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5 reasons why Diabetes doesn’t have to dominate Christmas

1. Take the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach.

Seeing sugary or fatty foods everywhere around the house can be tempting for anyone, but particularly a young person with diabetes. Often boxes of chocolates, or a few spare pigs in blankets are left out for people to nibble at their leisure. Try putting everything away outside of mealtimes to remove the temptation and help prevent any subsequent negative impact on blood glucose levels.

2. Be extra-sensitive!

Celebrating with wider family and friends is a real joy at Christmas, however children might be a bit more self-conscious than usual about managing their diabetes in front of unfamiliar people. Try and prepare as much as possible before mealtimes and pre-arrange testing times so that they can manage their diabetes subtly, without attracting unwanted attention. If they are experiencing high or low glucose levels they may be behaving more negatively than normal. Perhaps take them to one side to check they are feeling comfortable - they may be finding it difficult to bring up their issues in front of others.

3. Do a bit more testing

The changes to routine and diet at Christmas may increase the chance of high or low glucose levels so keep on the lookout for symptoms of hypers or hypos. Testing will probably need to be more frequent. Whilst young people may find this interruption to their fun less than appealing, remind them how keeping their blood glucose under control will help them feel their best and allow them to join in with all the fun.

4. Watch out for unusual ups and downs

A change in diet and activity can lead to unusual and unwelcome patterns in your blood glucose levels.  If you’re a FreeStyle Optium Neo user you can be set up to tell you when your blood glucose levels needs attention – the trend indicator function will indicate if it detects a pattern of high or low readings.

5. Make sure no one feels left out

Sweet treats are an inevitable part of Christmas celebrations. One way to include children with diabetes is to provide an alternative snack that they can enjoy, such as popcorn or a homemade smoothie.  Another approach would be to offer a non-food treat. Stickers and friendship bracelets always go down well, as might a non-material treat like extra playtime, or choosing the next song on the playlist. You never know, some of the others may want to exchange their sweets for a different option too!

We hope these tips help - don’t let diabetes get in the way of a special family Christmas :-)

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* Scanning the sensor to obtain glucose values does not require lancets ×
*1. Scanning the sensor to obtain glucose values does not require lancets 2. A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels, or if hypoglycemia or impending hypoglycemia is reported but the symptoms do not match the system readings. ×

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