SEVENTY-SEVEN percent of COVID-19-related deaths in the country had either one or several known co-morbidities, according to the World Health Organization, such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, cardiac disease, bronchial asthma, and cancer.
Dr. Jeremy Robles, Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (PSEDM) president, said that both are inflammatory disorders and the presence of diabetes can make one’s COVID-19 infection worse.
Controlling diabetes will depend largely on patient adherence because diabetes is both a chronic and a lifetime disease, added Robles, who outlined four simple yet effective ways for patients to control diabetes.
First and foremost, eating healthy and on time helps normalize blood sugar. PSEDM advises eating more fruits, vegetables, and fish, while avoiding high sugar drinks.
That does not mean people with diabetes cannot eat good food anymore. For Robles, patients have to understand the disease and limitations.
The society guidelines also state that exercise has been proven to lower blood sugar because it helps fight against insulin resistance. Try jogging in place, skipping rope, or even just brisk walking around the house for 30 minutes or more.
Regular medication helps prevent complications brought on by uncontrolled blood sugar.
Going to regular check-ups is a supporting pillar of the PSEDM guidelines as it ensures adherence to the other three – proper diet, regular exercise, and consistent medication.
Living with diabetes is not easy, Robles pointed out. The anxiety that comes with potential complications, especially during these times, can also be difficult to deal with.
“It’s important to remember that diabetes is dangerous and complications may be fatal,” he said, noting that taking control of it means being responsible for one’s disease.