Tis the season for family gatherings, delicious food, sweet treats, joyful friends, and increase A1Cs. Per the American Diabetes Association, in 2015 30.3 million Americans had diabetes and 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. According to NCBI there are over 7.7 million hospital stays for diabetic patients and 22-46% of them are due to hyperglycemia.
As a RN care manager for Signallamp Health, LLC, this week I will be assessing and instructing my patients on tips to manage their diabetes during the holiday, so they can stay out of the hospital.
Tip 1- It is only ONE day!
The holiday is not two weeks or the whole month of December, it is only one day. Therefore, I will tell my patients to keep that in mind. If they can remember that every time they go for that extra sweet bun, cookie, or piece of pie- they should stay on track.
Tip 2- Time to eat!
Who doesn’t love to eat? I surely do! What I like to do and what I educate my patients on is if they are asked to bring a dish to a holiday event, that they should make it a healthy dish. For example, a salad with fresh colorful vegetables, a veggie tray with Greek yogurt dip, or fresh fruit. The more healthier options there are available the less temptations there is to go for the unhealthy dishes.
I will also educate my patients on being mindful of what they are eating. We all have a meal plan that we follow therefore we need to continue to follow this meal plan during the holiday. If they are going to enjoy a sweet treat, then cut back on the potatoes and the bread during dinner. They will also have to be mindful of the healthy dishes as there is high sugar is some fruits and they should eat the fruit in moderation. If my patients have too many yummy choices to choose from then I will tell them to pick a small serving of those dishes but to continue to be mindful of their meal plan.
Patients will be taught as well to take their time when eating, it usually takes about 20- 30 minutes for the stomach to realize it is full. We do not want anyone over eating on the holidays.
Tip 3- Get up and Move!
After the holiday dishes are washed and right before everyone crashes on the couch, my patients and their families should go for a 30 minute walk or do some type of movement for 30 minutes. This will allow them to destress and feel good about themselves.
When I follow up with my patients next month, I will assess if my tips were used on the holiday. I will continue to help them manage their chronic conditions in their home environment.
About Signallamp Health
Signallamp Health delivers a personalized approach to chronic care management. RNs are dedicated to your practice and collaborate with your care team to create one-on-one connections with patients outside of the office. Signallamp Health works seamlessly within your EMR (no integration required), provides care management services by RNs, and does so at no cost to the practice. Signallamp Health is good for your patients and good for your practice.
To learn more about Signallamp Health’s nurse-led care management services, connect with John Taylor at (610) 675-6887 or JohnT@signallamphealth.com. Find us online at www.signallamphealth.com.