Diabetes has always been challenging to those who have it and the pandemic has made their fight more difficult. Fortunately, with the advancement of medical technology, we are now more able to detect early, prevent, diagnose, and treat diabetes. World Diabetes Day 2021-2023’s theme, “Access to Diabetes Care,” celebrates 100 years of insulin’s discovery, which improved the lives of those afflicted with the condition.

While diabetes remains to be a medical challenge around the world, we can all make lives better for those who have it by providing them the support and care they need.

Here are some practical ways to help diabetics and their loved ones to deal with diabetes:

Medication: Check the stock of medicines regularly. It is important to have continuous supply even before running out. During the pandemic, the medicine supply was slightly disrupted because of the lockdowns. It’s good to have reserves at home in times like these.

Monitoring: Have a plan in place for seeking medical help if blood sugar levels become too high. If you need to have your blood sugar tested in the hospital, but you are afraid of being exposed to the COVID virus, you can use those do-it-yourself test kits to check your blood sugar levels.

Exercise: Keep exercising regularly even if you are unable to go out. There are a lot of online videos that you can watch and learn from. Family and friends can help by encouraging and joining the activities with diabetes patients to continue an active lifestyle, even when staying at home.

Diet: Maintain a balanced diet. Continue eating fresh food like leafy vegetables, salmon, walnuts, and berries. Younger family members can help diabetic loved ones to get fresh food since they have a lower chance of infection.

Mental health: Regularly check in with your family and friends – even virtually.  Diabetes poses difficulties and living alone may make the situation harder. Keeping in touch is good for the mind as well as the body.

Vaccination: Get the vaccine as soon as you can. Vaccines help your body fight the infection especially among those with pre-existing conditions.

Early diagnosis: Have the condition diagnosed early because the earlier you detect it, the easier to manage the condition. Pay attention to early symptoms like drinking a lot of water, urinating a lot more than usual, and feeling hungry and tired frequently. If you notice any of these, consult with your doctor as soon as you can.

If you are a diabetic or you live with someone who has the condition, check out the questions below: