The Importance of Watching Your Blood Sugar During Viral Outbreaks

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importance of watching your blood sugar during viral outbreaks, The Importance of Watching Your Blood Sugar During Viral Outbreaks, Dr. Nicolle

Welcome to Diabetes Prevention Thursdays! Let’s talk about the importance of watching your blood sugar during viral outbreaks. Most diabetics are already aware of how important it is for them to keep track of their blood sugar. Making a few wrong moves can have some serious implications, and it can leave you feeling weak, exhausted, and can lead to some pretty serious medical problems.

 

However, keeping track of your blood sugar during a viral outbreak adds a whole new layer of importance, because that is the last time that you’’d want to have an incident. One reason it’s so important to keep track of your blood sugar is that if your blood sugar becomes elevated, you might have to go to the hospital or the doctor’’s office.

 

During a viral outbreak, this is the last place that you want to go, especially with an underlying condition like diabetes. Chances are that that location has been caring for tons of patients with the virus, and you run a much higher risk of infection.

importance of watching your blood sugar during viral outbreaks, The Importance of Watching Your Blood Sugar During Viral Outbreaks, Dr. Nicolle

Typically, those with conditions like diabetes get hit harder by viruses anyway because of weakened immune systems, but when you’re going there with high blood sugar already, it can be even worse, since your body is already dealing with its underlying health condition(s).

 

You need to exercise extreme caution when going to the hospital if your blood sugar gets too high. Another complication that can stem from having too high or too low blood sugar is that you may end up having symptoms that mimic with the virus that’s spreading around.

 

You might start to feel sick and dizzy, or have splitting headaches and accidentally assume that you caught the virus. Letting your blood sugar get out of control can actually damage your immune system and make it work less efficiently than it was working previously.

 

Your immune system relies on your body getting just the right amounts of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals so that it can work properly. All of those nutrients are used in different ways by different immune cells, so if you’’re eating improperly and letting your blood sugar get out of control, you also may not be getting the nutrients that you need in the first place, leading to a weaker immune system that’ is more susceptible to the virus.

 

During virus outbreaks, it’’s crucial that you eat healthily to maintain your immune system and also keep consistent track of your blood sugar so that you don’’t end up hospitalized.

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importance of watching your blood sugar during viral outbreaks, The Importance of Watching Your Blood Sugar During Viral Outbreaks, Dr. Nicolle

 

I wanted to talk about this topic because it is absolutely possible to prevent and even reverse Type 2 Diabetes (but you cannot reverse Type 1).  Yes, it’s possible! and emerging studies looking at lifestyle medicine and prevention support this! But I always tell my patients that you must be dedicated and diligent in adopting a healthy lifestyle to get the best results. You can create certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, to help break the cycle of this chronic disease so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.

 

I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve your blood sugar levels, maybe reverse type 2 diabetes. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.

 

Tools For Diabetes Prevention and Monitoring

Blood Sugar Monitoring

As you know, I always stress the importance of taking control of your health. Monitoring your blood sugar levels is one of the best ways to do this. To do this, a single drop of blood is collected with disposable lancets and placed on a disposable test strip, which you insert into a home blood-sugar monitoring device, called a glucometer.

 

The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up (fasting), before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime; however, you should check your blood sugar as many times a day as your health care team suggests.

 

Monitoring your blood sugar level provides you and your doctors with important knowledge about how food, activity, medication, stress, and other elements might affect your blood sugar levels. This data will assist you and your doctor in developing a therapy plan that is suited to your demands.

 

There are several types of blood glucose meters, lancets, and test strips to choose from. I often recommend this glucometer, lancets, and test strips.

Glucometer

OneTouch Ultra 2 Blood Glucose Meter 1Test Strips

OneTouch Ultra Test Strips 1 Lancets

OneTouch UltraSoft Lancets 1

Weight Monitoring

Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases such as diabetes, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices):


Body Composition Monitor And Scale With Seven Fitness Indicators
importance of watching your blood sugar during viral outbreaks, The Importance of Watching Your Blood Sugar During Viral Outbreaks, Dr. Nicolle

Body Composition Monitor And Scale With Seven Fitness IndicatorsPhysical Activity

Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity actually improves insulin sensitivity. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.

 

I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.

 

Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.

 

Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Here are some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.

 

Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling: 

importance of watching your blood sugar during viral outbreaks, The Importance of Watching Your Blood Sugar During Viral Outbreaks, Dr. Nicolle

Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet and regular physical activity are the best ways to prevent diabetes. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

Stay healthy,

 

Dr. Nicolle

 

PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.

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