Diabetes sufferers have been urged to take steps to stay well over the festive period and the winter months that follow.
Lancashire’s medical director for NHS England, Dr Jim Gardner, has warned that diabetics face a potential “double whammy” from rich food and alcohol, coupled with a susceptibility to the usual illnesses that strike in winter.
Dr Gardner said: “Eating, drinking and socialising are all part of the fun at Christmas and there is no need for people with diabetes to miss out. But the last thing they want is end up in A&E.
“Healthy diet is important and healthier versions of classic Christmas snacks are a good idea such as vegetable crudités, olives or dried fruit. Alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks will also help.”
Diabetes also affects the immune system and can make sufferers more prone to complications if they catch common seasonal viruses such as flu or the winter vomiting bug Norovirus.
Dr Gardner added: “If you have an upset stomach and want some advice, your local pharmacist can advise you on over-the-counter medicines that you can take.
“But it’s also important to have your flu jab, because you are at risk of complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis if you catch the flu virus.”