Health charity issues advice ready for Halloween
People affected by diabetes in Rhondda Cynon Taf are being given advice to help manage the condition during this weekend’s Halloween celebrations.
Whether they’re going to a party or are trick or treating it is important that people living with the condition know that they can still enjoy treats like everyone else, but they might need to plan a little in advance.
Diabetes UK Cymru is hoping that the advice will be particularly useful to children living with Type 1 diabetes, helping them and their parents to keep control of their diabetes but still have a great time.
They have issued five top tips to help people living with diabetes have an enjoyable and healthy Halloween this year.
1) Try not to eat all the treats while out and about
If your child has Type 1 diabetes and is going trick or treating try to make sure that they don’t eat their sweets while they're out, as it will be difficult to keep a track of how many they've had. Instead, wait until they get back so that they can decide how much they're going to have and you can help them make changes to their insulin dose if you need to.
2) Test blood glucose levels
Test your blood glucose levels. If you think your levels will be high it's tempting not to test, but if you don't you won't know what to do to get back on track, and then you might start feeling unwell.
3) Don't let sweets take the place of a proper meal
You're still going to need some starchy carbohydrates (like bread, pasta, chapatti or rice) to give you long-lasting energy.
4) Be prepared for hypos
Even though you’re likely to eat more sweets than usual, if you are doing lots of running around, your blood glucose might drop too low and you might have a hypo. Make sure you've got something with you to treat a hypo – like glucose tablets or a non-diet drink.
5) Avoid diabetic sweets
Don't have diabetic sweets or chocolate. People might think they're being nice by giving you this, but it will still affect your blood glucose levels and might give you a stomach upset. They can also be more expensive.
Diabetes UK Cymru’s National Director Dai Williams said: “We want to reassure everyone living with diabetes that they can still take part in Halloween events and have lots of fun, but it is important to put plans in place to make sure they stay safe.
“Being sensible about how many sugary treats you eat is essential and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is important for everyone, whether they have diabetes or not.”
Diabetes UK has created a variety of recipes - from Halloween biscuits to jelly sweets - that are lower in sugar, salt and fat than most shop-bought alternatives. The recipes and nutritional information are available on their website, www.diabetes.org.uk. For more advice, people affected by diabetes can call the charity’s Careline on 0345 123 2399.