lot of food and sugar around. However, with a few minor adjustments to their lifestyle, most people with diabetes are able to enjoy the holidays just as much as everyone else. 


What is important is to be conscious of your diet and make sure you are eating healthy and nutritious foods that won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike. It is a good idea to test your blood sugar levels (a1c blood test) more frequently during this time of year to make sure they are not going too high. Remember to also take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. If you are concerned because you aren’t able to manage your diabetes during the holidays, there is no shame in asking for help. Your doctor may be able to adjust your medication or suggest other ways to make sure your blood sugar levels stay in a healthy range.


Exercise is important for your health, and especially for your diabetes!

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Regular exercise can help you lose weight, lower your blood sugar, and reduce your risk of heart disease. People with diabetes benefit from exercise just as much as anyone else. It can help you reduce your blood glucose levels, lose weight, and strengthen your muscles.  


It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, avoid or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, strengthen your heart, and reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. If you have diabetes, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. Your doctor may also recommend that you see a diabetes educator. They can help you create an exercise program tailored to your needs.


AFC Urgent Care Saugus Offers a1c blood tests to help you monitor your blood sugar levels 

Having diabetes is a serious condition, but more often than not it is also very manageable with the right care and attention. With the proper diet, medication, and exercise, many people with diabetes are able to lead long and healthy lives. If you are at risk for diabetes, or have been diagnosed with the condition, it is important to make these lifestyle changes as soon as possible as well as get your a1c levels checked regularly. 


AFC Urgent Care Saugus is here to help keep your a1c/blood sugar levels in check. We are open 7 days a week and offer appointments online.

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