We’re all well aware now that the current Covid-19 pandemic is spreading all over the World. Following health professionals’ recommendations, more and more Governments decree quarantine measures to try and stop the spread.
Do not forget that diabetic people are considered by the World Health Organisation to be person “at high risk” of developing severe complications when infected by the coronavirus. So, whether your government has decreed quarantine or not, if you have diabetes, it is highly recommended that you stay at home and practice social distancing until further notice.
If that’s you case, we’re happy to share with you our tips for managing diabetes while in quarantine. Let’s try and make this quarantine a positive stopover in our diabetic lives.
Before we start, and if you’re still wondering what exactly are the impacts of coronavirus on diabetes and vice versa, check out the article below:
#StayHome: Probably the most used hashtag on social networks today. And for a good reason: by staying home, you’re actively participating in confronting the Coronavirus pandemic and minimising community spread of the Covid-19 virus. And at the same time, you are protecting yourself and your loved ones against this potentially severe viral infection.
But, when we live with a chronic disease like diabetes, we can not allow ourselves to put in on the side for a while. It could have dramatic consequences for us. Quarantine or not, we need to constantly manage our diabetes and regulate our blood sugar levels. Living in quarantine, with no doubt, will have an impact on everyone’s lifestyle, and both on our mental and physical healths. And it will definitely have an impact on our diabetes management and glycemia.
This new temporary sedentary lifestyle definitely comes with some challenges for us living with diabetes. By anticipating and identifying these challenges beforehand, it will be much easier to fight them:
All of these factors can have a bad influence on our diabetes management, as they usually have a tendency to increase our blood sugar levels.
Fortunately, quarantine also comes with some really good sides too when it comes to diabetes management:
All in all, the conveniences of quarantine for diabetes management should help you meet its challenges, especially if you follow the following tips for managing diabetes during quarantine.
Here are a few ideas for tackling diabetes problems and make quarantine a positive stopover in your life with diabetes.
Sedentary lifestyle, such as the one we are experiencing during this Covid-19 quarantine, tends to make it more difficult to lower blood sugar levels. Actually, sedentary lifestyle is even one of the numerous possible causes of type 2 diabetes. In order to counterbalance the effects of this temporary lock down on your diabetes, try to adopt these few good habits:
Because of the inevitable decrease of physical exercise combine together with the stress and anxiety some of us most likely experience during quarantine, our blood sugar levels tend to be higher, or at least to act differently, than usual. Therefore, do not hesitate to test your blood glucose levels as much as you can during this quarantine, and definitely more than you usually do.
If you’re on insulin, do not be surprise if you feel like you have to increase your usual doses. If you’re on oral medication for diabetes, you might need to temporarily reduce your daily carbs intake in order to cope with the quarantine.
In any case, if you have trouble lowering your blood sugar levels, or if you experience any particular difficulty with diabetes management during quarantine, don’t wait too long before you call your diabetes doctor and ask for professional advice.
You may already do it, but if you don’t, this Coronavirus quarantine period is the perfect opportunity to start home-cooking and to learn how to perfectly balance your meals within a diabetes-friendly diet.
Research finds that people who eat home-cooked meals on a regular basis tend to be happier and healthier. They consume less sugar and processed foods, which results in higher energy levels and better general health. Regarding diabetes management, home-cooking is an essential tool, sometimes even more efficient than medication.
The benefits of home-cooking your meals during this Coronavirus quarantine are numerous:
During quarantine try and plan your menus a week ahead. Shopping for food can be limited during this period, and it’s highly recommended to spend as less time as possible in crowded places such as supermarkets in order to avoid the pandemic spreading. Write a complete shopping list, and get all the fresh groceries you need to cook for a whole week.
If you need help planning a diabetes-friendly meal plan for a whole week, check out this article by Diabetes UK which guides you accordingly to your gender and your daily calories needs.
And, if you’re out of recipes ideas, check out our favourite Diabetes-friendly recipes websites:
Probably your local gyms, pools, yoga studios and dozens of other exercise venues are shut down by now. Even if it is hard to find the motivation to get moving when at home, remember that physical exercise during quarantine is even more important than in normal times: it will help your immune system remain strong so you are less susceptible to contract a viral infection such as Covid-19. It is also a very efficient mean to relieve stress and keep mental strength higher (which we do need when locked down!)
Keep following the minimal recommendation of 30 minutes physical exercise per day. Online workouts, going for a walk or a run (if you can get out of home), or even active gardening! Ideas are numerous and I’m sure you’ll find one that just fits your needs. We really like this New York Times Article on how to exercise at home.
Being at home all day long, we can sometimes forget about drinking water! It’s very important that you keep well-hydrated, even if you’re moving less than usual. Remember that people with diabetes have an increased risk of dehydration as high blood glucose levels lead to decreased hydration in the body.
Drink a cup of water at least every hour while on quarantine, especially if you’re experiencing unusually high blood sugar levels. Tea and sugar-free drinks can also participate.
Quarantine is nothing inconsequential when it comes to mental health. Previous quarantine measures in previous situations have shown that people generally have difficulties coping with social distancing and quarantine measures.
While this is not our specialty, we’ll redirect you toward a very informative article that explains the Coronavirus quarantine situation’s potential effects on mental health and how to cope with it: “How to cope with Quarantine“.
You can also check this useful guide about improving mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One thing we all have in common during this Covid-19 quarantine period: a lot of time! So, why not use this free time opportunity to experiment new diabetes things that we’ve always thought about but never had time to try out? Some things could really change your diabetic life after the quarantine. And if you don’t try them out now, when will you? What better place than at home to do it? A few suggestions that might interest you: