As Christmas parties fill the diary, people living with diabetes in North Lincolnshire are being advised to keep themselves well over the festive period.
NHS England Medical Director, Dr Damian Riley, said: “People can help themselves to stay well and to stay out of hospital, by preparing ahead of the cold weather. We encourage people with diabetes to make sure they have enough insulin and other medication ordered in advance from their GP so they don’t run out if bad weather makes getting to the pharmacy difficult. Winter can be a busy period for the NHS, however Accident and Emergency departments across West Yorkshire have put plans in place to deal with extra demand and I am happy to say they are performing well.”
People with diabetes should make sure they get vaccinated against flu. Those living with the condition are open to complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis if they contract the flu and are almost six times more likely to die from the virus than someone their age who does not have diabetes. Most people who are recommended to have the vaccine get the vaccine – make sure you are one of them – it’s free from the NHS.
Creating healthy versions of favourite festive food, alternating between alcoholic and low calorie soft drinks and limiting intake of fruit juices can help those with diabetes enjoy the festive period and reduce the possibility of suffering loss of blood sugar control and ending up in hospital.
Dr Stephen Gilbey, Lead Clinician for Diabetes at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, said: “Making small life-style changes in the run up to Christmas means people with diabetes can still enjoy the festivities but look after their health too.
“Complications from flu or persistently high blood glucose levels can have a lasting effect. At some point during the festive period those with diabetes may find that they have higher blood glucose levels than normal due to being less active. While one or two high readings shouldn’t affect their long-term diabetes control, letting their glucose level stay high for too long will mean they start to feel unwell.”