Have you stocked up on diabetes products for the Christmas and New Year period? Diabetics should be extra careful during the party season. This article gives a list of top tips and advice, including always carrying glucose meters.
As everyone gears up for the Christmas party season, many are looking forward to enjoying a few drinks, lots of sweet, rich food and a few late nights. While most people can party on with nothing more than a hangover and an empty wallet to deter them, diabetics are advised to be extra careful. Hypos can often follow overindulgence in food or alcohol, so it is important for diabetics to ensure their glucose meters, sugary snacks and diabetes products are not far away.
Here is some general advice for diabetics to stay healthy during Christmas:
ï‚§ Abstinence - The best advice is to abstain from drinking alcohol or eating lots of chocolate or sugary foods. If you choose to drink and change your diet at Christmas, you should be extra careful and aware of the dangers.
ï‚§ Sugary drinks and mixers - Many alcoholic drinks contain very high levels of sugar. Consuming too many of these will cause a sugar spike. Cocktails and fruit-flavoured drinks, or drinks with high-sugar mixers such as coke, should be avoided. It is a good idea for diabetics to take a diabetes monitor and insulin shot out with them and keep an eye on their sugar level throughout the evening.
ï‚§ Hangovers and hypos - The lethargic or dizzy feeling that is associated with the start of a hypo can often be mistaken for a bad hangover - be aware of this and act quickly if yourself or a friend with diabetes shows any signs of this. Pocket sized glucose meters can be carried around to check blood sugar levels and identify when a sugary snack is required. Even non-diabetics can suffer from a sugar low after a big night out, so for diabetics this is even more important.
ï‚§ Tell your friends - it is more important than ever to tell your friends about your diabetes before a night out, as it is when a diabetic may be at their most vulnerable. You don't need to make a big deal out of it, just ensure your friends know what to do if you have a hypo, and where you keep your diabetes monitor and sugary snacks, so they can locate them quickly if needed.
ï‚§ Awareness - Remember that while under the influence of alcohol, feelings and perceptions of danger are diminished, so your hypo awareness may be lower than normal.
ï‚§ Routine - Regulating glucose levels depends upon a regular and balanced routine. Any kind of fluctuations or breaks in the routine can upset the balance, even late nights without alcohol. Always be prepared.
To stock up on diabetes products or seek advice ahead of the party season, contact Healthcare4All. This specialist website offers advice both over the phone on (0113) 350 5432, and via online web chat through their website: www.healthcare4all.co.uk