One in three patients in England who died from coronavirus had Diabetes Type 2 or Type 1. Diabetes doubles your risk of coronavirus. The good news is you can reverse Type 2 Diabetes, and prevent it if you don’t have it.
With an estimated 415 million people live with diabetes worldwide, chances are, you or someone you know either has Diabetes, or unaware you have it. 46% of people living with it right now are undiagnosed according to diabetes.org, and it’s predicted by 2040 that 642 million people will have the life-threatening condition.
Take a healthy, step in the right direction to help prevent Type 2 Diabetes if you haven’t been diagnosed with it, and avoid complications if you do.
What is Diabetes?
There are more rare diabetes types but type 1 & type 2 are the most common. Both are linked to a lack of insulin, a hormone which is VITAL to keep the body alive as they regulate blood sugars for energy, but they are two very different, serious conditions. See how to reserve Type 2 Diabetes.
Having either of them means you have too much glucose (a type of sugar) in your blood.
Constant high blood glucose levels can result in:
- heart disease and stroke
- foot problems and circulation issues
- sight problems including blindness
- loss of feeling as a result of nerve damage or pain (AKA Neuropathy)
- kidney problems
Monitoring blood sugar levels should be increased during coronavirus and the best way to do that is using a blood sugar meter. The most important tool in managing diabetes and preventing complications.
Type 1 Diabetes (controlled by insulin injections)
- The body can’t make insulin at all as it tries to produce it but the immune system attacks and destroys it.
- Insulin must be injected daily to help the pancreas (an organ that converts food we eat into fuel for the body’s cells).
- Insulin tablets won’t help because the stomach enzymes would destroy it before allowing it to become effective.
- Missing an injection or a whole day of insulin could potentially be fatal.
- Common side effects of injecting are redness, pain, itching, swelling, or thickening of skin at the area of injection. There are skin care products that could help some of these side effects
- Inaccurate doses, injecting incorrectly, skipping meals and moderately exercising for a while, such as walking or cycling too long, can also lead to low blood sugars (AKA hypoglycemia, often referred to as a hypo) and the following symptoms:
- Feeling shaky and trembling
- Turning pale
- Being nervous or anxious
- Sweating and chills
- Irritability or impatience
- Palpations and increased heart rate
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Color draining from the skin (pallor)
- Feeling Sleepy
- Feeling weak or having no energy
- Blurred or impaired vision
- Lips, tongue, or cheeks feeling tingly or numb
- Coordination problems, clumsiness, lack of concentration
- Nightmares or crying out during sleep
- Feeling tearful
Glucose tablets are more effective and quicker to treat this more than the sugars in our diet. Eating the right amount of carbs before, during and after exercise can prevent this, as well as drinking plenty of water during exercise.
Type 2 Diabetes (usually controlled by insulin tablets but sometimes insulin injections too)
- One of the fastest growing chronic conditions in the world.
- Known as the silent killer as most people diagnosed don’t recognize the early signs.
- The glucose sugar accumulates in the blood rather than being used as a fuel by the cells in our body.
- The more common form that more people than ever are at risk of.
- 1 in 10 Americans have type 2 diabetes and it is predicted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that 1 in 3 Americans will have it if the trend continues.
- In the UK, there are more than 1 million cases per year.
- Still as dangerous and as life threatening as Type 1 Diabetes.
- Family history of diabetes may increases chances of getting it.
- Symptoms and signs of type 2 diabetes are as follows:
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Fatigue, tiredness
- Sudden weight loss
- Itching around the genitals
- Slow healing cuts or wounds
- Blurred vision
The Best Ways to Prevent & Avoid Diabetes Complications
At least 30 minutes a day to get your heart rate up or any other type of exercise that helps you to work up a sweat. One hour a day is even better. Research has found that regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing by up to 64%. Check the isolation ideas post for exercise ideas you can do at home during coronavirus.
SAY NO TO SMOKING
Tobacco increases blood sugar levels and leads to insulin resistance. It also increases blood pressure levels, which are known to be a major cause of diabetes. See other ways to deal with stress here, as smoking can increases your risk of coronavirus.
80% of people who have diabetes are overweight. Measuring your waist size is a good way to check if you are overweight and at risk. Regardless of your height or BMI, try to lose weight if you’re a man and your waist is 94cm (37 inches) or more, and 80cm (31.5 inches) or more, if you’re a woman. Don’t mistake hunger for water, if you’re hungry in between meals, have a glass of water first, then a hot drink and see it you’re still hungry.
