Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong condition which happens when the level of sugar in the blood is too high.
If not controlled properly, it can lead to serious health problems with the heart, eyes, nerves and kidneys.
The condition can be controlled with medication, by eating healthily and by exercising regularly.
It can be easy to neglect these, however, during the busy Christmas period when weekly routines are skewed and festive treats are all-too tempting.
Dr Sarah Brewer, in association with CuraLin diabetes supplement, provides the following 10 dos and don’ts to prevent blood sugar spikes this Christmas.
DO check you have enough medication and blood glucose monitoring supplies to see you through the holiday period.
DO plan well in advance rather than leaving things last minute.
Christmas can be a stressful time and excess stress can cause glucose levels to rise.
DO talk to your doctor or diabetes nurse in advance so you know what to do if your readings are raised over Christmas.
DO make healthy diet swaps, by swapping traditional favourites with healthier versions.
For example, swap foggy pudding with fresh fig compote, or swap double cream with low-fat creme fraiche.
DO go for a walk after eating heavy meals, to help burn off the extra calories.
DO eat nuts – a popular Christmas snack that help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and help control glucose levels.
DON’T overindulge on Christmas cake, pudding, mince pies and chocolate.
You can still enjoy them in moderation, but don’t eat too much in one go.
“Spread them out rather than overindulging at one sitting – graze rather than gorge. For example, wait a couple of hours after your Christmas main course before having dessert,” said Dr Brewer.
DON’T forget to check glucose levels, as they are more likely to rise if you are eating more, being less active and experiencing a change in routine.
DON’T neglect your eating habits if your routine changes. Eat dinner earlier if need be and check what food arrangements are in place when going to events.
DON’T drink too much alcohol, as this can make you less aware of the symptoms of low blood sugar.
Alternate an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic beverage, and instead of drinking wine on its own, add soda water to make a spritzer.
When drinking spirits, always add a low calorie or diet mixer rather than one containing sugar.