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San endocrinologist Professor Steven Boyages shares some advice and tips on diabetes 

During Diabetes Awareness Week the San’s Professor Steven C. Boyages, who is Senior Consultant Endocrinologist and Chair of the Medical Advisory Group Know Diabetes, shares advice and tips on the condition that effects more than 1.1 million Australians. 

Diabetes and the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020
This week is Diabetes Week which is designed to remind the community of why looking after your blood glucose is important and how to manage it in a way that doesn’t create undue stress, anxiety or depression. The theme of this year’s Diabetes Week will be on supporting the emotional and mental health of people living with diabetes.
Living with diabetes requires a complex set of decisions, decisions that are taken for granted by those that do not have the disorder. Imagine thinking about what to eat, how much to eat, what to buy, when to test blood glucose and how to adjust medication. These are some of the decisions that most people with diabetes have to make on a daily basis.
If that wasn’t hard enough, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it just a little harder. We now know that people with diabetes may be more at risk of the complications of COVID-19. Furthermore, the COVID 19 pandemic has resulted in greater isolation and reduced activity that has made it so much tougher to adhere to a healthy nutrition plan. 
I have seen that many of my patients have gained a few kilograms and, in many people, diabetes control indicators have worsened. I often have a laugh with my patients about the COVID kilograms or the COVID central spread. Being stuck at home, stressed and isolated and in close proximity to food is a dangerous combination for all of us.
So, what are the lessons for all of us this Diabetes Week. Remember taking self-care is not easy. No one is perfect, but there are certain things we can do. So, don’t stress and reach out to your health care team and your friends or family for support.
These are the basic tips I give to my patients.
Have less food around in the home environment. 
We all eat more in the evening so if that naughty food isn’t in the house its less likely to be consumed. 
Get your partner onto to the same nutritional program. 
Eating less if you need to lose weight is easier than doing more physical activity.
Weigh yourself regularly.
Do some regular activity. Go for a walk or a jog. Do some yoga. Do some gardening.
Keep up to date with your scripts.
Take your medication appropriately.
Talk to your diabetes nurse, GP or specialist either face to face or via Telehealth.
Take control and stay positive.
Click here for a Medical Journal of Australia article on the evolution of Diabetes care.


Professor Steven C Boyages



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