Researchers believe that people with certain underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and heart diseases are at a higher risk of being infected with the coronavirus. Considering coronavirus only affects people with a weak immune system, COVID-19 could be deadly for diabetic patients.
The risk for diabetic people is higher because their bodies are unable to control their blood sugar levels. Hence the chances of getting sick from COVID-19 are more as the ability of the body to fight against infections is already compromised.
The CEO of JDFR (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), Aaron Kowalski conveys a piece of good news and says that; “Healthy type 1 folks aren’t more at risk if they have a reasonable A1C.”
An A1C is a blood test that estimates blood sugar control but, for the individuals who are experiencing difficulty keeping their A1C down, high glucose can make individuals progressively susceptible to disease.
The director of the pediatric diabetes center at NYU Langone Health in New York City, Dr. Mary Pat Gallagher says,
“If you have an A1C that is less than 9.5%, you are not considered immunocompromised. Higher blood sugar levels for more than two weeks can impair immune function. None of us has any immunity to this virus. We’re all extremely susceptible, whether or not we have type 1 diabetes.”
Experts say that regardless of your age if your glucose is very much controlled, you almost certainly don’t have a higher risk of COVID-19 specified issues. With type 1 diabetes, if someone gets ill then it’s a challenge for him to get out of that disease.
If a diabetic patient becomes ill then it is mandatory to follow the guidelines given by CDC and should pay attention to the COVID-19 symptoms including dry cough, shortness of breath and fever. If he thinks, he is developing symptoms he should call his doctor. If he is on an insulin pump and the sugar level exceeds 250 milligrams per deciliter and hasn’t taken the correct dose of insulin then he should check his ketones and should consult the doctor.
Gallagher says that type 1 diabetic patients always need long-acting insulin that is called “basal” insulin in a pump. The quantity of basal insulin can be reduced, but its taking cant is stopped. If you have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excess fatigue, abdominal pain, or fruity-smelling breath then consult your doctor because these are the signs of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA is mostly experienced by type 1 diabetic patients.
DKA can make it challenging to deal with electrolyte levels and fluid intake which is significant in dealing with sepsis that is a severe complication experienced by some people with COVID-19.
If an individual from your family gets infected then keep him in a separate room and always keep the door closed. Only a single family member should care for him and should provide additional protection to him.
Kowalski suggests that everybody should follow the rules on washing hands, keeping a distance from others, and getting up and moving. Nowadays, exercise can be the best way to take out yourself from stress. Type 1 diabetic patients and their families should do exercise for one hour daily while following the rules of social distancing.
Gallagher says, “There’s a lot of worry about consistent access to food, making it harder to meal plan. It’s also easy to eat poorly when you’re under stress, so try to make good food choices when you can.”