COVID-19 And Diabetes
Everyone must exercise to avoid the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. You should be even more cautious if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Your chances of contracting the virus are no greater than anyone else's. However, if you do become ill, you may face more serious complications. This is especially true if your diabetes is poorly managed.To reduce your chances of becoming infected, do the following:
- Maintain a safe distance from others
- Maintain good hygiene
- Maintain a healthy blood sugar level
- Make a plan in case you become ill
According to research, approximately 25%- 30% of people admitted to the hospital with severe COVID-19 infections had diabetes. Diabetes patients were more likely to develop serious complications and die as a result of the virus. One reason for this is that high blood sugar weakens the immune system, making it less capable of fighting infections.
If you have another condition, such as heart or lung disease, your chances of getting a severe coronavirus infection increase even more.
If you contract COVID-19, the infection may increase your risk of diabetes complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA occurs when high levels of acids known as ketones accumulate in your blood. It can be very serious.
Some people who contract the new coronavirus develop sepsis, a potentially fatal systemic response to it. Doctors must manage your body's fluid and electrolyte levels to treat sepsis. DKA causes electrolyte loss, which can make sepsis more difficult to control.
Tips to avoid infection
Staying at home as much as possible is the best way to avoid getting sick. People with diabetes have the right to "reasonable accommodations at work" under the Americans with Disabilities Act. This includes the ability to work from home or take sick leave as needed.
While vaccines are currently available, it is unclear when they will be widely available. Meanwhile, if you must go out, keep at least 6 feet away from others and wear a face mask. Wash your hands frequently while out and when you get home or use hand sanitizer.
Also, before giving yourself a finger stick or an insulin shot, wash your hands. First, clean each location with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
To keep you safe, everyone in your home should wash their hands frequently, especially before cooking for the family. No utensils or other personal items should be shared. If anyone in your home is ill, they should stay in their room, as far away from you as possible. When you have to be in the same room with them, they should wear a cloth face mask
COVID-19 Diabetes Plan
Social distancing and shelter-in-place regulations may make it more difficult to obtain the supplies you require. Stock up on supplies to last you a few weeks in case you are quarantined.
Confirm that you have:
- Plenty of food, especially whole-wheat crackers, vegetable or noodle soups, and unsweetened applesauce
- In case your blood sugar drops, reach for simple carbohydrates such as honey, sugar-sweetened soda, fruit juice, or hard candies.
- The maximum number of insulin and other medication refills you can get.
- Glucagon and ketone strips in excess
- Contact information for your doctors and health insurance provider
Telehealth visits are now covered by Medicare and some private insurance companies. So, instead of going there, if you have questions for your doctor, you can ask them via video chat or phone.When speaking with your doctor, make the following inquiries:
- How frequently should you check your blood sugar and ketones?
- When you're sick, how do you adjust your diabetes medications?
- What cold and flu remedies are safe to use
What to Do if You Get Sick
Stay at home if you become ill. Check your blood sugar levels daily 2 to 3 times. COVID-19 can suppress your appetite and cause you to eat less, which may affect your levels. When you're sick, you also require more fluids than usual. Keep water nearby and drink it frequently.
Some over-the-counter medications used to treat viral symptoms such as fever or cough can affect your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels can be lowered by taking large doses of aspirin or ibuprofen. Acetaminophen can cause falsely high blood glucose readings on a continuous glucose monitor. Many liquid cough and cold medicines contain a lot of sugar, which can cause your blood sugar to spike. Consult your doctor or diabetes team before taking them.
If you experience coronavirus-like symptoms such as a dry cough, fever, or shortness of breath, contact your doctor. Make sure you have your most recent blood sugar and ketone readings on hand to share with your doctor.