AskNadia: Five Holiday Tips for People and Families Living with Diabetes

It’s tough enough to make it through the holidays season without gaining weight. People with diabetes face a bigger challenge with holiday parties and family gatherings. An extra treat or carbohydrate food could-sky rocket a blood sugar reading to a critical point.

We all need to support one anther. There is no shortage of criticism for people living with diabetes. Someone who is living with this chronic disease is policed everywhere they go, assuming people know that they have diabetes. If you find yourself the designated critic, let it go. Until you walk in someone else’s shoes, you have no idea how well they are doing considering their circumstance.

Here are five simple holiday tips for people and family members living with diabetes, and for people that have no idea what it takes to manage the disease.

  1. If you have diabetes, don’t judge yourself. Sometimes the stress of the holidays and the endless buffet of treats are hard to resist. If you find yourself giving in, test your blood sugars more often and adjust your medication as you have been directed by your healthcare professional. If you can resist the treats and stay on a low carbohydrate diet,” good on yah” as the Aussie’s say.

If you don’t have diabetes; don’t judge people with diabetes. You have no idea what it entails. If you did, believe me, you would be much more compassionate than you are.

  1. Respect other people’s differences in managing their chronic disease. The operative word here is, “their”. You have no idea what you don’t know, and it’s not simple. Not everyone manages his or her diabetes the same way.
  2. When going to a party, remember to have a strategy. You need to be honest with yourself. If you decide to indulge and know you are walking into a tempting holiday gathering, re-read my first tip.

If you do not diabetes, don’t hold people with diabetes to unrealistic standards. Facing and fending temptation during the holidays is a struggle for everyone.

  1. Be a good example. If you don’t have diabetes, don’t stand with a plate biting into a dessert asking the person with diabetes if they can eat what you are biting into. Trust they know what they can and cannot do.
  2. If you are extremely knowledgeable about diabetes, correct people when they make ignorant comments about the disease. If you have diabetes, advocate for yourself. I know it gets trying because the ignorance is abundant. Think of it as setting the ground for other people living with diabetes. If you educate one person, they will in turn educate anther person. We want the domino momentum to build; so more people are educated about diabetes management.

Let’s make this holiday season special by eliminating our judgment of how people with diabetes should conduct themselves. In the spirit of the holiday; let’s show understanding and compassion for a disease that require a lot of fine-tuning.

Happy Holidays’ to all!



Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professional’s therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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About Nadia:


AskNadia (ranked #1 by Google), named “Best Diabetes Blog for 2017 by Healthline and with 19 nominations, Nadia Al-Samarrie’s efforts have made her stand out as a pioneer and leading patient advocate in the diabetes community.

Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview, now Diabetes Health magazine.

Nadia has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major cable networks. Her publications, medical supply business, and website have been cited, recognized and published in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, Ann Landers advice column, former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, Entrepreneur magazine, Houston News,, Brand Week, Drug Topics, and many other media outlets.

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