Loneliness could increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new report.
New research has shown for the first time that people over 50 who report higher levels of loneliness are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Most people have not spent this much time alone since the start of the pandemic and consequent lockdowns. Meanwhile, diabetes continues to be a huge issue in the UK, with more than 4 million people now living with the condition, compared with just 1.8million in 1998.
Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2. Recently, efforts have been introduced to prevent rising cases of diabetes, following findings that people with the condition can develop serious complications and more severe symptoms – putting them at greater risk of dying from COVID-19.
It’s highly likely that people will continue to feel lonely for the foreseeable future as the lockdown and tighter restrictions become re-introduced. As these are unlikely to disappear anytime soon, it has never been more important to introduce lifestyle changes that will help manage healthy blood sugar levels (including preventing people developing the condition and minimising the conditions chance of affecting people who already have it).
Therefore, we spoke to Dr Sarah Brewer, working in association with CuraLin, a natural supplement which helps to balance glucose levels, to get her top lifestyle tips to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Here, Dr Brewer shares her advice for those with concerns about their glucose levels, people who have noticed an imbalance in their glucose levels and those who already have 2 diabetes:
5 ways to manage your blood sugar levels during lockdown
Keep a healthy routine
It’s important to stick to a healthy routine and keep occupied, especially if you’re staying at home more. If you exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet you should see your glucose control improve. In those who are overweight or obese, a weight loss of greater than 5% body weight appears necessary for beneficial effects on glucose control (HbA1c), blood lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides) and blood pressure.
What you choose to eat is imperative for your health, especially if you want to keep blood sugar levels stable. Replace some carbohydrates in your diet with healthy monounsaturated fats (eg in olive oil, avocado, almonds, macadamia nuts) and omega-3 fatty acids (eg from oily fish and walnuts). This simple approach can significantly improve glucose control.
Eat fruit as a healthy snack. Although fruit contains natural sugars, most have a low to moderate glycaemic index and do not raise blood glucose levels excessively (though don’t over-indulge in dried fruits).
We Brits generally love a cuppa and it can have beneficial effects on glucose control! Tea – whether black, green or oolong – contains antioxidants that increase increasing insulin sensitivity, suppress appetite through effects on hormones such as ghrelin and adiponectin, stimulate fat burning to generate heat and aid weight loss, and have beneficial effects on the liver to decrease glucose and fatty acid synthesis.
Stay occupied because boredom can lead to snacking and comfort eating, which can wreak havoc with your blood sugar levels. You should aim to exercise as much as possible at home, you can find lots of videos of home workouts to follow along with on YouTube. Exercise will also release endorphins helping you feel happier!
It’s also imperative that you keep in touch with family and friends as best you can to avoid loneliness. If you already have diabetes, make sure you have enough medication and request new supplies in plenty of time to avoid any delays.
Try a herbal supplement
CuraLin’s blend of 10 Ayurvedic herbs, for example, have a range of beneficial effects on glucose control and metabolism. As a result, users report that their glucose control quickly improves and, in some cases, normalises within 4 weeks.
They have also reported reduced cravings for sweet food, and experience improved energy, sleep and general quality of life. Great news for those with imbalanced glucose levels and people with type 2 diabetes who are feeling especially lacklustre and in need of extra support that’s easily incorporated into your day!
Join a community
Living a lifestyle combatting imbalanced blood sugar levels is not easy. This is especially true if you’re managing your condition with lifestyle changes. As many social occasions centre around food and drink, it can be hard to be social without this affecting your glucose levels.
We can all feel lonely sometimes, and these feelings are magnified when restrictions stop us from seeing loved ones. So, when we combine these aspects, those with type 2 diabetes are sure to be feeling more isolated than most.
Seek out support and comfort from online communities. If you’re diabetic or want to learn more about glucose levels, CuraLife have created ‘Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together’ a safe online space of over 14,000 individuals around the world suffering from high or erratic glucose levels or indeed living with type 2 diabetes.
It provides a platform to talk openly about their experiences and help one another with any queries or concerns. If you’re going through something, it’s likely someone else will have too. Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been coping with the condition for years, it’s the ideal place to find support, knowledge, lifestyle tips and recipes.
Search ‘Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together’ on Facebook to join. Now more than ever, online communities like these can offer solace to those feeling lonely due to the pandemic and their lifestyle.