Holiday health hazards

Author: Jodi Mohrmann, Managing editor of special projects, jmohrmann@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 11 2013 10:33:42 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 12 2013 07:45:00 AM EST

The hectic holiday season is in full swing and while getting together with friends and family can be fun, there are some potentially unforeseen health risks this time of year.

First, we all want to eat, drink and be merry, but over doing it can have some short or long term consequences, especially for the millions of Americans dealing with diabetes.

"There's so much temptation with the food and the family and the feasts and the temptation with grandma's pies and Uncle Sal's pasta, people tend to over eat," warns Endocrinologist Dr. Todd Darmody, who specializes in diabetes and metabolism.

Uncontrolled blood sugar, combined with compromised nerves and blood flow can lead to a diabetic foot ulcer.

"I could step on rocks pebbles nails and never know it and that's what happened and it became infected," said Peter Pound.

Pound nearly lost his foot to the infection that took two years to heal.

"People with diabetes do need to check their feet, check under their feet especially because people with neuropathy may have a sore and not know it," said Darmody.

Another holiday health hazard is food.  The Centers for Disease Control says you can protect your family and friends by practicing safe food handling and preparation.

Make sure you wash hands and surfaces often. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (including their juices) away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the proper temperature. Refrigerate promptly. And, do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.

Finally, beware of dirty decorations.  Ornaments and holiday trinkets stored in the garage or attic in unsealed boxes can gather dust and other allergens.  When you bring them inside the house, you're dragging in all the allergens, and possibly mold, too.  So make sure you wipe ornaments with a dry cloth, if they weren't sealed properly, to avoid sniffing and sneezing or worse.