The holidays always present us with a plethora of rich, hearty meals and parties that can lead to a stressful time for diabetics. Balancing food needs and choosing to eat healthy become an important daily health care decision. Today, diabetes affects nearly 1 in 10 Americans, while in the next 10 years experts predict 1 in 3 Americans will be affected by the disease.
“One in 12 adult Texans — roughly two million people — have been diagnosed with diabetes and another half million are believed to be undiagnosed,” said Marylou Buyse, MD, chief medical director for the Scott & White Health Plan. “And, during the holidays this can be a particularly challenging time for diabetics, though you can still enjoy what the season has to offer by exercising a little moderation.”
Dr. Buyse offers the following tips for making wise choices:
- Eat less of the foods you usually have and try to limit the amount of fat you eat; avoid crash diets after the holidays are over
- Take a good look at your serving sizes; reduce the size of your main course (such as meat), desserts, and foods high in fat and increase your fruits and vegetables
- Try to build in some exercise each day, consider a walk with family and friends after meals
Recently, at the Scott & White College Station Clinic, Scott & White Health Plan hosted a free diabetes screening day on December 4 for all members, taking a proactive approach to improving the health of diabetic patients and arming them with information to better manage their condition. All attendees received annual blood pressure checks, lipids, hemoglobin A1C, urine protein, eye exams and foot exams which can often be a challenge for patients to have done in one office visit. A team of health care professionals, including ophthalmologists and podiatrists worked together to see the 15 patients who attended the event.
“The College Station clinic wanted to be an integral part on this project because proactive health care is a top priority for us,” said Linda Clark, Scott & White College Station clinic administrator. “The screening day was a great way to offer comprehensive care to patients who otherwise may not come in for care, and the screenings prompt the patient to be proactive in their own treatment regimen,” she said.
“We’re planning to host similar events in the future and we’ll keep the community informed,” said Dr. Buyse.