Controlling sugar spikes during the festive season: How to keep diabetes in check

Dr Tejal Lathia, a Consultant Endocrinologist, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, shares how to keep your diabetes in check during the festivities.

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We celebrate a multitude of festivals, and each has a common denominator – calorie rich delicacies. Sweet, sugary, rasgollas, crisp deep-fried puris, fragrant biryanis, laddoos, pedas, sheera, and others.

There is temptation everywhere, making it even more difficult to resist. A downer, however, is that people around a diabetic person seem to encourage them to eat whatever they feel.

Along with an increase in consumption of calorie-rich food, festivities breakdown your regular nutrition schedule as well. Guests come and go, poojas and gatherings take precedence, because of this, the exercise schedule also goes for a toss.

Here are bigger issues:

The diabetic patients, in certain festivals, observe a strict fast, which means not consuming water throughout the day; this can cause dehydration. Moreover, at dusk, when one eats food, it leads to a spike in blood sugar levels.

Dehydration combined with hyperglycaemia (high Blood Sugars) can lead to dizziness, fatigue, headache, confusion and rarely unconsciousness or coma.

With the festivals, comes dancing, where one loses track of time. With less or no water and food consumption, one could suffer from low sugar and dehydration. As an exact opposite, high-calorie snacks and colas are offered periodically, these trigger high blood sugar.

During the festive season, it is a dictum to visit family, friends, and neighbours. It involves partaking in the delicacies prepared by hosts; this comes with the fact that the food they offer must be eaten – hungry or not, one must eat!

Festivities can be enjoyed along with one keeping track of their food and workout schedules. Here are some tips for diabetic patients:

  • Plan meals in advance; if you’re eating out, decide what to eat. Carry nuts or fruits in case no suitable options are available.
  • Do not skip your meals; it can impact your blood sugar levels.
  • Keep your calorie intake in check, especially, the consumption of carbohydrates; pay attention to portion size. Eating low protein meats and vegetables is a good option.
  • Do not give up on desert completely; the best way to have a piece of your favourite sweet is to plan your carbohydrate intake a few hours in advance.
  • Always stay hydrated; always carry a water bottle with you. An oral glucose gel, available over the counter, is also an option to keep handy; it will help raise blood sugar level when low.