Archive for December, 2015
The holiday season may help bring attention to a rarely-discussed diabetes symptom: depression. Whether emphasized by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or just noticed in contrast to the festive season, depression may be one sign of diabetes or a flag that one’s diabetes is not in good control.
The American Diabetes Association explains that people with diabetes are at a greater risk to depression and the complications of poorly controlled blood sugars are very similar to the symptoms of depression.
Spotting depression in yourself or someone you love is an important step to countering depressions effects. The signs include:
- Loss of pleasure: You no longer take interest in doing things you used to enjoy.
- Change in sleep patterns: You have trouble falling asleep, you wake often during the night, or you want to sleep more than usual, including during the day.
- Early to rise: You wake up earlier than usual and cannot to get back to sleep.
- Change in appetite: You eat more or less than you used to, resulting in a quick weight gain or weight loss.
- Trouble concentrating: You can’t watch a TV program or read an article because other thoughts or feelings get in the way.
- Loss of energy: You feel tired all the time.
- Nervousness: You always feel so anxious you can’t sit still.
- Guilt: You feel you “never do anything right” and worry that you are a burden to others.
- Morning sadness: You feel worse in the morning than you do the rest of the day.
- Suicidal thoughts: You feel you want to die or are thinking about ways to hurt yourself.
You should contact your doctor if you see any three of these signs. Taking action can affect both your mental and physical well-being.
Holidays can be hard when you are trying to handle your diabetes. When family and friends gather, food is often involved. Routines are often disregarded for parties, shopping, cooking and decorating. Learning how to choose the best foods for you can be stressful.
Keep in mind that New Years and Christmas are days to relax and celebrate. Treat yourself to your favorite stuffing or homemade pie on these days. Keep these treats to the holidays. You will then avoid turning this time into a whole season of blood sugar trouble.
These tips can help you stay on track during the holidays:
- Drink water and eat a snack before you go to parties. You won’t make choices when hungry.
- Be sure to eat some food when drinking alcohol. This will help prevent low blood sugar.
- Help out the host. If you are going to a party, call first and ask if you can bring a dish. Now, you will know there will be food that fits into your needs.
- Look for hidden carbohydrates. Gravies, soups, dips and salads can have flour, sugar, potatoes, corn and bread. Remember to count these foods with your allowed carbohydrates per meal.
- Don’t forget about free foods such as non-starchy vegetables. These foods fill you up, but will not affect your blood sugar. Chicken, turkey and cheese are often on party trays. These are not free foods so it is important to be aware of portion size and servings.
- Work in exercise. Just a 15-minute walk before or after a holiday party can help to keep your blood sugar in control when you are celebrating.
Enjoy your holidays. Make good choices to keep your blood sugar in control. This will allow you to have many more healthy and happy holidays.