Mahaska Health Partnership is offering assistance through a free support group focused on managing symptoms and coping with diabetes care at home. The support group is help semi-regularly and each meeting focuses on a different topic specific to living with diabetes.
The next support group will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm in the Cedar Bluff Learning Center on the MHP Campus (entrance #3). The key topics will be emotions, holiday stress and healthy holiday eating.
MHP Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator Sharon Ferguson explained that the holiday season can be especially trying for those with diabetes. “With holiday parties, traveling, big meals and lots of seasonal snacks available, it can be overwhelming when trying to manage your blood sugar levels. However, there are many tricks to help make the holidays less of a burden on your diet.
“For instance, I recommend people do not skip meals in preparation for a larger meal later on in the day. Eat your breakfast and snacks earlier in the day, but pace yourself at your holiday meals. Limit your consumption of starchy foods as well. You can still get a taste, but take small helpings instead of large ones for a single meal. This means you will have more leftovers for another day!”
Ferguson also recommended calorie-free drinks like water, tea, seltzer or diet soda, limited alcohol consumption and getting some exercise after the meal. “People often want to rest after a big holiday meal, but get up and have some fun as a family instead! Football in the yard, a nice walk outside or even indoor games with the kids is a great way to get some exercise while also spending quality time together.”
When it comes to managing diabetes, Ferguson suggests remembering to put your health first. “During the holiday season, make a promise to yourself to make your health a top priority. You have worked hard all year to manage your diabetes, but the holidays and stress can have a huge impact on your diet and well-being. Attending this support group is a great way to get a jump start on your plans for the holiday season!”
According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 30 million children and adults have diabetes, with close to 95% of those being afflicted with type 2 diabetes. “Diabetes can be a scary diagnoses for many individuals,” Ferguson shared. “Attending a support group can help those struggling with diabetes to learn coping skills among their peers in a relaxed environment.”
For questions regarding Diabetes Education at MHP or upcoming diabetes support group dates, call Ferguson at 641.672.3422.