COVID-19 or the Coronavirus has negatively impacted the populations’ life around the world. It has reached pandemic levels and forced a long-term lockdown in India and in other countries. The lockdown was inevitable because the people of India did not understand the gravity of the situation and continued moving around irresponsibly.
Diabetes is a growing challenge in India with estimated 8.7 per cent diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years (WHO). There are estimated 72.96 million cases of diabetes in the adult population of India. The prevalence in urban areas ranges between 10.9 per cent and 14.2 per cent and prevalence in rural India was 3.0-7.8 per cent among population aged 20 years and above with a much higher prevalence among individuals aged over 50 years (INDIAB Study). One in six people (17%) in the world with diabetes is from India.
There was an increase in the ADA diabetes risk score in 7 per cent of the population during the Pandemic lockdown that is considered as high risk. Lockdown restrictions had caused an overall increase of 20 per cent in blood sugar levels. The results were derived from 8,200 diabetic patients across India, as per the analysis conducted by Beato, a full-stack digital ecosystem for diabetes care and management.
Now with the lockdown people have to stay at home and last out the gestation period of the virus without affecting others including the family.
It is not an easy way to live especially for the working, the children, the senior citizens and especially people with chronic diseases like diabetes.
Being quarantined per force at home is a golden chance, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to change your lifestyle for the better. One of the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle is Diabetes Type 2. The other less common type of diabetes generally seen in children and young age is known as Type 1 Diabetes, where the body’s insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are completely destroyed and lifelong they have to be on daily insulin injections.
Staying at home gives a chance to retrospect and plan changes in your lifestyle and keep a track of your habits. Staying at home has many advantages. It helps you to make a schedule and adhere to the routine and train the body and mind to follow a healthy life routine. This is particularly beneficial for people suffering with diabetes.
First of all everyone – especially a diabetic should follow some basic precautions like:
· Wash hands thoroughly and regularly.
· Avoid touching your face, especially mouth, nose and eyes till you have washed and dried or thoroughly sanitized your hands.
· Clean and disinfect all objects and surfaces which are touched frequently.
· Sanitize every material which comes from outside as well as your hands. Example milk packets, news paper, couriers
· Do not share food, spoons, glasses, towels, tools etc.
· Cover the mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, with a tissue or handkerchief or napkin. Ideally sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow/arm. (Dispose of the tissue into a lidded bin after use).
· Avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
Certain precautions which should be taken by a person suffering from Diabetes during quarantine period
· Make sure you have all a stock of diabetes medication to last for a period longer than the lockdown
· Keep relevant contact details of your healthcare personnel at hand
· Pay extra attention to your blood sugar levels.
· If you have flu-like symptoms (raised temperature, cough, difficulty breathing) and especially if you are coughing up phlegm consult your healthcare professional as this is an indication of infection.
· Infections are known to raise glucose levels and increase the need for fluids, so ensure access a sufficient supply of water and other liquids.
· Make sure you have access to enough food.
· Learn how to handle the situation if blood sugar levels drop suddenly.
· If you live alone, ensure you can access someone you can rely on and who knows you have diabetes as you may require assistance if sugar levels fluctuate.
· Do not miss regular health checkups. Connect with doctors online upon fluctuations in blood sugar levels through video consultations.
Take all necessary precautions and then schedule a routine for yourself – follow it strictly
1. Eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner – avoid too much of sugars and carbohydrates. Incorporate nutrients like green vegetables, fruits, eggs.
2. Make place for a working space: This is best for people who ‘work from home’. Follow work timings similar to the office. Set up a comfortable table and chair to work. DO not use your bed as a work station as it will impact posture and overall health.
3. Take short breaks: Re-charge and re-energize the body by taking rest and short breaks to compensate for the energy lost. Take at least 3-4 short breaks while working and avoid any kind of exposure. Pre-plan beforehand the duration of the breaks and try not to change it.
4. Indoor strolls should become routine: During work breaks walk for atleast 10-15 minutes, atleast 3 times a day
5. Sleep well: It is easy to get anxious and undergo stress during this Coronavirus pandemic which will affect mental health. Thus sleeping well would help you relax eventually lowering heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels.
For those who are not working, but have their hands full with having the family home all the time
1. Involve the family in everyday chores by allotting duties
2. Ensure mealtimes are adhered to
3. Serve balanced meals
5. Walk indoors for 10-15 minutes three to four times a day
6. Sleep well, do not stress, tomorrow will take care of itself