Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
The holiday season is a special time to gather with friends and family
and take some time out to enjoy ourselves. In keeping with the season, I thought
we should spend a few minutes discussing taking care of your diabetes during the holidays.
First and foremost, remember to enjoy yourself!
Get caught up in the festivities - the decorations, the music, the gatherings.
Too often, we focus simply on the food- and there's so much more. Consider
starting a new tradition in your family- one that involves arts and crafts, or
supporting a charity organization. Do something you've never done before -
something involving physical activity. Maybe try snow shoeing, or cross country
skiing (of course this will depend on your underlying health), or taking a late
night walk around your neighborhood to see the lights. These simple and
wonderful things help to keep the holidays simply wonderful!
OK, so you make some changes and realize that
there are ways to stay fit and active during the holidays. But, let's face it,
everywhere you go there's food. What do you do? Well, remember the golden rule -
"Everything in Moderation."
Pick and choose your battles.
When confronted with
holiday delights, realize that you are human and proceed accordingly.
one item you absolutely must splurge and put a small amount of it on your plate,
guilt free. But now, remember that it is on your plate and avoid the other
things on that buffet table that you don't really want or need.
Fill your plate
will healthy things (you'll always find veggies).
If you know ahead of time that
you will be in a situation of temptation, plan your day accordingly.
at home and consider filling up on good nutritious foods before you go out, in
order to minimize cravings.
When going to a dinner party, there is certainly no
reason why you shouldn't let your host/hostess know of any dietary restrictions
you may have in advance. Most people appreciate knowing there are any specific
needs so that they can make their guests comfortable. It may be something as
simple as setting out an artificial sweetener with the coffee.
Another important thing to remember is that
alcohol does have calories and can interfere with medications. If you have
specific questions about how much you can drink on certain medicines, don't
hesitate to ask your physician or pharmacist.
In addition, if you are on
insulin, you may want to speak with your physician about how to plan ahead for
situations in which your carbohydrate intake may increase. Together, you can
decide if an increase in short-acting insulin should be used in certain
Remember if you become ill with a cough or
cold over the holidays, some
OTC medicines have a lot of sugar or may react with medications you are
currently taking. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what the best choices are to
make sure you won't suffer serious drug reactions.
Check blood sugar levels regularly during the holiday season. The feedback
provided is invaluable and the data provides a lot of insight into what an individual's
personal limits are. The ideal goals, regardless of the season, are fasting
values of 80-120 mg/dl before eating and about 140mg/dl 2 hours after eating.
Values higher than these indicate that there may be a little too much holiday
cheer going on!
Eating healthy is good for everyone, not
just those with diabetes. If you are bringing food to a party, make it healthy.
If you plan on baking, use a diabetes-friendly recipe. There are great recipe books
on the market that focus on cooking for those with diabetes.