Amy Tenderich was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May of 2003. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Diabetes Mine and co-authored the book Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes. You will frequently find her speaking at diabetes, health, and social media events across the country.

The winter holiday season—Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day—is supposedly all about joy. But it’s hard on a lot of people: there’s a little too much food, family, travel, and pressure to be happy going on. And when you’re living with diabetes, these things can mushroom into real health problems.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We should be able to enjoy ourselves, and still keep our diabetes under control. I’ve found that a little forethought goes a long way. Check out some of these tips I've pulled together of the real-life stuff you need to know to deal with diabetes during the holidays:

Tip 1: Manage Your Hunger and Prioritize Your Treats

‘Tis the season for unending appetizers, bountiful buffets, drinks that flow all evening, luscious “once-a-year” desserts—you name it! So let’s not pretend that we won’t be overindulging a bit at this time of year. Hey, diabetics are human, too!  Read more >>

Tip 2: When Traveling, Think Like a Girl Scout—Be Prepared!

During the busy holiday season, travel can be especially hectic, so it’s even more important to think ahead. The Girl Scout motto of “always be prepared” is the perfect mantra for people with diabetes on the road.  Read more >>

Tip 3: Keep It Moving When It's Cold Outside

Do not “shut down” for the winter.  During the Holidays you need physical activity more than ever, as it helps you stay stable both physically and mentally. Remember that rest and relaxation don’t have to be equivalent with slouching … Read more >>

Tip 4: Stay Positive with the “Diabetes Police”

It’s not at all uncommon for close friends, family members, or even near-strangers who know you have diabetes to eye you reaching for some food item and ask: "Should you be eating that?" They mean well, but their meddling is really not helpful. … Read more >>

Tip 5: Beat Stress Before It Beats You

Stress and depression are extremely common during the Holiday season. And no wonder. In our efforts to pull off a “perfect holiday,” we’re often faced with a bewildering array of demands—parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, packing for travel, and/or hosting houseguests, and so on. … Read more >>


Links to Learn More about Diabetes & the Holiday Season:

•    Making Sugar Count During the Holidays (from the American Diabetes Association - ADA)

•    Roundtable Discussion: Dealing with the Holidays (from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation - JDRF)

•    Holiday Season Prep Quiz (humor)

•    The Diabetes Police: A Video Primer

•    Planning Your Low-Carb Holiday Dinner

•    Oh Hannukkah! With Diabetes