Navigating the Holidays with Diabetes
- Written by Max Paterson
During the upcoming months, families and friends will get together to eat, drink, and be merry. For people with diabetes, big meals and busy schedules mean staying aware of maintaining good health. So instead of getting stressed, create routines and priorities that allow you to enjoy yourself. Here are a few tips you can use to help.
1. Take Your Prescriptions
Maintaining healthy routines during the holidays can be a struggle, and most of these guidelines are not diabetes-specific. First: take your prescribed medicine as prescribed. Set daily reminders on your phone. There are many apps to track your prescriptions to make sure you don’t forget. Neglecting your medication can get you off on the wrong foot.
2. Maintain a Regular Eating Schedule
Don’t skip meals! Instead, eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with three to four hours in between. If your meals occur at odd times, bring snacks along to have while you wait. It’s tempting to skip a meal for the sake of a bigger one later, but fluctuating blood sugar can take your mood and energy for a stressful ride.
3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Don’t wait for the New Year to get yourself into action. If you’re eating more than usual, get your body moving, even if it’s only for a walk. Exercise helps lower your blood sugar and insulin resistance, which can help balance any treats you may be indulging in. Also, don’t let the cold weather be an excuse! YouTube has plenty of yoga, bodyweight, and other exercise videos to help keep you active indoors.
4. Prioritize Desserts
That’s right: you don’t need to abstain from special treats completely. You can’t eat every dessert, but if your grandmother makes an incredible apple pie, then make sure to have a slice. Take note of the desserts you love most, and abstain from the rest. Then, by prioritizing desserts or treats, you can stay on top of your blood sugar and indulge safely.
5. What about Alcohol?
Remember to drink responsibly and not excessively. Alcohol still has calories! Avoid high-calorie, high fat, and sugary drinks like egg nog. Be sure to eat and do not drink on an empty stomach. It is also important to be mindful, as, with some medications, you should avoid alcohol. If you are unsure, check with your provider ahead of time.
6. Test Blood Sugar Regularly, but No Need for Compulsion
When it comes to testing your blood sugar, you want to aim for a healthy awareness, not obsessive anxiety. The CDC recommends testing your blood sugar every morning, before every meal, and two hours after every meal. Listen to your physician and follow general guidelines. Note that most people do not need to test that often unless on insulin or A1C is elevated. Once again, it’s always good to speak with your physician or health care provider and follow their instruction. Your healthcare team will work with you to put together an individualized plan. Try putting reminders on your phone or consider using a pillbox to keep everything organized.
7. Portion Control
An excellent guide to portion control is the diabetes plate method. Fill half of your plate with starchy green vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and a quarter with carb-rich foods. This is a general rule, and you will have the best idea of how your body reacts to different portions of food. Make sure to ask a medical professional if you aren’t sure. Then, use your experience and the guidelines to enjoy a bit of everything!
8. Look Up Diabetes-friendly Recipes
Need a great way to control what goes into your body? Make some dishes yourself. No one is going to look out for you better than you. Consider using sugar substitutes in any sweet recipe to ensure your blood sugar stays in check. The ADA and Diabetes Self Management websites have recipes for every meal, including appetizers and snacks. On Diabetes Self Management alone, there are over 900 recipes. You’ll be able to find something you like. If you don’t have the best culinary skills, consider sending recipes to the head chef.
The holidays are a time of joy for you and your loved ones. Instead of worrying about whether your diabetes will get the best of you this year, plan to be aware and prepared to take care of yourself. With gift-giving, holiday dinners, and the uncle who brings up the strangest topics of conversation, your plate is full. Make sure that diabetes is not one of the stresses interfering with your holiday spirit.
WellNow Allergy Brings Convenience and Flexibility to Allergy Testing and Immunotherapy
- Written by none
There is a critical need for easier access to allergy services in the United States, as the number of board-certified allergists currently represents only a small fraction of all practicing physicians. In Western New York, one of the most allergic and asthmatic regions in the country, the shortage of allergy doctors and clinics has become particularly pronounced as incidences of environmental allergies and asthma continue to rise year over year. Allergy patients in Western New York typically face an average six-week wait to see an allergy doctor with little flexibility to cancel or change appointments if needed, and to schedule immunotherapy visits at times that don’t interfere with work, school and everyday life.
WellNow Allergy, an affiliate of leading urgent care provider WellNow Urgent Care, is now accepting patients in Western New York to provide allergy sufferers of all ages with convenient, on-demand access to allergy testing and immunotherapy. Children and adults interested in seeing an allergist to diagnose and treat their environmental allergies can schedule an initial appointment and same-day allergy test with Dr. Jeanne Lomas, Director of Allergy & Immunology, at WellNow Allergy’s Clarence or Orchard Park centers. Follow-up allergy shots, if needed, can be scheduled at any of WellNow Urgent Care’s seventeen locations in Western New York.
“A six-week wait to see an allergist is simply unacceptable, especially when proper diagnosis and treatment of allergies can make such a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life,” said Jeanne Lomas, D.O., Director of Allergy & Immunology at WellNow Allergy. “That’s why I’m so proud to introduce a more accessible and convenient experience. WellNow Allergy patients can go online to schedule an appointment with us within three weeks. Even more important, perhaps, is that patients needing allergy immunotherapy will have the option to go to a WellNow Urgent Care location that is convenient for them, on a day and at a time that fits their schedule.”
Dr. Jeanne Lomas attended the University at Buffalo for undergraduate studies and completed her medical degree at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie. She completed her pediatric residency, chief residency and allergy fellowship training at the University of Rochester. Most recently, she held a dual appointment at the University of Rochester in the department of Pediatric Allergy & Immunology as well as the department of Allergy, Immunology & Rheumatology. During her time at the University of Rochester, Dr. Lomas treated both adult and pediatric patients and served as clinical director for Pediatric Allergy & Immunology and co-director of the Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) program.
For more information about WellNow Allergy, including locations, hours of operation and insurances accepted, visit WellNow.com/Allergy.
World Heart Day
- Written by Donna Manquen
Heart disease and strokes kill approximately 19 million people every single year.
The World Heart Federation uses September 29, titled “World Heart Day,” to draw people’s attention to heart illnesses and all associated heart/health issues. This day, first created 20 years ago, aims to inform and educate individuals on risk factors, and it emphasizes the actions people can take to prevent/control heart disease.
Question: What are some risk factors that can be controlled?
Answer: Tobacco usage, lack of physical activity, an unhealthy diet
According to the World Heart Federation, by improving these three factors, about 80% of premature deaths related to heart disease and strokes can be prevented.
Dr. Brian Riegel, a Great Lakes Cardiovascular physician, recommends that older patients or those with a family history of heart issues go for a check-up regularly with a cardiovascular specialist. He offers great and easy ways for people to keep their heart healthy.
He also recommends a healthy diet and at least 30 minutes of physical activity to help improve heart health. In addition, Dr. Riegel recommends staying away from secondhand smoke/quitting smoking, managing your diabetes, managing your alcohol consumption, and minimizing your salt intake to keep your heart in shape.
On World Heart Day, take care of your ticker; you only get one!
Make sure your heart is in good hands, not only on World Heart Day, but every day. Visit Great Lakes Cardiovascular and schedule an appointment with an expert cardiologist today.