During the pandemic, there has been a massive change in lifestyle routines as most people stay indoors. People with diabetes face a challenging situation to maintain blood sugar levels and stay physically active due to restrictions in outdoor activities. Observing this World Diabetes Day (November 14th), Dr. Shrinath P Shetty, Consultant Endocrinologist at the best hospital in Mangalore, Manipal Hospital, shares insights about the prevailing state of diabetes patients and the essential lifestyle routines that need to be undertaken.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, the sugar control has worsened among 70-80% of the patients with diabetes, while the remaining 20%-30% of patients have either improved or maintained their sugar levels as they worked on a diet, and exercised regularly. Almost 60%-70% of the patients with diabetes postponed their routine check-up visits even after the lockdown. 50% of these patients have tried to contact doctors virtually or checked their sugar levels in labs or glucometers. The, remaining 50% of the patients avoided any form of sugar level checks, and are currently visiting the hospital to understand their condition.
It is essential for diabetes patients to control their sugar levels as they are at a higher risk of serious illness from Covid-19. Patients with high sugar levels are pro-inflammatory, a condition that can lead to critical issues when combined with coronavirus. The ones with controlled sugar levels are in a better condition to deal with the virus. Patients with poorly controlled diabetes tend to have more complications like kidney disease or heart disease which makes the recovery from COVID-19 more difficult.
Here are few essential lifestyle routines that should be adopted by patients with diabetes during Covid times:
Regular exercise and diet control is the key to keep sugar levels under control and gain immunity
If one cannot go for a walk outside, walk in the veranda or living room for at least 15-30 minutes
Adopt aerobic/anaerobic exercises, at least for half-hour a day to increase the metabolic rate
Ensure to get 8 hours of sleep as it is one of the best immunity boosters
Zinc and micronutrient-based vitamin supplements are good options for boosting immunity. Vitamin C supplements are usually consumed when one has an infection or close contact has an infection. Vitamin C overdose can be harmful to the body, hence used with caution.
To reduce the adverse effects of stress on diabetes, adopt Yoga practices and maintain a balanced and disciplined life
Always eat on time, avoid delays or find healthy food alternatives when there is a delay
As many people are restricted at home, most diabetic patients have not checked their sugars or taken advice for sugar control. Avoid being ignorant and turning a blind eye to diabetes. People can use a glucometer can be used to get sugar levels checked. Similarly, teleconsultation facilities can be availed in case the patient is not able to visit the doctor.
However, teleconsultation may not be appropriate during emergency conditions. In such a situation a patient may have to visit the doctor/hospital. Visit the best diabetologist in Mangalore for consultation.
Avoid places with huge gatherings.
Do not fall for unsolicited advice or unauthentic messages or videos on social media about diabetes. As long as the sugar levels are controlled, there is nothing to worry about.
Steam inhalation is good for the common cold and sinusitis. However routine use to prevent COVID-19 infection has no scientific basis.
If one faces low sugar levels, medication should not be stopped abruptly, especially for patients using insulin. One can opt for reducing the dosage of medicines as per the doctor’s prescription
Do not combine work stress into your personal life. Learn to draw a line between work life and personal life. Since most people are working from home, dedicate one room for office-related work and have a dedicated work time with a cut-off. This helps in reducing the stress levels at home.
Amid the pandemic, Dr. Shrinath P Shetty, the best diabetologist in Mangalore further states that patients with diabetes need to consciously reduce the risk of getting infected by using masks properly and avoid contact with suspected patients. A family member of diabetic patients also needs to be careful to avoid getting the infection home by following the necessary precautions. However, in case, these patients face symptoms like fever, cough, breathlessness they should get themselves tested within the 1st 3 days, as last-minute visits are not risky and not recommended.
For diabetes treatment in Mangalore, book an appointment with Manipal Hospital now!
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