Begin typing your search...

Lifestyle diseases play catch-up as residents stay indoors to avoid virus

The continuing lockdown restrictions that has forced people to remain indoors has led to complaints of vitamin D deficiency, uncontrolled sugar levels and obesity, said experts, adding that the elderly were facing lifestyle-related health problems due to restricted movement.

Lifestyle diseases play catch-up as residents stay indoors to avoid virus
Illustration: SAAI


A Mangaiyarkkarasi, a 66-year-old principal of a CBSE school, was shocked to find that she had vitamin D deficiency. “Though my schedule changed since lockdown, I make sure to do some exercises. But the exposure to sunlight has been restricted, and I am taking vitamin D supplements as I cannot go out,” she said.

Doctors said vitamin D deficiency has become common, especially among elderly women, due to lack of exposure to sunlight and lower intake of calcium. This is particularly risky for senior citizens who are highly vulnerable to COVID-19.

“People need to take vitamin D supplements to overcome the deficiency. The low levels are not very indicative, so the symptoms appear as brittle bones and joint pain. Elderly women commonly face this problem. During lockdown, this issue has increased significantly among everyone,” said Dr Veera Kumar, orthopaedics chief at Government Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital.

He added that people with vitamin D deficiency are prone to fractures easily due to fall and other small injuries.

Foods rich in vitamin D such as cod liver oil from fish like salmon, tuna and sardine, egg yolks, mushroom, fortified foods, cow’s milk and soy milk, oatmeal, cereals and cheese can be helpful to address this.

“Vitamin D is an essential daily nutrient that offers protection against diabetes, heart diseases and certain types of cancer. While the primary source of Vitamin D is sunlight, diet and supplement can also provide it. Its deficiency can not only affect immunity but can also cause osteoporosis, brittle bones and increase your risk of fractures,” said diabetologist Dr Mohan.

Being restricted to the confines of their homes has also given rise to problems for those with comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

“Though lockdown was aimed at controlling the transmission of coronavirus, it has led to obesity, uncontrolled sugar levels and hypertension. People who used to go for regular walks and do some basic exercises are now restricted within the four walls of their house. Those with diabetics and hypertension should keep them under control by doing basic exercises at their home,” said public health expert Dr K Kolandaisamy.

Visit to explore our interactive epaper!

Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!

Click here for iOS

Click here for Android

Next Story