Self-care tips for diabetics during Covid-19 pandemic

People with diabetes will have to stay in top shape during mid the pandemic. Owing to a weakened immune system, people suffering from diabetes can are prone to develop infections and may get sick because of Covid-19, and take a longer time to recover. Reportedly, preliminary data from China has revealed that the ones with diabetes and other pre-existing conditions like heart problems may encounter fatal health complications or even loss of life if they get infected with Covid-19. Various studies have also confirmed that the patients can get diabetes even after getting infected with Covid-19 and even once they recover.

A study published in the European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition suggests that the ones with diabetes contract Covid-19 are at risk of a severe disease course and mortality. Several factors like the impaired immune response heightened inflammatory response and even hypercoagulable state are responsible for increased disease severity. Not only this, pre-existing comorbidities tied to diabetes such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and chronic kidney disease further worsen the prognosis. Even hypoglycaemia may occur during the treatment of diabetes and negatively impact the clinical outcomes.

Those with diabetes must follow these essential tips to stay fit:

Stick to a well-balanced diet: Try to eat mindfully and see to it that you include protein, good fats, and vitamins in the diet. If you have diabetes, then stay away from food that is high in carbohydrates, calories, and sugar. This means you have to practice healthy eating inclusive of fresh fruits, vegetables, pulses and legumes. Say NO to junk, spicy, oily, processed, junk and foods with additives.

Daily exercise: Opt for walking at home, aerobics, yoga, planks, push-ups, and pull-ups. Speak to your doctor about the exercises that you can do at home. Do not forget to stretch throughout the day. If you are working from home then work out sitting at your desk.

Proper meal planning: You can plan your meals with the help of a dietician. Try to make a list of food items that you have to eat and delete from your diet. You must buy food or snacks only after reading the nutrition label. Avoid foods that are high in salt and calories. Include a bowl of salad or soup to help you deal with insulin resistance.

Do not skip medication: If you have pre-existing diabetes or insulin resistance and stock up your medication. Do not self-medicate as it can be risky for you. Avoid being around sick people and strictly following the Covid protocol. You will have to make sure that you use a mask, maintain social distance and sanitise your hands from time to time. You will have to monitor your diabetes and stay in touch with your doctor if you notice any fluctuations in the blood sugar levels or changes in the body.

Follow a proper sleep routine: Those with diabetes will be able to manage their blood sugar levels by getting sound sleep at night. Resting can lower the cortisol (a stress hormone). Cortisol is indirectly responsible for high blood sugar levels. A minimum of 8 hours of sleep is essential for people to stay active and energized.

Stay stress-free: You can do so by doing meditation and yoga. Take out some quality time for yourself, do not sit lonely, and try to mix around with other family members. Those with diabetes fall into the high-risk category and can get sick with Coronavirus. Hence, you will have to be vigilant and take charge of your health.

(The write is General Surgeon, Apollo Spectra, Delhi)

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