By Dr. Sudarshan S.
It is well known that people with diabetes tend to have a relatively severe infection, once infected with SARS CoV-2 virus, when compared to the normal population. Various studies have also shown that diabetes may worsen after the person gets infected with Covid-19. This may be due to the usage of steroids while treating moderate and severe covid. It may also be due to the disease itself causing worsening of diabetes control. Diabetes must be well managed to avoid complications due to the Covid-19 if there’s the next wave of pandemic.
How and when do I test my blood sugars?
The first important measure you can do is a health check. This is better done in a primary care physician’s office. If you are due for blood tests to check the sugars, please get it done in time, as elevated sugars can be asymptomatic but at the same time harmful to your health. The frequency of checking blood sugars varies from individual to individual depending on the diabetes status. You might need to check your blood sugar once in 2 months, or weekly, or sometimes you might need to check very often especially when you are on multiple insulin injections.
If you need to check your sugars very often, you will benefit from having a glucometer at home. If the frequency of sugar test is once a month, it is best done in a good lab. You might need an additional test called Hba1c that reflects your average blood sugars during the last 3 months. Last but not the least, you should always remember to check your vision including examination of the retina, screen for chronic kidney disease, and get your foot examined by the physician regularly to assess for any complications that might arise due to diabetes.
How do I get my blood sugars under control?
Here are a few tips that you need to carry out to improve your glycemic control.
- Take medications in time, as prescribed.
- Follow a good diet, especially a low carbohydrate diet.
- Exercise at least 5 times a week. Make sure you have a combination of cardio workouts and resistance training exercises.
- Get a good sleep every day.
- Avoid stress and exhaustion.
- Take an adequate amount of fluids, to stay well hydrated.
How do I protect myself from Covid 19 infection in future?
- The most important thing is to avoid the infection itself. This is by maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask, and practising hand hygiene.
- Make sure you are vaccinated against Covid and are up to date with your vaccination including booster dose.
- You will also benefit from yearly influenza vaccinations and pneumococcal vaccinations. Check with your primary care physician for immunisation against pneumonia.
- Make sure that your blood sugars are under good control. It’s better to keep comorbidities under check. This helps in the long run.
The writer is Consultant Physician, Medall Healthcare