COVID-19 and Diabetes: Are you really at risk?

The fast-spreading coronavirus has already sent panic waves across the globe and is becoming a major concern among individuals living with diabetes and other metabolic complications. Data suggests that diabetes is one of the most frequently reported comorbidities among people infected with Covid-19. However, it does not mean that diabetics are at greater risk of contracting the virus than others. On the other hand, diabetic individuals when infected with Covid-19 might experience severe symptoms and complications that stay for longer period of time, sometimes even leading to fatalities. This is because individuals with elevated glucose levels have compromised immune-response to infection which causes lasting complications in both Type I and Type II diabetic subjects.

The poor glycaemic control and higher ketoacidosis among diabetics worsen their response to the infection. Also, people who have kidney disease or cardiovascular disease show a worse prognosis during the COVID-19 infection. Therefore, it is mandatory to preserve the right blood glucose levels and manage kidney and heart diseases effectively to keep safe and strong in case of any Covid-19 infection.

Let’s go down the article and understand more about the COVID-19 infection and diabetes in detail.

Symptoms and emergency warning signs, you should watch out for:

Watch out for the below symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Dry cough

  • Body aches

  • Cold

  • Stuffy nose

Emergency signs:

If you have any of the below warning signs, then get medical care immediately:

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Persistent pain in the chest

  • Bluish lips or face

  • Confusion or disorientation

  • Pressure in the chest

  • Severe coughing

What diabetic individuals should know?

Follow the below-listed precautions to avoid contracting the infection as much as possible:

  • Wash your hands regularly

  • Don’t touch your face, eyes, and nose

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

  • Don’t share food, towels, glasses etc.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissues while you cough or sneeze

  • Limit contact with unwell individuals

  • Practice social distancing

  • Avoid large gatherings

  • Avoid taking public transport

  • If you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home

  • If you stay alone, share your diabetes and other medical histories with the community support groups to get assistance in case of emergency.

Things you need to do if you have diabetes and COVID infection:

Managing glucose levels is the key to stay safe and to prevent complications arising from coronavirus infection. Here, we have listed out a few precautionary measures you need to follow if you are a diabetic with Covid-Positive status:

  • Have emergency contact numbers on speed dial

  • Monitor glucose levels frequently or as advised by the doctor

  • Contact your doctor if glucose reading is >240mg/dL

  • Note down your symptoms and share it with your doctor

  • Take diabetes medications on time

  • Pay more attention to check for changing body symptoms

  • Drink enough water and stay hydrated

  • Maintain your daily schedule and get a good night’s sleep

  • Avoid stress as it will worsen your diabetes and infection, both

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Make a virtual plan in case you need to be quarantined or isolated

  • Stockpile your diabetic medications like insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels

  • Stock up glucose monitoring supplies

  • Keep enough stock of candies to correct glucose level if it drops suddenly

  • Keep an isolation-room ready with enough hygiene supplies

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Tips for diabetes patients to stay healthy during COVID-19:

Though COVID-19 brings intense negative impact on individuals living with diabetes, it can be managed well with your regular diet and lifestyle habits. All you need to do is to keep your blood glucose levels under control. So, practicing self-care is the right way to improve your health during and after the pandemic crisis. To help you with, here we have compiled a few tips to keep your diabetes under control!

  • Eating a healthy balanced meal is of utmost importance to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. So, fill your plate with non-starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, beans, and whole grains.

  • Consume smaller portions of meal more frequently

  • Avoid sugary drinks, salty snacks, processed cereals, and white bread.

  • Avoid or limit alcohol consumption as it can increase dehydration.

  • Too many restrictions and additional responsibilities can increase your stress levels during the pandemic. Though in-person contact is not the right choice, just stay connected with your friends and relatives through social media or phone.

  • Practicing good hand hygiene is a must! It helps to minimize viral transmission and maximize viral inactivation.

  • Get ready with the sick-day action plan and diabetes management kit in place.

  • Increased physical activity brings a positive effect on your blood glucose levels. But, make sure to warm up before you start your workout. Also, monitor your blood glucose levels before and after you exercise.

COVID-19 poses an extra menace for people with diabetes. Getting anxious during the pandemic crisis is very common. But, be vigilant and pay extra attention to your body needs and call your doctor on time if you show up any symptoms to reduce the risk of fatality. Hence, let’s be prepared, stay informed and extend a helping hand to others as it can make a huge difference in combating the current pandemic crisis. Also, follow the general prevention advice put forth by the health authorities to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Good diabetes care is what you need to swear!

So, wash your hands, check your blood glucose, and stay hydrated!