10 Diabetes Care Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic
1. Follow the CDC Guidelines
The CDC guidelines are in place to keep everyone safe from COVID, including individuals with diabetes. Maintain social distancing, wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose when out in public.
2. Sanitize Before Administering Medication or Treatment
Before administering insulin or other injections, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and sanitize the injection site. Dispose of the needle safely afterward.
3. Make Sure You Have Your Prescriptions Ahead of Time
Ensure you have enough medication and supplies to last you at least several weeks. Whether you get COVID or come into contact with someone who tests positive, you will have to self-isolate at home, meaning that it might be challenging to get your necessary diabetes medications. Be prepared!
4. Check for Changing Policy Measures That Can Help You
Many insurance and pharmacy policies have changed to accommodate life in the pandemic. Some pharmacies have waived home delivery fees for medication, and insurance policies have increased the number of prescriptions you can pick up at once.
5. Don’t Stress About Availability of Medication
While many supplies are low in stock due to the pandemic, diabetes medications and supplies are not something you need to worry about. There are currently no disruptions or issues with the supply chain.
6. Watch Out for Cold and Flu Over-the-Counter Medication
Before you pick up over-the-counter cold and flu medicine, make sure they don’t negatively interact with diabetes medications or blood glucose levels. For example, many cough syrups contain sugar. Ask a pharmacist to be safe.
7. Be Conscious of the Signs of Unstable Blood Sugar Levels
Make sure you understand and recognize the signs of unstable blood sugar levels and diabetic ketoacidosis— a dangerous and life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar levels and ketone levels regularly.
8. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Wellness Routine
Many find it difficult to afford healthy and diabetes-friendly meals during this pandemic. Look for coupons, buy nutrient-dense foods with longer shelf life, such as beans and legumes, and freeze leftovers. Buy local and in-season produce, which tends to be cheaper and fresh!
9. Have a Diabetes Support Group
Connect with other individuals in your community or friend group that have diabetes. Having a support group that understands your struggles helps with mental wellbeing and encourages you to stay on top of diabetes management.
10. Talk to Your Doctor About Both COVID and Diabetes
Yes, COVID is on the front of everyone’s minds, but don’t forget to keep your doctor in the loop with your diabetes. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to your doctor and ask.