How Covid-19 Can Affect People with Diabetes

When the COVID-19 pandemic began its relentless pace across the globe last March, doctors noticed that people with diabetes and other chronic conditions were vulnerable to the virus. In fact, those who have diabetes are three times more likely than nondiabetics to develop an acute case of COVID and die from serious complications, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. 

Covid-19, which is highly infectious, is caused by the novel coronavirus and is easily transmitted through close contact with someone who has the virus. For many people who don’t have underlying conditions, symptoms of COVID may include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, and a sore throat and may not require hospital treatment. 

A person with diabetes, including gestational, who has COVID, can develop complications such as pneumonia, difficulty breathing, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS-CoV-2.  For people with Type 2 diabetes who get COVID, complications such as nerve damage, blood clots, and kidney disease can also occur. In fact, people with Type 2 diabetes who get any infection will experience a rise in their blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association suggests that people with Type 1 diabetes check for ketones every 4-6 hours when they aren’t well.

Here's what you can do to lower your risk of infection and keep diabetes under control: 

  • Wash your hands often
    Do this frequently, especially after touching common surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, mobile devices, keys, and elevator buttons.
  • Continue to wear your face mask
    Many are beginning to get a bit more relaxed as the number of people getting vaccinations increases. Still, proceed with caution and wear your face masks in public to minimize the chance of being exposed to the virus.
  • Social Distance
    We know this can be difficult, especially after being a year-plus into the pandemic. This is also the time of year when many prepare for summer travel with loved ones. Medical experts still recommend maintaining at least 6-feet distance with those, not in your immediate household and avoiding huge gatherings.

There's also eating healthy, doing your best to keep blood sugar under control, and keeping A1C in a good range. It’s always a great idea to consume immunity-boosting foods and exercise to help manage diabetes and lower your risks of getting Covid. 

Topics: Diabetes

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