CINCINNATI—Whether you’re planning your holiday meal or booking winter travel, there are extra things to consider if you are also dealing with diabetes.
Michael Canos, MD, UC Health endocrinologist and assistant professor in UC's College of Medicine, says there are a number of things you can do to plan ahead and stay healthy throughout the winter months.
Get a flu shot
"Patients with diabetes who develop influenza can experience worse outcomes than those without diabetes who develop the flu,” says Canos.
He advises all diabetes patients to get a flu shot in order to avoid unnecessary complications.
Counting Carbs? There’s an App for That.
In patients with Type 2 Diabetes, excessive carbohydrate consumption increases blood sugar and puts stress on the pancreas.
"The winter, with its many holiday celebrations, is a good time to reiterate the importance of counting carbs,” says Canos. "Mapping out a strategy for carb consumption helps to limit blood sugar spikes for patients who may have a moment of dietary indiscretion.”
There are a number of free, downloadable apps that will help you to count carbs and plan ahead for holiday meals and restaurant dining. You can find these by searching "carb counters” in the app store on your smartphone.
Avoid Travel Delays
People who use insulin pumps should request a travel letter from their physician in advance of flying. Having a letter in hand could help to eliminate delays at security checkpoints.
Winter weather reports aren’t permission to quit exercising. Walking is still a great and safe way to get exercise throughout the winter months, Canos says. If sidewalks are too treacherous, malls can be great places to walk.
The American Diabetes Association will host its 2012 Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes Saturday, Nov. 3, at Great American Ball Park. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with a 5K run starting at 9 and the walk beginning at 9:15. There is still time to register. Visit http://diabetes.org/stepoutcincinnati.
Canos sees patients at the UC Diabetes and Metabolic Disease Institute, which has offices in Clifton and West Chester. To schedule an appointment with Canos or another UC Health endocrinologist, call 513-475-7400.
Canos is also a member of the Cincinnati Diabetes and Obesity Center, a partnership with UC, UC Health and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Learn more at http://diabetes.uc.edu.