Managing Diabetes During Covid-19
Now that many of my clients are sheltering in place during the Lockdown Period and telling me they are bored with Netflix binges; I am asked for tips on things they should do during quarantine with the extra time on their hands. It is a stressful time, especially for those at high risk for complications. Remember, improving the management of blood glucose helps the immune system function properly to fight diabetes and covid-19 viruses. This is an opportunity to take advantage of the downtime, stay busy and focus on forming healthy habits! For more information on healthy behaviors, visit DiabetesEducator.org/healthybehaviours.
Here are 11 tips for people with diabetes while sheltering in place.
Practice social distancing during a pandemic
A word of caution…BEWARE of close contact with other shoppers at the grocers! Food delivery services in many areas are now mandated to provide “no contact” delivery -finally, the groceries are simply left on your doorstep.
Take a Coronavirus news break
Take a break from covid-19 and diabetes news each day. Constant involvement can increase your stress level and affect your blood glucose.
Prepare for sick days
While you have the time, immediately prepare a sick day kit and plan(Type 1 Diabetes Management). Be prepared with extra medications, and diabetes supplies, and contact your diabetes care team for a sick day plan to know if/how much you should adjust insulin or other medications when blood glucose is affected by illness.
Take a few minutes and experience the many benefits of meditation briefly. Stress reduction and improved focus are just two of the benefits of practicing mindfulness. Moreover, check out Mindful.org to get started and you will be a meditation expert in no time.
Pay attention to dental care
People with diabetes are at an increased risk for gum disease, which in turn can lead to elevated blood glucose as soon as start an optimal dental care routine with brushing twice daily and flossing every day. If you have read painful gums, call your dentist!
Eat healthy while Quarantine
Healthy eating strategies are critical to managing your diabetes during the lockdown in addition to this there are many online resources to get you started. Ask your health care provider for a referral to certified diabetes care and education specialist who can teach nutrition strategies via online video or telephone visits while you are sheltering in place.
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Make mealtimes a family affair
Practice preparing healthy meals with your family. Quality time with the family and healthy eating habits for all! Go to the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Food Hub for some quick, easy, and healthy recipes.
Care for your feet
Don’t forget your feet! Wash, dry, and moisturize every day. Thoroughly dry, but do not moisturize, between the toes. Firstly, trim toenails carefully straight across, inspect for blisters/sores/redness in the skin every day (use hand mirror for soles of feet), and secondly, never go barefoot, especially during quarantine!
Keep it moving! Just 10 minutes of exercise increases oxygen to the brain, lowers stress, calms nerves, and improves mood. Moreover, start low and go slow, activity groups with friends, family, and co-workers using text, Facetime, Skype, or Zoom are a great way to motivate. Many companies are offering free or trial access to their apps and local gyms may be streaming group fitness classes equally important if you have limited mobility, then chair exercises are a perfect option to stay active during the covid-19 outbreak!
Connect to peer support
Connect with others and talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling during a covid-19 pandemic. Online peer support communities offer an outlet available 24/7. For more information, visit DiabetesEducator.org/Peer Support.
Learn to cope
Many people are under large amounts of stress and anxiety during this pandemic time. Furthermore, it is important to take care and practice healthy coping strategies, which for people with diabetes or covid-19 can help avoid spikes in blood glucose. For additional guidance from the CDC on healthy coping and managing stress, check out their resources.
Check out Diabetes and Management Skills