Diabetes and coronovirus, diabetes Covid-19

LIVINGLIVING

Covid-19 and its impact on people with

diabetes. The four studies, some in

partnership with JDRF and Moorfields Eye

Charity, will look at:

• Type 1 diabetes: The impact Covid-19

has on people with Type 1 diabetes and

the management of the condition, giving

scientists and clinicians a clearer idea of

the risk that coronavirus poses to people

with Type 1 (University of Bristol and cofunded with JDRF).

• High-risk groups: Which people with the

condition are most at risk to experience

severe symptoms of Covid-19 and why,

enabling the NHS to improve care for

people admitted to hospital with diabetes

and coronavirus and helping to save lives

(University of Exeter).

• Risk factors & complications: The effects

of the Covid-19 pandemic on risk factors

for diabetes complications, including

blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and

bodyweight (University of Glasgow).

• Sight loss: The effects of disruptions

caused by the coronavirus pandemic

on people with diabetes' vision, helping

those with diabetes and eye problems

through the pandemic (Moorfields Eye

Hospital NHS London and co-funded with

Moorfields Eye Charity).

Virus support app

A free app for coronavirus support

has been launched to help people -

particularly in 'at-risk' groups - cope

during the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Support App enables

you to access trusted health information

and practical advice on a wide range of

topics in seconds - even when offline:

• avoid misinformation - open the app

and discover clear health and wellbeing

information you trust, all in one place

• learn to self-care - get answers to

common health questions and gain the

confidence to tackle everyday challenges

• know where to get help - easily find

useful links to official NHS advice, current

government guidance, helplines and

charities.

The app can also help people

become more confident in managing

particular challenges brought to us by the

coronavirus crisis:

• Assess COVID-19 symptoms - discover

how to stay well, recognise the symptoms

of coronavirus (including the warning

signs) and know what to do next

• Manage in a crisis - know where and

how to seek help if you're experiencing

domestic abuse or are in a crisis situation

• Stay safe - learn how to stay safe if

you're in an 'at-risk' group (for example,

if you have diabetes).

The app, developed by Expert Self

Care together with over 40 UK health

professionals and experts, is not-for-profit

and free to download from the Apple App

Store.

Weight stigma

Memes, before and after pictures and

'light-hearted' jokes around weight

gain during the Covid-19 pandemic

can be harmful to many but particularly

for marginalised identities, says Emma

Laing, clinical associate professor and

director of dietetics in the University of

Georgia College of Family and Consumer

Sciences.

"Poking fun about gaining weight

perpetuates the idea that thinner bodies

are more disciplined, healthier and more

worthy of attention, and this is simply

untrue," Laing said. "The thin ideal

standards of beauty are unrealistic for

people who are genetically larger."

Another hidden message is the

assumption that people have the privilege

of focusing on health goals at the moment,

Laing said. The messages also ignore

critical issues like socioeconomic status,

food insecurity and compromised air and

water quality that can lead to stress and

chronic illness, she added.

"Many individuals have had drastic

changes to their work demands, are

experiencing financial hardships or have

legitimate concerns for their safety, so

concerns about healthy eating or exercise

might not be taking precedence," Laing

said.

"While weight-normative strategies -

pursuing weight loss to improve health

- elicit long-term successes for some

individuals, many are unable to maintain

this," Laing said. "Using bodyweight

alone as a measure of success can

backfire, particularly if indicators like blood

pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol

levels improve regardless of changes in

weight."

If a person is uncomfortable with how

their body has changed over the last few

months, Laing suggests contacting a

registered dietitian who can help them

achieve wellness goals.

Let's be kind about lockdown lardiness

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