What’s better than the holiday season?! The food, the friends, the family, and the traditions! It’s hard to beat. Of course, when you have type 1 diabetes, the holiday season can be a headache (literally – from all your high blood sugars). Thanksgiving with T1D can be tricky, so here are my tips on getting that smooth blood sugar line that we all dream of.
Thanksgiving with T1D Tips & Tricks
1. Set a Temp Basal Increase
Since I’m on an insulin pump, I can set a temporary increase of my background insulin. I’ve found that a 20-30% increase helps me big time when I’m going to be snacking all day. It’s like a safety net for when I underestimate how many carbs are in someone else’s cooking.
If you’re on MDI, then this isn’t as easy. When I was on MDI I didn’t do this because the timing was a lot trickier. But I know some MDI users who will give themselves an extra couple units (of their background insulin) in the AM on the day of the feast/party to help with a day of constant snacking.
2. Bring a Dish That you Can Gorge on
I know we’ve all heard this one a thousand times, but that’s because it’s gold! It’s hard to calculate a carb count for food that you’ve never had before and food that you didn’t make… even when you have an idea of what’s in it. That’s why I always make sure to bring a big dish of something that I know the carb count for.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Chances are, you are more likely to run high than low during holiday parties. That’s why it’s important to drink lots of water. The more hydrated you are, the less concentrated your blood glucose will be, and the more you’ll be helping out your insulin sensitivity.
4. Bring it Home with You
Really want to try that pumpkin pie but your sugars are in the 200’s? Don’t feel like you have to miss out, or that you have to sacrifice an even higher BG for a taste of that dessert. Bring a tupperware container with you (or use a ziploc baggie) and take it home with you so you can indulge once your sugars are more stable.
I know this might feel weird at first, but trust me, not only will you feel better blood sugar wise, but your host/guest will feel special that you really do want to try their dessert (or dish).
5. Go for a Walk After Your Turkey Dinner
Nothing gets the insulin to kick-in stronger (and faster) than a nice, brisk, walk after dinner. Since having type 1 diabetes, I’ve tried to make it a point to move around more after meals, especially big ones like Thanksgiving dinner. Ask around if anyone would like to join you on a small walk around the block…you’ll probably find that more than a few people will want to join you!
Question of the Day
What are some of your tricks for getting a smooth line on Thanksgiving.