Diabetes: Tips to take care during monsoon

Although people living with diabetes require care all through the year, the list of precautions during monsoons is even longer.

People living with diabetes must take extra during monsoons. Keeping the feet free of moisture is imperative to avoid any infections and resultant amputation. According to statistics, about 62 million Indians live with diabetes. The number of people with diabetes is increasing in the country and this is a testimony to the fact that there is still not much awareness on the issue. Although people living with diabetes require all-round care, the list of care points during monsoons is even longer. This is because, the humidity, sweat, and moisture during monsoons is conducive for the growth of fungi and other microorganisms. Those with diabetes should be extra careful in this weather and follow a proper eating pattern and personal hygiene. Diabetes lowers a person's immunity and therefore, it is imperative to watch out for any associated complications during monsoons.

Dr Sanjay Kalra, Consultant Endocrinologist Bharti Hospital Karnal and Vice President - South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies, said, "During the onset of monsoons, the weather can get hot and humid. Due to their lower immunity, this is a time when people with diabetes tend to succumb to respiratory problems. They can also develop itchiness all over the body if they get wet in the rain. Special care should be given to the feet. Monsoons can harbour the growth of fungal infections in the feet which can further turn into gangrene. If not checked in time, this can even lead to amputation. All in all, the rainy season is a very tricky period for those with diabetes. However, with proper care and dietary restrictions, one can tide over this weather with ease."

Although diabetes affects all organs, the feet are particularly vulnerable. Foot hygiene is of utmost importance in this weather. Damp and unclean feet can invite the growth of bacteria and fungi. If your feet are affected in this weather, it is imperative to prevent the infection from spreading further and approach a podiatrist who will then prescribe pills or topical creams depending on how severe the condition is. Here are some things that people with diabetes must follow during monsoons.

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1. People living with diabetes should avoid eating out as contaminated food and water can cause food poisoning, diarrhoea, and cholera. Eating on time and regularity are key to controlling an increase in insulin levels. Consume food cooked at home or one that has been freshly made. Also read about common monsoon diseases and how to prevent them.

2. Drink a lot of water. Avoid aerated and caffeinated beverages and opt for coconut water instead. Consume warm food such as soups, ginger tea, as they help in building immunity.

3. Wash fruits and vegetables before you eat them. Carry some snacks if you are going to stay outdoors for a longer duration.

4. Monsoon is also the time for eye infections. People with diabetes must ensure that they get a regular eye examination done to keep any infections at bay. Here are ways to prevent monsoon-related eye infections with these tips.

5. Carry an extra pair of clothing and footwear. It is important to keep the feet absolutely clean and dry to avoid any infections. Use talcum powder on the feet before you wear socks and closed footwear in order to keep them dry.

6. Take off wet socks and footwear immediately and dry the feet with a soft cotton cloth. Check for infections and injuries in the spaces between your toes regularly.

7. It is not enough to clean the feet with only soap and water. You must also dry them well to prevent the growth of any infection. Keep your toenails short and clean always. Here are 3 simple tips for healthy feet this monsoon.

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