For some people, the holidays are a landmine of problems; there are the logistical issues about where to spend them, the budget issues about how much to spend, planning issues in terms of getting all the supplies you need. As nightmarish as these issues can become, they pale in comparison to the problem patients with chronic health conditions face when holiday time rolls around.
Many of these individuals are on medically restricted diets as a result of their health problems, and this has a major impact on their celebration of the season. Since the holidays are all about dinners and parties, these patients are continually torn between staying on their approved regimen and eating whatever is put before them.
The two key concerns are sweets in diabetics and salt in those with heart failure, according to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, whose practice puts him in contact with patients who experience chronic conditions. He is the Medical Director of Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers Inc., senior author of the landmark studies “Effective Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia — a Placebo-controlled Study” and “Effective Treatment of CFS & Fibromyalgia with D-Ribose”, as well as author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! (3rd ed-Penguin/Avery, October 4, 2007), Three Steps to Happiness! Healing through Joy (Deva Pr, January 10, 2003), and Pain Free 1-2-3 A Proven Program for Eliminating Chronic Pain Now (McGraw Hill, 2006). Dr. Teitelbaum says that medications these individuals take to treat their conditions may be overwhelmed by too much sugar or salt intake.
It would seem that knowing this would prevent these patients from over-indulging. However, when these individuals deviate from their diets, it isn’t always deliberate. Many times their lapses result from getting caught up in the moment. Take, for example, the scenario of eating at a restaurant. Dr. Teitelbaum says that patients with chronic health conditions often forget that some restaurant portions are as much as twice the size you would normally eat at home. In addition, desserts become more tempting when you’re dining out.
So what’s the solution? Dr. Teitelbaum offered suggestions in our article at TotallyHer: Eating Right During the Holidays when You’re on a Medically Restricted Diet
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