EAT A HEALTHY BALANCED, DIET WITHOUT SKIPPING MEALS
A diet that is low in fat, sugar and salt with a lot of FRESH fruit and veg to reduce your cholesterol levels. Eating processed meat increases your risk of diabetes by 40% and more recent research has shown that vegetarians are a third less likely to suffer from heart problems, a stroke or diabetes. If you being vegetarian is out of the question, at least consider being pescatarian every other day.
Great food choices for diabetics are:
- Avocados (Mmmm AVOCADO) – The good fat we all know and love keeps the doctor away with its endless benefits including decrease risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease risk as well as promoting a healthy complexion.
Kale – Kale is one of the healthiest, most nutritious greens. Really good for the eyes. See more foods high in Vitamin C.
- Nuts – Cashews, pistachios, almonds and walnuts all contain beneficial fats to help keep your hair strong and helps defend against acne and psoriasis (don’t forget – you are what you eat – nuts) See Diabetic Skincare Products.
- Olives – Olive Oil and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil contain antioxidants that reduce inflammation & decrease blood pressure. They’re rich in vitamin E, good fats, and nutrients that help repair and revive your skin
- Beans – Really are good for your heart as they reduce the risks of heart disease and diabetes.
Greek yogurt – Improves blood sugar control, reduces heart disease risk & promotes weight loss.
- Fatty fish – Salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel are great source of omega 3 & 6 to keep the heart healthy and nourish the skin.
- Cinnamon – The tasty alternative to sugar can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
- Eggs – Eggs have eggs-cellent health benefits, one of the best foods to keep you full for longer.
- Chia seeds – The high fiber little seeds are great to lower your blood sugar levels.
- Oats – Rich in fiber which can lower bad cholesterol and improve insulin resistance. Great for strength and energy too.
- Turmeric – Endless medical benefits like reducing inflammation, blood sugar levels & great to use in homemade face mask.
- Blueberries – The fiber with the sugar in them means they don’t have the same effect as sugar in a sweet would, so blood sugar levels won’t increase as quickly
- Peaches – Fresh, juicy peaches are packed with numerous vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. (Still eat in moderation)
Some of these you can store and last a while like turmeric powder, chia seeds and red kidney beans. Be aware that fruits are carbohydrates that will affect your blood sugar levels, and dried fruits have a lot of sugar packed into a small portion. Fresh is always best.
AVOID EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Alcohol leads to weight gain which leads to diabetes. Drinking in moderation is okay, but heavy drinking can lead to chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve and gets worse over time which leads to permanent damage that impairs a patient’s ability to digest food.) Be aware that alcohol can cause a drop in blood sugar levels especially if you take insulin.
REGULAR PHYSICAL CHECK UPS
Check with your GP for early signs of trouble. Online Doctors are available during coronavirus.
Schedule regular dentist visits and look after your oral hygiene by brushing in between meals and flossing your teeth as high blood sugar may make your mouth and makes you more prone to gum diseases.
Eye specialists can also check for signs of cataracts or glaucoma, which diabetics are twice as likely to develop.
CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS REGULARLY
Self-monitoring is one of the best ways to see if your glucose levels are too low or too high. Testing should be done at least 3 times a day – before and after each meal to see how your sugar levels respond, and before you go to bed.
You might need to test more often sometimes, such as before driving, before and after strenuous activity or exercise, start to feel unwell, during illness, or if you have problems with hypos.
Blood Sugar Support Supplements are available on Amazon to help support the following:
- Blood sugar levels
- Weight loss and energy
- Reduces sugar and carb absorption
- Insulin levels
- Heart health.
TAKE YOUR MEDICATION OR INSULIN ON TIME
Missing your insulin can result in hypos as mentioned above. Set a reminder on your phone so it displays on your FitBit, no excuses!
STRENGTHEN IMMUNE SYSTEM
Show your defense system some support by eating foods high in Vitamin C and check the Coronavirus & Vitamin C article for more ways to strengthen your immune system.
Stress & anxiety can increase blood sugar levels. Practice meditation and relaxation techniques, or try some creative habits.
CBD can be used to treat anxiety. Regular CBD use has been proven to help with maintaining a more healthy and regular appetite, an important factor in preventative care for Diabetes, as well as reduce inflammation whether it’s taken orally or topically. My Calm Wellness have a range of CBD edibles and capsules to reduce anxiety, aid sleep and reduce pain and inflammation.
STAY STRONG & STAY HEALTHY
Diabetes can leads to all sorts of life-threatening complications including coronavirus. Take extra measures to prevent it if you don’t have it and avoid complications if you do. Stay strong, safe and healthy.
Other articles you might find useful:
- Diabetic Skin Care Products
- How to Reverse and Control Diabetes with Food
- Coronavirus and Vitamin D – Can Vitamin D Deficiancy increase your risk?
- Coronavirus and Vitamin C – Can it prevent it?