What diabetics should know during Covid


Those with poorly controlled diabetics are more vulnerable to Covid-19 compared to those who are fit and control their diabetes routinely, a conference in India said Wednesday.

Diabetics should avoid getting into fad diets like intermittent dieting or keto diet and instead focus on well-balanced diet of green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, speakers said at an event organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

It concluded the third edition of the ‘Illness to Wellness’ series themed ‘Diabetes Management During Covid-19’ with an eminent panel of diabetes experts invited to hold dialogue on the illness.

The experts highlighted that patients with poorly controlled diabetes with comorbidities are more vulnerable to developing severe symptoms for Covid-19.

India currently stands in second place in number of diabetes cases across the world after China, according to the International Diabetes Foundation Diabetes Atlas. India is said to have approximately 77 million diabetics.

Ambrish Mittal, chairman and head of endocrinology and diabetes department at Max Healthcare, said: “A young, newly diagnosed or well controlled fit diabetic is not the same as an old diabetic with poorer control. If you are a well-controlled otherwise fit diabetic, then you really not at too much of risk of getting Covid, however, same protocol as others need to be observed with stringent precautions.

“If a diabetic does turn out to be Covid positive and asymptomatic then you need to undergo quarantine, if you are symptomatic mildly then you need to be in touch with your doctor and may also require testing from time to time but this can still be managed from home with isolation. If you are highly vulnerable with old age and conditions like kidney diseases, diabetes, heart disease and blood pressure then it is advisable that you get admitted.”

Anoop Misra, executive chairman, Fortis C-DOC, stressed regulating and monitoring sugar levels for diabetics during Covid-19.

“Stick to your medication and check your sugar level constantly. Get your home monitoring kit and use it to monitor your levels. It is not advisable to go to a lab to get tests done right now.

“Sugar management and control is of utmost importance as this itself will indicate what will be your state if you were to contract Covid, whether it will be mild or severe. This applies to non-diabetics too as many people are gaining weight this time and are inclined to pick-up diabetes,” he said.

Stressing the importance of maintaining a healthy diet that consists of ample supply of proteins, fibers and micro-nutrients, Misra added, “Do not get into fad diets like intermittent fasting or keto diets. A usual balanced meal with 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables and green leafy veggies should be enough. People need to also take in plenty of nuts and seeds and to get a good amount of fibers and micronutrients nutrients in their diets.”