Diabetes care during lockdown period

People with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with Corona Virus. But the good news is that the risk of getting complications of COVID-19 in people with diabetes is likely to be lower if the diabetes is well controlled.

Let’s learn how to manage diabetes well in the current period of lockdown when there are restrictions on activity levels and access to fresh food.

How to assess diabetes control

  • Fasting Blood Sugar : less than 140 mg/dL
  • 2 hour post meal sugars: less than 180 mg/dL
  • HbA1c (average of last 3 months blood sugar): less than 8%

Cornerstones of Diabetes Control

1. Medicines:

  • Take your diabetes medicines on time especially in relation with food.
  • Order medicines online. Avoid visiting pharmacy.
  • If medicines are not available, contact doctor to know alternative medicines.
  • Do not start or stop medicines on your own.

2. Diet:

  • Eat a well balanced diet, avoid fasting and feasting to prevent rollercoaster of blood sugars.
  • Eat fiber rich foods like fresh salads, vegetables and fruits. If these foods are not available in quarantine period, have sprouts, chia seeds, beans and whole grain cereals.
  • Avoid processed and packaged foods.
  • Generally supplements are not required. Consult a qualified nutritionist to know whether you need supplements.

3. Exercise:

  • Lock down is not an excuse to skip workout!
  • Perform at least 1 hour of daily indoor workout (combination of spot jogging, skipping, stationary cycling, squats, lunges, push ups, Surya Namaskar etc)
  • In case of any co-morbidity like high blood pressure or heart disease or joint pain, consult a doctor and physiotherapist to know right type of exercise.

4. Stress management:

  • Stress increases blood sugar.
  • Find the stressor (cause of stress) and do one of the following:
    AVOID / ALTER / ADAPT/ ACCEPT the stressor.
  • Follow stress management techniques: spend time for hobbies, go close to nature (gardening, bird watching), exercise, adequate sleep and fun activities

5: Regular Monitoring:

  • Blood sugar (on Glucometer): At least 4 times daily (before every meal and at bedtime) and in case of doubt
  • Urine sugar (with keto diastix): if unable to do blood sugar
  • Foot examination: daily for any cuts / wounds, clean and dry feet daily before going to bed
  • Annual checkup can be postponed till the lock down gets over if there is no urgent issue

With these 5 cornerstones of diabetes management, keep your diabetes well controlled. Maintain social distancing. It will help you stay away from COVID-19 infection as well as complications.