Diabetes Checkpoint

Thanksgiving Tips For Managing Your Diabetes

Mmmm, the smell of turkey and stuffing, the salads, buttered buns and homemade desserts.  For many of us, Thanksgiving is a time for family and feast.  This can be a challenge if you have diabetes but with a bit of planning and thinking ahead, you can still enjoy the feast without causing too much disruption in your blood sugars and well-being.  

Here are a few tips just to get you started:

Remember, portion size counts.  Using the Choose My Plate recommendations of ½ plate non-starchy vegetables, ¼ plate meat or protein and ¼ plate starches or carbohydrates will get you off to a good start. 

Appetizers

  • Go for the raw veggies rather than chips and dip
  • If making a dip, use fat free cream cheese or non-fat yogurt

Main Course

  • Turkey-you’re in luck, it’s good for you and has no carbohydrates so enjoy
  • Be selective with your carbs, potatoes/stuffing/bread—portion size is the key

Side Dishes

  • Sweet potatoes, leave off the brown sugar & marshmallows
  • Enjoy plain green beans instead of the green bean casserole
  • If making cranberries, use an artificial sweetener such as Stevia

Dessert

  • Fresh fruit is a great option but most of us want that pie. Cut back on your carbohydrates in the main course and savor a piece of that pumpkin pie.

And if your blood sugar gets out of control or you need help in managing your diabetes, contact your local Rural Health Care, Inc. provider to schedule an appointment.   We are here and ready to be your health care partner!

Are You at Risk?

Are you at risk?  Four simple words, yet a positive response can have long-lasting implications when you are referring to Type 2 diabetes.  

What is type 2 diabetes?  This is a condition that results when your body produces insulin but it is not enough or your body does not use the insulin it produces efficiently. 

Who is at risk ?

  • A woman who had gestational diabetes or a baby weighing more than 9 LBS at birth
  • Those with a family history of diabetes
  • Overweight or obese individuals
  • Middle aged and older adults (greater than age 45)
  • Those who get little to no exercise
  • African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and those who are of Hispanic ethnicity

If you are not at risk as identified in the list, continue to maintain a healthy weight, get regular exercise and eat a healthy diet to keep your risk low.  If you are at risk, however, contact your local Rural Health Care, Inc. provider to schedule an appointment.  Your provider will discuss your risk factors and concerns and see if additional testing is needed.   We stand ready to be your health care partner! 

The Eyes Have It

One of the known complications of diabetes is eye disease, with diabetes being the primary cause of blindness in adults ages 20 to 741.  Retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma all fall into this category.   Additionally, if you also smoke, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and/or uncontrolled blood sugars, you have an even greater risk of developing diabetic eye disease. 

In the early stages of the eye disease, you may not have any symptoms or changes in your vision.  But as the damage increases your vision may become blurry, you may see flashes of light, develop headaches, see spots or have vision loss.

The good news, you can prevent or slow down the progression of the disease by taking the following actions:  

  • First, have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every year
  • If you smoke, quit or cut back
  • Keep your blood pressure and blood sugar under control
  • Exercise regularly

Start on your journey to better health today!  If you have not had a recent eye exam, schedule it now.  If you are in need of a medical or diabetic check-up, your local rural healthcare clinic can provide this service.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020.  Atlanta, GA:  U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2020.

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