The Saturday Share #1
Dr. Oz—yeah the Dr. Oz—recently stated that we are living in a “renaissance of medical knowledge.” He’s seen that patients have the desire to understand their illnesses and their bodies in a way like never before, and they’re turning to the internet for that knowledge. Dr. Oz was both thrilled and concerned; thrilled that patients have a new thirst for knowledge, but concerned that sometimes the information they find is just plain wrong.
So he created a unique one-stop shop for medical knowledge called Sharecare. Dr. Oz has assembled an awe-inspiring collection of world famous medical experts, who are tasked with answering a multitude of health and wellness questions posted by people who want to understand their health better. The quality of the content is controlled both by limiting who can create it, and by providing multiple points of view.
Are you sitting down? Among these Experts is… drum roll… me.
Yeah. I can hardly believe it myself, but three times a week, I troll the site reviewing diabetes questions, diabetes medication questions, and diabetes gear questions. When I find a question that needs my touch, I answer it. Sometimes I’m the first one to answer it, sometimes I’m only one of many Experts to chime in.
And every once in a while I find other types of questions that I know about. Access to care. Stuff about cholesterol. Health politics and policy.
I’m having a blast, and I’ve decided that every week I’m going to share one of my favorite questions with you here.
Sharecare Question: How can I manage my diabetes during the holidays?
My “Expert” answer: Yeah, it’s a tough time of year: temptations abound, there’s unique social pressures, and our schedules are a mess. The best way to manage is one day at a time, and accept that it may not go according to plan.
Starting with the social stuff, it’s your right to defend your health, and it’s not impolite to do so. You can simply say, “I’m sorry. I’m diabetic, I can’t eat that. But thank you so much for offering, I really appreciate the thought.”
Someone who didn’t know about your diabetes may feel bad momentarily, but at least they won’t give you a fruit cake again next year. Never sabotage your own health simply to try to avoid hurting other people’s feelings, or out of some sort of miss-placed notion of what’s socially acceptable. Nor should you be in anyway embarrassed to have diabetes. It’s not like you have a sexually transmitted disease, after all.
Another problem this time of year is that you’re exposed to things that tempt you, that might not normally be in your environment. One of your co-workers will bring in freshly baked brownies.
One option is to “taste” the goodies and stop there.
Me? I soooooooo can’t do that. One bite leads to two, which leads to three, and then my blood sugar shoots up and I’m high anyway so I might as well eat 14 brownies and…
Well, I guess it’s clear that I’m a better tour guide than role model. So if you, like me, have little self control, and no control over your environment, one coping option is to keep a supply of healthy snacks on hand. They break out the white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies, you break out the beef jerky. Chewing sugar free gum throughout the holidays also works for some of us D-folk too.
So normally you hit you treadmill at 5 a.m., but now your mother-in-law is camping out in your home gym/guest bedroom? Exercise patterns are messy this time of year, and the risk is, if you get out of the habit, will you ever get back in the habit?
I think a little pre-planning can go a long way. Move your treadmill to your bedroom for a week or two. Or do sit-ups on the bathroom floor instead. Just get creative, but keep moving.
The most important thing, however, when it comes to the holidays, is remember that it’s OK to be human. If you eat things you didn’t want to, if you fall off the sugar-free wagon, don’t beat yourself up about it. No guilt. Dust that powdered sugar off your hands and start over.
Don’t look back for even one second.
You can check out other Expert’s answers to this question, and my answers to many more questions by going here:
Then select the “Answers” tab near the top left.