It’s finally fall and most people are especially excited that October is here, which means Halloween time is present! Everywhere you go, there are Halloween themed decorations and pumpkin spice latte creations, making everyone excited for the holidays and the exciting festivities that come with them. Many people get into the spirit of Halloween, the costumes, the candy, and the fun times with friends, however, being a Type 1 Diabetic comes with just a few extra things to plan and prepare for.
I think it’s safe to say that us Diabetics work hard each day, so the one night where candy is the star of the show, I believe it is okay to enjoy some Halloween treats in moderation.
Planning ahead is key as you begin to make arrangements for Halloween.
I get it, Diabetes is not fun, it can be scary and have it’s ups and downs, however, it shouldn’t stop you from celebrating a fun holiday! For example, most Diabetics try and avoid unnecessary sugar throughout their day and watch out for things that can complicate their lives in terms of their blood sugar levels, BUT, if you plan on walking from door to door on the night of Halloween, you will be getting in some exercise, which may potentially drop your blood glucose levels, so go ahead and enjoy a piece of candy or two (and some insulin, of course). Don’t over do it though, because you don’t want to come back home that night or shorten your trick-or-treat experience due to severe high sugar levels and a stomach ache. That’s why, in moderation, eating a few pieces of candy throughout the night and finishing the rest of it over the course of the next few days is a better alternative in managing your numbers. Halloween is a fun-filled holiday where people go out dressed as their favorite characters and hang out with friends, eating candy all night, and T1D should not limit that, just be responsible in your choices as you decide how much candy to eat and when.
As you go from door to door, it wouldn’t hurt to have a backpack or purse with you that has all your emergency medical supplies, your blood glucometer, and some extra insulin, because you never know what could happen and not being at home with access to these supplies can be dangerous, so always prepare for the worst, just like you would at school, work, or on a vacation. Also, make sure you are walking with a group of people who know of your Diabetes and limitations, as in certain situations, them knowing can potentially save your life, say if you were to go severely low or high that night.
Always surround yourself with a trusted group or people (or at least one person) who is willing to help you out in any way possible if needed.
As for carb counting and sugar contents, most Halloween candies are familiar and of common brand names, so just be sure to check the nutrition facts on the back of the wrapper or do a quick google search on your phone for nutrition facts on the candy of your choice, this way, you can effectively and safely give yourself the right dose of Insulin needed for what you choose to eat!
In terms of costumes (that’s right, I’m discussing costumes), if you are unsure of where you may place your Insulin pump or carry your Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) if your costume is a little out of the ordinary and has no waistline or belt clip, you can always wear a strap, band, or garter underneath your costume, which provides a place to clip and secure your devices, and don’t be afraid to show off that beautiful site of yours! You can even decorate your sites for the occasion or to match your costume if you’d like!
So don’t stress the holidays, take part in all the activities your heart desires (within reason, of course), and enjoy this life you were given! T1D has nothing on you.
Enjoy some Halloween candy responsibly, because yes, even Diabetics CAN eat candy! With smart choices and planning ahead, you can do the holidays, life, and just about anything you would have done had you not had T1D!