Pandemic adds extra challenge to those with diabetes

Denise Dador Image
Monday, January 11, 2021
How to manage your diabetes during the pandemic
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An underlying health condition like diabetes can be far more difficult to manage during the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some tips.

One of the terms we've suddenly come to know during this pandemic that maybe we wish we hadn't is comorbidity. It's a preexisting condition that makes you more likely to get sick or die from COVID-19.

One of those comorbidities is diabetes.

Like 34 million other Americans, Hasa Kingo has diabetes, and when the pandemic hit, he had a hard time managing it.

"That was really an uncertain and challenging thing for me because I was so used to the process of going to see my endocrinologist every few weeks and months to manage my diabetes and make sure everything was under control," Kingo said.

Managing diabetes is a struggle for many people. Add a serious virus to the mix and you could have a recipe for trouble.

Rachel Rabkin Peachman of Consumer Reports says:

"Research shows that people who contract COVID and have high blood glucose levels have worse outcomes. But making even small improvements to blood sugar control can have a big impact on COVID outcomes, so it's really important that you stay on top of your diabetes management."

If you're having trouble managing your diabetes during the pandemic, here are some steps you can take:

First, in order to ensure social distancing, set up regular delivery of medicine and supplies if possible, so you don't have to go into the pharmacy. Consider doing the same for grocery deliveries so you'll have fresh, wholesome food on hand. Also, make sure to keep all of your medical appointments.

"Health experts are no longer telling people to avoid medical offices completely. So be sure to get the medical care you need during the pandemic, especially for complicated chronic diseases like diabetes," Peachman said.

"I see my doctor I guess twice within the last four months or so span and I think that has been reassuring," Kingo said.

Although getting to the gym may not be an option in some areas, it's still important for patients to try to find a way to stay active and safely exercise.