Now that those winter holidays are over, for many of us during that time is a special time of year when we can relax with family, travel and see some friends, buy and wrap gifts, and enjoying some home cooked holiday meals and treats. It is important for all, not just diabetics, to be careful around the holiday time when choosing what to eat and more importantly how much to eat.
The holidays are typically filled with cookies, cakes, pies, doughnuts, pastries, brownies, and many more. All of those which are filled with sugar and fat which can dramatically increase ones blood sugar, which is bad for diabetes. Diabetes is the known as “starvation in the midst of plenty”, meaning that your body is telling you to eat more, but it already has an abundance of sugar, but you are consciously unaware. This pertains not only to adults, but also children, which can cause Type 1- IDDM (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) or “juvenile onset” – accounts for 15-20% of cases, people who suffer from this are typically young, thin, and prone to acidosis. With adults, Type 2- NIDDM (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus); “adult or mature onset” patients are usually obese and older. This accounts for 90% of adults with DM are type 2 and 40-50% of new onset DM in children is Type 2 and it is estimated that about 20% of type 2 diabetics are taking insulin and is more common in African-American, and Hispanic cultures.
Watching your weight during the holiday season can be difficult, but you must make sure that your BMI (body mass index) does not increase with the weight gain, which can be very important for diabetics because once there is added weight this contributes with more negative effects to diabetes. The body mass index is a person's weight in kilograms, divided by the person's height squared and in meters. A healthy body mass index is thought be anything below 25. It is a calculated number from person's weight and height that can fairly reliable indicator of body fatness for most people, but it does not measure body fat directly, but research has shown that the BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat. It is a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults but it is not a diagnostic tool.
They key is to try to stay away from the sweets and candies of the holiday and substitute it with healthier alternatives such as natural fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, and more vegetables. It may be very difficult to do so with temptation in front of you, but you must always think of your health first. Portion control is the second most important thing you can do to protect yourself from unhealthy foods and to keep your diabetes from reaching serious complications from high sugar levels such as neuropathy, poor circulation, and ulceration. Instead of eating a whole plate of food, eat a half of a plate. If you are still hungry after the half plate, then eat some salad, which is must easier for the body to break down and use as energy.
A podiatrist is the only person that is trained in a specialized field in medicine for anything concerning the lower extremity, foot and ankle, that’s why it is vital for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet. All patients being treated for diabetes should follow up with their primary doctor as well for other treatment options. If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673 - 3668.