14 November is World Diabetes Day! This day is all about spreading awareness regarding the dangers of diabetes and informing people how they can keep diabetes under control. This year, the urgency is more intense. Why? Because a pandemic is raging and it has a link to diabetes. Now, more than ever before, people with diabetes must keep their blood sugar level in check. But, since COVID has interrupted our regular lifestyle, it might be a little difficult. Read on to find out how you can ace the diabetes management challenge!
Why is managing diabetes more difficult now?
Ever since COVID-19 struck, our lives have turned upside down. It has affected everyone in multiple ways. Many people are working from home. With the whole family at home, challenges arise. On top of that, with so many people losing their jobs, financial difficulties have also arisen. Managing diabetes can be difficult because –
- With extra work, you simply may not have the time to prepare diabetes-friendly meals
- Staying at home most of the time is stressful and you might be too exhausted to put in the extra effort of managing diabetes
- If your office is making your work overtime, you might not have time to exercise
- Financial hardships may compel you to go easy on self-testing by purchasing fewer diabetes test strips
- Stress and anxiety may be aggravating your condition
- People with diabetes may feel inclined to binge on junk food to ease tension and anxiety
The need to manage diabetes now is urgent!
The pandemic is definitely not the time when you can relax your diabetes management routine. Diabetes is a comorbidity of COVID-19. Many studies and surveys have found that people with diabetes are much more likely to develop life-threatening COVID infections. Diabetes weakens our immunity & thus the body is not able to fight off the coronavirus.
When diabetics contract COVID, it increases their risk of ketoacidosis (too much acid in the blood) and hyperglycemia (which may trigger cardiac diseases and nerve damage).
How to manage diabetes during the pandemic
To manage diabetes during the pandemic, you have to be extra proactive –
- Usually, you are expected to test your blood sugar level at least once a day. During the pandemic, make sure you’re doing it twice.
- Completely avoid sugary foods, trans fats, white rice/ bread/ pasta/ noodles, sweet yogurt, dried fruits, sugary beverages. Even if you feel stressed, remember, these foods can kill you.
- Home exercises like spot jogging, jumping jacks, rope jumping, weight lifting, and core exercise can keep sugar levels low. 20 minutes of exercise a day is a must.
- Try and get a flu shot and a pneumonia shot
- If you have other health conditions that aggravate diabetes like heart or kidney disorders, don’t forget to take your medication on time
- Don’t skip your appointment with your doctor because you fear contracting COVID.
For other challenges triggered by COVID –
- Talk to your family and stress the importance of distributing household chores evenly so that you have time to manage diabetes. Explain that it is a crucial matter.
- Manage to squeeze out 15-20 minutes from your routine for some exercise, no matter how tired you are.
- Curtail expenses on things you really don’t need during the pandemic, such as new clothes, a new gadget and save that money to purchase test strips.
- Do breathing exercises for a few minutes throughout the day. It works wonders to manage stress.
This World Diabetes Day, let’s pledge to do everything in your power to manage your diabetes or help someone you love who has this disorder!