Rashpal, a Project Support Officer within the EHSCP Health Inequalities team, shares her personal experience of how the pandemic, and working from home, has affected her.

“2020 started with big ambitions however, the world had different plans. In March 2020 the entire country went into Coronavirus lockdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

I started working from home which I found very distressing and it impacted me mentally and physically. A few weeks later, I discovered something was wrong with my health when I noticed some weight loss/skin problems. I decided to visit my GP who performed all of the appropriate checks, including checking my blood sugar levels. On the following day we discovered there was an issue.

I was shocked to find out that my blood sugar levels were very high, because I didn’t have any other symptoms. My GP felt that the best course of action would be to place me on medication and she also gave me a machine to monitor my sugar levels 4 times a day.

I discussed this with my family who suggested that I treat the symptoms naturally through life style changes instead of taking medication. So I decided to try the natural path first and began with an immediate reform of my diet under the guidance of my children. I began by completely removing all sugars and carbohydrates whilst increasing protein, fats and supplements that help to naturally bring balance.

I also researched into which exercises help to decrease the risk of sugar levels increasing and discovered cycling, jogging and brisk walking would be the best options.

A week after I implemented the lifestyle changes I visited my doctor who was happy to see positive changes to my blood sugar levels. We agreed that after one week I would return to ensure my sugar levels were continuing to steadily decrease. If they weren’t, I was more than happy to start the course of medication.

My GP agreed to a follow up check-up in 6 weeks’ time and referred me to a diabetes consultant based at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Following this six-week check-up, I was very happy hear my sugar levels were back to completely normal.

On 25 of June 2020, I received a call from the consultant at the Royal who was so shocked she could not believe that I had reduced my sugar levels back to normal ranges without any medication. She informed me as to how rare this is, as most people are unwilling to make the required changes to their lifestyle to treat this without medication. She was so happy and impressed that she discharged me and decided an annual check-up was the best course of action.

The reason why I have decided to share my health journey is because I would like to inspire others who may be struggling during this testing time. This experience greatly impacted my mental wellbeing but if you have the right support and strong will power, you can help yourself without taking a pill.”