Dealing with diabetes, the holidays and a global pandemic? Here’s what you need to know


HONOLULU (KHON2) — From Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the foods we all enjoy can add up to becoming on of the most unhealthy times of the year. And with a global pandemic, health professionals say those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes need to pay close attention to their body and what they put in it.

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November is Diabetes Awareness Month. According to the American Diabetes Association about 12 percent of all Hawaii adults have diabetes. And many more aren’t even aware they have it.

“This is definitely a time where things are up and down,” said Dr. Alan Parsa, Director of the Diabetes Program at The Queens Medical Center West. “We have the coronavirus keeping people indoors and you have all this food that’s about to be coming up for the holiday. It’s the best time to be taking care of yourself.”

Dr. Parsa says having diabetes doesn’t make you more susceptible to COVID-19, but if you catch it, your chances of a swift recovery drop quickly.

“If someone is out there with very poorly controlled diabetes. They’re not taking care of themselves or they’re drinking soda all day long and their sugars are running in the 200’s or 300’s on a regular basis. Those people just in general all right increased risk in general when it comes to having poor outcomes to any infection.”

Dr. Alan Parsa, Director of the Diabetes Program at The Queens Medical Center West

Another concern here in Hawaii is what we eat.

“That’s the thing with the local diet,” said Dr. Parsa. “While our foods are really good, they’re not the best when it comes to diabetes and management care. The nutrition foods that you’re eating, the drinks that you’re drinking, make sure that everything is staying in that nice healthy level to prevent yourself from over indulging on the things that we typically would do.”

Parsa adds that if you are going to indulge, balance your behavior. For every big meal or dessert, add an hour in the gym or another mile or two out on the road.

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