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Old 10-02-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
Disneydrmr
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Diabetes and Food and Wine at Epcot...How do we do THAT???

My DH and I are DVC'ers and new empty nesters and have been looking forward to finally going to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival now that we have some well deserved "time on our hands"! We leave on Monday and my DH was just diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. The reason I am posting on this forum is because I know you fellow DVC'ers always seem to have many words of wisdom. We know what his new limits are (carb allotment per day, level checking, etc).....but how can we possibly still enjoy all that the Food and Wine festival has to offer and not go over his carb allotment per day. Disney does not publish carb counts for the foods/wines that are offered. Although we know we have challenges ahead, and we are very excited that we will still be in Disney....this puts a whole new "twist" on things. Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!!
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:57 AM   #2
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Well, its very tough especially when trying to figure out carbs in sauces and alcoholic beverages. Try to eat more protein items and avoid or limit items with bread or pasta. Also be careful of rice, it can shoot my blood sugar through the roof and it does the same for my type 1 dad. Share everything as that will help. This way he can taste it but it won't tip the scale so drastically. Balance the alcohol with plenty of water. Also walking helps a lot! The exercise will help with the carbs and he will be able to eat more. Keep checking his blood sugar. My dad found he was often too low due to the walking and he's an active man. Also, don't stress it too much. Stress will negatively impact your levels. If he's a little high just walk around and hydrate. Good luck and try to have a great time.


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Old 10-03-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Your best guide will be your husband's doctor. He or she knows all the details of the situation and can give you much more valuable guidance than any of us here.

Having said that, I'm an EMT and deal with diabetic patients very regularly, so I'll offer a couple of things to understand about blood glucose.
  1. EVERYBODY's blood sugar varies quite a bit during the day -- whether they are diabetic or not. A slightly elevated blood glucose reading is NOT a cause for concern if it pops up following a meal. That's the normal result of digestion -- the sugar buzz. So if he eats something and gets a sugar reading of 140-150 a half hour later, that is where it SHOULD be. Those little spikes return to normal levels in an hour or two and should not be of concern.
  2. Increases in the base level of blood glucose take place very slowly. Returning those levels to the normal range from an elevated level also occurs very gradually. We don't normally consider high blood glucose an emergency unless it exceeds 300, but when it does that patient is going to be in the hospital for a couple of days on an insulin drip to bring things back to normal.
  3. Decreases in blood glucose levels occur rapidly and LOW blood sugar is the real threat for a diabetic. This is especially a problem for patients who use insulin or insulin-substitutes, don't eat enough, and exercise (like walking around Epcot).

    High blood glucose for prolonged periods can cause serious, long-lasting damage and must be controlled; low blood glucose can kill you. Glucose levels dropping from normal are VERY dangerous. Low blood glucose can quickly progress to insulin shock if not treated immediately, and that can be life-threatening. Fortunately, prompt treatment can quickly restore normal levels.
To avoid too-high glucose levels, I think jennylyn_b's advice above is perfect. Share yummy stuff, stay hydrated, and go easy on the alcohol. Alcohol not only will raise your glucose levels, it will also contribute greatly to dehydration so it's kind of a double-whammy -- two bad effects for the price of one.

To avoid too-low glucose levels, you should first know the symptoms: weakness, dizziness, light-headedness, lack of mental focus, stumbling, etc are all early signs of low blood glucose. Those signs often show up first when the person stands up after sitting for a while...all of a sudden they're just wobbly. Agitation is often an early sign of shock. Excessive sweating may indicate the patient is already IN shock and needs immediate advanced medical attention.

I would invest in some oral glucose (3 tubes for +/-$10 at any pharmacy). If he gets a little woozy, take one tube of the oral glucose (usually 25 grams of glucose). Let the paste dissolve under his tongue or between the cheek and gum. That will raise his blood glucose level 30-40 points almost immediately, but it can't possibly cause any harm.

Oral glucose is vastly superior to "home remedies" like orange juice or a candy bar because glucose is the only form of sugar the body can burn. If you eat a candy bar, your body has to convert the sugar in the candy into glucose before it can do you any good -- so oral glucose works a lot faster.

Obviously, you have to carry the oral glucose WITH YOU; it does nothing for you sitting in your hotel room.

One very important thing to understand about using any kind of intervention to raise blood glucose -- any intervention is TEMPORARY. You will be giving some form of fast burning sugar, and it will burn off quickly.

If someone's sugar level drops low enough that they need oral glucose, a candy bar, etc...once they are out of the woods, they need to eat a meal.

Not a snack -- a meal. And not an hour from now -- they need a meal NOW. If they don't eat a meal, they are going to be right back in trouble in an hour or so. They've got to get some complex carbs which will sustain and stabilize their sugar levels.

*****
In a nutshell, I'd say don't focus on HIGH sugar levels, stay alert for signs of LOW levels. His levels are going to go up anyway, just from being in an environment where it is very difficult to know exactly what his intake is. But they're not going to rise so dramatically that they will constitute a real problem.

Use moderation, and have fun. Have a great trip!
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:35 AM   #4
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Go to the Festival Center and ask about ingredient lists. I don't know if they'll be able to give you carb counts though.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:37 AM   #5
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I would also add that you might want to avoid the sojo(spelling may be off) from Korea- my husband who lived in Korea for awhile and is thrilled with having the booth their said he wants to try some but it really messes with your equilibrium- if you drink it sitting down stay seated for at least 15 minutes and same for standing up or you will be dizzy for the rest of the day was his suggestion. So to me it could mimic other problems for him and might just be something best not to be tried.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:07 PM   #6
Disneydrmr
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Thanks for your responses...

Thanks for your responses. This is why I love these boards...

We will take your advice to heart...and hopefully still have an awesome time enjoying the Food and Wine festival. I know that moderation will be the key.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:10 AM   #7
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I hate to say this but it's going to be tough, and possibly extremely stressful.

In general, Type 2 is controlled by diet. You need to know carb counts of what you are eating. Since you haven't been doing this long, it might be tough to estimate and how carb/fat conbinations affect you (everyone is different). You won't be able to get this infomation, you will have to guess (Normally, there are always hidden carbs).

The walking around world showcase will at least give you some help keeping your numbers down. In your case, low blood sugars probably won't be an issue, but high numbers will more than likely creap in. As Jim says, the high blood levels won't hurt you too much over a day or two, but it will provide a great amount of stress as this is all new to you.

I've been diabetic (Type 1) for over 30 years and have done Food and Wine, but insulin allows you to "eat a little more" and I can roughly guess what will happen when I eat most things.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:45 AM   #8
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My DH has been a Type II diabetic for about 12 years. He can usually tell if his blood sugar is low by symptoms...dizziness, shaking, irritability. In WDW he has had a couple episodes due to increased activity (walking) and heat even though he eats more than at home. His sugar doesn't get high unless he eats a "forbidden" sundae (I know he shouldn't but he's stubborn). What he does do is to bring a glucometer on the trip and checks his blood sugar several times a day. It takes away the uncertainty if you know what your body is doing. They even have tiny ones which you can throw in your purse if you want to carry it around. It also helps that I can tell if he's exhibiting symptons when he doesn't realize it. We have enjoyed the F&W festival many times and try foods around the world....we have a glass or two of wine (in those tiny glasses)per visit...the portions at the kiosks are pretty small and we don't overdo it but we have a great time. I would check with his doctor about what's best for him and enjoy your time at WDW.
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