The holidays are here! Although December might be the coldest, darkest month of the year here in Ashburn, the decorations and festive spirit help to keep our community happy despite the weather.

The holidays can present quite a few challenges for people who are trying to stick to a diet or a healthy lifestyle plan. It seems like everywhere we turn, people are offering us sugary treats or making excuses for why it’s a time to overindulge. Then there are the comfort foods that we’ve loved since we were kids. It’s the holidays, why NOT take a third helping?

One good reason to avoid this type of indulgence is that you suffer from diabetes. While it’s possible to live a long and productive life with this disease, doing so requires constant vigilance where diet and exercise are concerned. If you allow yourself to have too many “cheats” during the holidays, you could end up in the urgent care.

Unless you want to your long weekend with a scary trip to the doctor, keep these tips from the primary care physicians at Medics USA in mind!

What Is Diabetes?

Perhaps you’re reading this blog because you want to help make the holidays more enjoyable for a loved one who has diabetes. In this case, we want to quickly recap what this disease is and how it affects the daily life of a diabetic.

“Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should,” explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those who have diabetes have to be very careful to monitor what they’re eating, because sugar can quickly build up in the blood, causing serious health problems.

Tips From Our Primary Care Physicians

So how can a diabetic safely navigate the buffet table and sweets selection during the holidays? Keep these tips from our physicians in mind.

  1. Family, Not Food – The first thing to remember is that while much of our holiday celebrating revolves around food, it need not be the entire focus. Family, friends, and fun are the reasons for the season, not food. Try to incorporate board games, puzzles, long winter walks, and snowball fights into your holiday festivities, so you’re not just constantly staring at food.
  2. Bring Your Own – In situations where you’re truly worried that you might overindulge (or not be able to find a single low-carb item) don’t be afraid to bring your own snacks or beverages. If you’re worried about making your host feel awkward, just tell them before hand what you’ll be doing and why.
  3. Limit Alcohol – “If you drink alcohol, remember to eat something beforehand to prevent low blood glucose levels later,” explains The American Diabetes Association. “Avoid drinks that have high calorie mixers like regular soda, tonic, juice or margarita mix that are all packed with carbohydrate and calories.”
  4. Stay Active! – Go for a walk, do some crunches while watching a holiday movie, volunteer to shovel Grandma’s sidewalk, or simply offer to help with the dishes so that you spend just as much time standing and moving as you do sitting.

Visit Medics USA In Ashburn For Your Primary And Urgent Care Needs

If you’re a diabetic and feel like you might be experiencing negative symptoms over the holidays, don’t be afraid to call your primary care physician or come into our urgent care at your convenience.