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Lockdown accelerated blood sugar level by 20 per cent: report

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on June 27, 2020 Published on June 27, 2020

The spurt in blood sugar levels have been attributed to stress, anxiety, disruption in daily routine, restrictive regimens and confinement at home.

The lockdown, while decelerating economic activities seems to have accelerated the blood sugar level in humans.

“Not being able to take my daily walk/ forced to exercise within the confines of my small apartment, anxiety, fear of the unknown coupled with the fact that my children, who are residing in some other part of the globe will not be able to visit in the near term – is literally killing me”, said an octogenarian, residing in a senior citizens’ home in Coimbatore.

He was not alone. There were many others with similar tales.

Studies conducted worldwide point to the fact that higher sugar levels are mainly due to anxiety. The stress hormones such as cortisol tend to increase blood sugar.

Taking a cue from such instances, Beato – a full-stack digital ecosystem for diabetes care and management, began analysing its records to track these trends.

Sharing insights from the findings, Gautam, founder, Beato said it was clear that anxiety about Covid-19 and the stress arising from lockdown restrictions coupled with lack of prompt medical attention had caused an overall increase of 20 per cent in blood sugar levels.

The results were derived from 8,200 diabetes patients across India.

Readings revealed that the average pre-pandemic fasting sugar levels from the start of this calendar year till mid-February was 138 mg/dl. It shot up to an average of 165 mg/dl by mid-April, up 20 per cent.

The reasons for the spurt in blood sugar levels have been attributed to stress, anxiety, disruption in daily routine, restrictive regimens and confinement at home.

North, West and North-east India witnessed a more considerable spike. Major states affected include Rajasthan, Ladakh, Andhra Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which are typically rice and carbohydrate-consuming states.

Daman and Diu recorded the maximum spike at 49 per cent, followed by Tripura at 38 per cent, Nagaland, Manipur and Uttarakhand at 30, 28 and 25 per cent respectively.

Some of these states/ union territories are classified in the low or middle epidemiological transition level (ETL), because of the rising incidence for several years now.

Going forward, this may pose a challenge, especially as many states in the low/middle ETL are less prepared to meet the challenge of NCDs (non-communicable diseases), the Beato founder said.

“Daily diabetes management is imperative in tracking and managing the chronic disorder, considering that the consequences could be grave if the ailment is not managed proactively,” say experts, urging people to build immunity.

Published on June 27, 2020
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