The pandemic begins to take its toll on the body. Irritated eyes, sensitive skin from prolonged use of the mask, stiff neck, hair loss or numb muscles are reactions that may disappear when this is over, but there are others that will have lifelong consequences: diabetes is a of them.
The coronavirus has altered the sense of normality and type 2 diabetes is taking advantage of that, a disease that is not new but is very opportunistic, because it is the result of genetic factors and an unhealthy lifestyle.
November is the month of awareness of this public health problem. More than 34 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The worrying thing is that more and more children and young people are adding to these statistics.
“Genetically Latinos have a risk of more than 50% of developing type two diabetes and the serious thing is that there are many who already have it and have not yet been diagnosed,” says Liliana Gómez-Medley, a doctor in Family Medicine at Kaiser Permanente. . His diagnosis is blunt:
“Patients whose exams appear normal but who are overweight are considered pre-diabetic.”
Diabetes is the result of a sedentary lifestyle and a diet abundant in flours, starches, sugars and highly industrialized and processed products.
For those who already have the disease, it is never too late to adopt healthy eating habits, exercise regularly, take medicines and follow exactly what the doctor advises.
It is true that there is a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes among those who have a genetic factor, but Gómez-Medley wants it to be clear that it can affect all people, if they eat poorly and do not exercise the body. His request for Latinos: not to get out of hand this holiday season, where there is usually plenty of food and little inclination to exercise due to the cold and fear of the coronavirus.
When should you go to the doctor?
With a plate full of bread, rice, noodles, tortillas, potatoes, fried foods, sodas and processed juices, it is impossible to put overweight and obesity at bay; And with no veggies, low-fat meats, and no exercise, take it for granted that diabetes is already around the corner.
This professional asks to observe the following signs that something is wrong: “If you see that you gain weight, feel very tired, vision becomes blurred, you are very thirsty, urinate too much or lose too much weight, go to the doctor.”
Due to the pandemic, diabetes has gotten out of control, either due to confinement, stress, lack of exercise, poor diet and postponed visits to the doctor for fear of the coronavirus. They arrive at Gómez-Medley’s office and include a greater variety ”.
An ideal breakfast is if patients who report that they have stopped taking medicines to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure or glucose because they are unemployed and have no money.
Out-of-control diabetes destroys the patient’s quality of life.
The omens are not good: heart attacks, stroke, high risk of blindness, chances of amputation of the feet, kidney failure and even danger of dementia are just some of the consequences.
Speaking of the coronavirus, diabetic patients are among the most exposed to suffering serious respiratory failure, ending up in hospital with a ventilator and even dying.
Not without vegetables and fruits
Keep the siren songs of diabetes away by changing your diet. Saying it is easy, doing it is difficult if you have grown up eating pupusas, fried plantains, beans and rice; But as Gómez-Medley tells her patients: “It is not forbidden to eat these foods, what you do have to reduce are the following portions: a portion of papaya, a small banana, a tea without sugar and if you like bread, make it comprehensive. Another variant is a natural fruit juice without adding sugar or a serving of strawberries, blackberries and yogurt.
What about lunch? Half the plate should be filled with vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, peppers, cabbage and others of your choice; Divide the other half in two: the first for the meat, better if it is cooked or baked and no larger than the size of the palm of the hand; and the second half is for a small portion of brown rice, a potato or better if you replace them once with quinoa, another with lentils, beans or chickpeas. Oh, don’t forget a portion of fruit, even if it’s frozen, and a good glass of water.
“All foods are necessary because they provide vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and protein, but the key is to eat less. If you have a sweet tooth, eat half a mango or a slice of pineapple, ”recommends Gomez-Medley. The body also needs fats, better if they come from avocado, which Latinos like so much. A small portion of almonds and a few drops of olive oil are welcome.
Children are what parents eat. When they arrive at Gomez-Medley’s office lamenting that the children are overweight because they like sweets, sodas, and junk food, she asks them, “Who buys the food?” There is no excuse, the responsibility for what is consumed at home falls on adults.
To move the skeleton!
The other escape route is to move your body with moderate intensity. Daily, at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week is recommended. You can run, walk briskly, or stretch your muscles. “The best exercise is the one you enjoy,” says Gomez-Medley.
The healthy body in a healthy mind fits perfectly at this time, since exercise helps the emotional part, to sleep well, to relieve joint pain. “Get some weights to put weight on your legs and arms; in women this increases the density of the bones ”, is the recommendation of this professional.
“If you do not have weights or bands, use the objects at home, the detergent container, a heavy book, the broomstick. It is time to be recursive. If you can’t go out, put on music and dance, the important thing is to create the habit ”. It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes in a row. You can do it for five or 10 minutes in the morning and the rest in the afternoon.