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COVID-19 and Diabetes

How to handle the coronavirus with diabetes

A Veteran checking her blood sugar at homeHaving diabetes can be stressful, and COVID-19 doesn’t make it any easier. Staying healthy is everyone’s goal right now. As you limit contact with others, we’re here to help by answering Veterans’ questions and providing tips to help you manage your health during the coronavirus outbreak.

Healthy eating

It can be hard to eat healthy when you’re stuck at home or have limited options. Low-blood sugar episodes are among the top three most common drug-related ER visits for Veterans. While you're observing social distancing, make sure you’re stocked up on diabetic-friendly foods, such as fiber-rich foods and lean meats. VA’s Healthy Teaching Kitchen YouTube videos also has great ideas and delicious recipes to try, such as Chicken Vegetable Stir-fry and Patriotic Quinoa Salad.

While being in the house, it’s also easy to snack on the wrong things. But as a person with diabetes, it’s important for you to stick to your regular mealtimes. This helps your body better match mealtime foods with insulin. Start tracking your meals and snacks in your food journal to monitor daily eating.

What to do while indoors

The MOVE! Coach app is a great weight loss app for Veterans. MOVE! Coach lets you monitor, track, and get feedback on your progress with weight, diet, and exercise goals. But if you’re looking just to move around and stay active, there are plenty of other physical activities you can try from the comfort of your home:

  • Put on some music and dance
  • Do some in-home exercises

  • Walk around or stretch

Staying healthy during this time is crucial. People of any age with severe obesity or certain underlying medical conditions, such as those with diabetes and other medical conditions are at higher risk. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself and staying up to date with the latest information.

Don’t let stress get to you

You don’t want to forget to take your medication or overeat because you’re feeling uneasy. Stress can make it harder to focus on your health. But if you have diabetes, moments of stress are often the most important times to monitor your blood sugar. Try doing some relaxing activities to keep blood sugar levels steady and in a healthy range. Also, check your supply of prescription medications. If your medication is getting low, request a refill, so you don’t run out. There are four ways to request a refill:

  • Online with My HealtheVet: View prescription history and track the delivery status of your package online.

  • Use the Rx Refill Mobile app: Request refills of your refillable VA-issued prescriptions, track VA prescription deliveries, and view VA prescription history from the convenience of your mobile device.

  • Call: To order refills by phone, you will need the prescription number (shown as Rx # on the prescription label) and your Social Security Number.

  • By mail: VA Pharmacy provides a refill request form with each prescription filled.

Please vote in our unscientific poll. All responses are anonymous.

If you are a diabetic, are you currently stocked up on diabetic-friendly foods?

Diabetes: Sick-Day Plan (Veterans Health Library)

Updated November 23, 2020