Monsoon warnings: Health experts advise precautionary measures for diabetics

ISLAMABAD: With the monsoon season starting, health experts are advising people — especially those suffering from diabetes to take extra care during the rainy season, noting that it is imperative for them to keep their feet free of moisture to avoid any infections which could result in amputations.

This was stated by Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon Dr Yasir Javed on Sunday while speaking to the media.

The number of people in the country afflicted with diabetes is increasing which is a testimony to the fact that there is still not enough awareness of the issue, Dr Javed noted.

He added that while diabetics require all-around care, the list of care points during monsoon is even longer.

The ENT surgeon said that humidity, sweat, and moisture during monsoon is conducive for the growth of fungi and other microorganisms.

Those with diabetes should be extra careful during this weather and follow a proper eating pattern and maintain personal hygiene, he said, adding, diabetes lowers a person’s immunity and therefore, it is imperative to watch out for any associated complications during monsoons.

Dr Javed advised that with the onset of monsoon, 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, he said.

Special care should be given to the feet. Monsoon can harbour the growth of fungal infections in the feet which can further turn into gangrene. He cautioned that if not checked on time the severity of the condition could 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.

Another physician, Dr Hassan, said that monsoon is a time when dirty water gets mixed with sewage and soil and can cause infections.

It is also a common time for eye infections, he warned.

Dr Hassan said that people afflicted with diabetes must ensure that they get regular eye examinations to keep any infections at bay.

He said diabetics should avoid eating out as contaminated food and water can cause food poisoning, diarrhoea, and cholera.

In this regard, he suggested that patients must carry an extra pair of dry clothing and footwear along with them to keep the feet absolutely clean and dry to avoid any infections.

Moreover, talcum powder should be applied to the feet before wearing socks and closed footwear must be used.

Dr Hassan further advised that in case the feet get wet, socks and footwear should be immediately removed and the feet should be dried with a soft cotton cloth.

Infections and injuries should be checked regularly.

Apart from cleaning the feet with soap and water, he urged patients to dry them well to prevent the growth of any infection.

He stressed eating on time and regularly, terming them as factors in controlling an increase in insulin levels.

Home cooked food should be eaten and knowledge about common monsoon diseases and how to prevent them should be learnt.

Boiled or bottled mineral water is advised to protect one against water-borne diseases he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2018.

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