Diabetes & COVID-19: 5 Steps To Stay In Charge

Managing your blood sugar during a distressing time like a pandemic can seem like a challenge. But these 5 simple steps can keep you safe and healthy during the lockdown and beyond.

#1. Don’t Stop Tracking Your Sugar Levels 

If anything, this is the time to double down on keeping your sugar levels in check so you don’t have to make a trip to see a doctor to treat hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.

Start actively monitoring sugar levels at home. If you see unusual spikes or dips, be in touch with your doctor remotely about remedial measures.  

#2. Watch Your Carb And Sugar Intake 

Processed foods and carbs have become the go-to for many of us as we cook all meals at home. Even if you aren’t an experienced cook, try and incorporate simple one-dish meals that have a healthy mix of protein, nutrients, healthy fats, and fiber. 

  • Get fresh produce as much as possible.
  • Make the most of healthy plant-proteins like legumes, daals, and peas.   
  • Eat good fats found in nuts, fish, and avocados. 
  • Don’t overload on rice, pasta, and bread. 
  • Mind your sodium intake from pre-cooked and processed foods. 
  • Strictly avoid all trans fats (mass-produced baked goods, processed foods) and saturated fats (butter, meats, sausages, and high-fat dairy products). 
  • Stick to wholegrains whenever possible – think barley/dalia/ragi even when you are getting ready mixes. 
  • Strictly avoid all sugary sweets, juices, sodas, and chocolates.

#3. Stay Active With Home-Based Exercise  

Getting in some daily physical activity is vital to maintain steady/better glucose levels. Keep up these indoor workouts recommended by the International Diabetes Federation

  • 1 hour of brisk walking on the treadmill (or split it into 3 sessions of 20 minutes each through the day) 
  • 15-min sessions on a stationary cycle, twice a day. Try and cycle for longer if your cycle is reclined – a backrest reduces the effort needed 
  • Yoga 
  • Pilates 
  • Bodyweight exercises like ab crunches, squats, lunges, and push-ups 
  • Rope jumping with a skipping rope 

#4. Stock Up On Your Diabetes Medication And Supplies

Ensure that you have adequate supplies of all your essential medicines and supplies for your devices like your insulin pump or pen, sugar monitoring device supplies and so on. 

Even if you start to develop symptoms of COVID-19, you must continue taking your diabetes medication. Stop only if specifically instructed by your docto  Indian Council of Medical Research

#5. Don’t Put Off Seeing The Doctor If You Need To 

As someone who is in an “at-risk” group, you’re understandably avoiding venturing out even to hospitals. While seeing a doctor in-person may not be advisable, make use of online avenues to consult a doctor who will help chart further steps. 

The bottomline – don’t let this lockdown be a reason to pause whatever you’re doing to keep your blood sugar in check.