COVID-19 Impacts People with Diabetes

How COVID-19 Impacts People with Diabetes

How severely COVID-19 impacts people with diabetes? If you are diabetic or have someone in your immediate family suffering from high blood sugar, then it is the main concern you will have in your mind. It is because coronavirus infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 can affect people with underlying medical conditions like diabetes, kidney problem, or heart problem severely. They are also at higher risk of contracting the disease. So, how can you keep yourself safe and make sure your blood sugar does not exceed the suggested levels? Read ahead to know more about the issue.

About COVID-19

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is the most infectious disease that has caused the world to come to an abrupt stop. The disease has affected lakhs of people in several countries around the globe. Coronavirus infection started in Wuhan, China in late 2019. Scientists believe the disease first transmitted from an animal to a human. But, the transmission from human-to-human caused the spread of the disease. Like any other respiratory disease, the disease spreads from one person to another through contaminated air droplets. The contaminated droplets come out of the infected person when they cough, talk, or sneeze. The SARS-CoV-2 virus survives in the environment depending on the surface, it lands for a few hours to a few days. But, the environmental conditions also a major part in virus survival.

When you touch the contaminated surface and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes, the virus enters the bloodstream. So, you can avoid contracting the virus by using masks while going out, avoid touching the high-use surface in the public, and maintain social distancing. At home, you can use alcohol-based solutions to kill the virus from the contaminated surfaces.

Severity Of COVID-19

In healthy people, COVID-19 causes mild symptoms. So, most people recover quickly without any complications. When you are healthy, the disease only has shown flu-like symptoms. Many people never realize they suffer from coronavirus infections. In some people, the disease causes no signs. Such people are known as asymptomatic. In such cases, recovery is simple. You just need to stay at home and get rest. Follow the instructions suggested by healthcare professionals for quick and easy recovery. But, some cases show severe signs, and a small percentage suffer from critical illness.

How COVID-19 impact people with diabetes? The infection can cause serious problems like shortness of breath, pneumonia, or even death in people suffering from diabetes. People with other health problems like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, or elderly people come under the high-risk category. So, when people coming under the category get exposed to the virus, they suffer from flu, which can get serious and life-threatening.

Symptoms Of COVID-19

How can people know they suffer from coronavirus infection? After contracting the virus, you can develop symptoms within a few days. So, in most cases, people can see signs three to seven days after exposing themselves to the virus. In rare cases, symptoms may appear after 14 or more days. So, in the majority of cases, the incubation period of coronavirus is fourteen days. You can see the following signs indicating the infection:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches
  • Feeling tired

COVID-19 impacts people with diabetes severely. Most people suffer breathing problems as the infection develops. So, it affects the lungs and leads to pneumonia. It needs immediate medical attention. Else, it can seriously escalate into a fatal complication.

How COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes?

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease. The chronic metabolic condition triggering high blood sugar levels. So, when you suffer from diabetes, developing an infectious disease can result in serious complications. Are you wondering why COVID-19 impacts people with diabetes? It is because diabetes negatively impacts your immune system. It does not work as effectively as the immune system in healthy people. So, t results in trouble fighting off the virus effectively. Another reason is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has a favorable environment to thrive when you have elevated blood glucose levels.

Diabetes

Diabetes can also make your body have a low-level state of inflammation. It results in a low healing response. So, people with diabetes find it difficult to heal properly from any infection or wounds. The persistent state of inflammation as well as high blood sugar can make it difficult to recover easily from infections like COVID-19. So, people with diabetes need to maintain caution. So, if you have diabetes and see symptoms of coronavirus infection, then you need to speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

Why You Need To Maintain Caution When COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes?

The chances of people with diabetes suffering from a contagious illness like COVID-19 are similar to that of the general population. But, the outcome of the disease is worse compared to healthy people. According to a study, people around the world who have suffered from the disease show severe outcomes when they suffer from underlying health issues. So, people who suffer from medical conditions like diabetes have higher rates of serious complications, including death compared to people without high blood sugar levels. This has led to the conclusion that people with serious health complications like heart disease or high blood sugar can suffer from severe complications.

With the death toll increasing every day, people need to take necessary precautions to prevent the illness. If you have diabetes, then you need to step up your precautionary measures. It is better to take the necessary steps to avoid contracting the disease. But, if you contract the disease, early detection, and proper management can help avoid any severe side effects.

How COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes: The Effects Of Different Types

More than four hundred million people around the world suffer from high blood sugar. Depending on the type of diabetes, the effects may vary. The three different types of diabetes affecting people are:

How COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes Type 1

Diabetes Type 1

It is the condition affecting both children and adolescents. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. So, people suffering from the condition can experience destroying beta cells in the pancreas by the immune system. It leads to little or no insulin production. To keep the blood sugar normal, people suffering from type 1 diabetes need to take daily insulin. It is advised to check for ketones in the blood every four to six hours when you suffer from the infection. So, kids and adolescents need to check ketone levels if the blood sugar levels are higher than 240 milligrams/deciliter. It is essential to follow the guidance of the doctor as people suffering from type 1 diabetes face an increased risk of death.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

It is a lifelong disease that has no cure. You can only manage the blood sugar levels. Due to the condition, your body fails to use insulin properly. So, insulin resistance can lead to the fluctuations in the blood sugar levels due to not producing enough insulin or not using the insulin well. It usually affects people who are in their middle-age or older. Therefore, it is also referred to as adult-onset diabetes. But, obesity can cause type 2 diabetes in kids and teens. You need to keep the sugar levels normal by taking medications or insulin. If you suffer from COVID-19 or see signs due to the condition, then you need to talk to your doctor immediately. Follow the instructions suggested to prevent any complications.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

It is the type of diabetes affecting pregnant women. After the birth of the child, the condition goes away. But, women who develop gestational diabetes can develop type 2 diabetes later in their life. When women suffer from gestational diabetes, they are at high risk of suffering from complications when they contract the coronavirus infection. So, it is better to talk to the gynecologist regarding your concerns. Doctors can offer the right guidance to reduce your risk of infection or the complications associated with contracting SARS-CoV-2.

How COVID Impacts People With Diabetes Negatively?

Why should people with high blood sugar need extra care? When you fail to manage your blood sugar levels during stressful times, it can lead to severe complications. The infection can lead to the following:

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

When you experience severe stress or fail to manage any underlying illness, it results in elevated levels of blood sugar. So, it can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. It is the complications that people with type-1 diabetes face. When people suffering from type-1 diabetes do not have enough insulin to deal with the sudden elevation of blood sugar, it leads to a buildup of ketones. It occurs when your body begins to breakdown fats in your body for energy. The ketones can make your blood acidic. So, it triggers complications for your health. You must never confuse the DKA with ketosis. Ketosis is achieved by people following a low carbohydrate diet. So, ketosis is a harmless condition, which results in weight loss. But, DKA happens when your body does not have enough insulin in the blood.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

When you see certain signs, you need to seek immediate medical assistance. So, get assistance from your doctor when you observe the following:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fruity-smelling breath
  • Fatigue
  • A flushed face
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dry skin
  • Dry mouth
  • High blood sugar levels
  • High levels of ketones in the urine

COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes In The Form Of Pneumonia

People suffering from high blood sugar levels can face an increased risk of developing pneumonia. It is the infection affecting one or both lungs. You can develop pneumonia due to infection caused by fungi, viruses, or bacteria. Due to the infection, you suffer from inflammation of alveoli. Alveoli refer to the air sacs in your lungs. Pneumonia can cause the alveoli to fill with pus or fluid. So, the condition can cause shortness of breath. COVID-19 has more chances of affecting people suffering from diabetes. Therefore, people with high blood sugar levels and who are above two years of age need to take annual influenza and pneumococcal vaccination.

Dehydration

When you suffer from fever due to an infection, it leads to losing more fluids from your body. The imbalance in the fluids you take in and the fluids you lose can lead to dehydration. Due to your body not having enough water, your normal body functions can face issues. Diabetic people who suffer from COVID-19 can lose more water due to suffering from fever. The loss of additional fluid can lead to severe complications. When you become dehydrated, you need to drink more water. But, severe cases need emergency medical assistance. You require intravenous fluid for maintaining the water balance.

High Blood Sugar

If you suffer from infections, it causes stress in your body. So, your body responds by increasing glucose production. It can lead to higher than normal blood sugar levels. For people who have normal sugar levels, the condition may not cause big complications. But, people who suffer from prediabetes or borderline diabetes can develop type 2 diabetes as a result of the infection. Prediabetes refers to the condition you suffer due to glucose intolerance or impaired fasting glucose. While the condition results in having higher than normal blood sugar levels, it is not quite high for considering it as a sign of diabetes. When you suffer from any illness, your body requires extra insulin. So, it can suddenly spike your sugar levels. It is essential for people suffering from any infection to check their sugar levels to check sudden spike.

Internal Swelling

High blood sugar and COVID-19 can lead to internal inflammation or swelling. So, infection along with uncontrolled blood sugar can contribute to severe complications. To reduce the severity, you need to take necessary action.

COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes In The Form Of Death

The most fatal complication associated with people who suffer from high blood sugar is death. Most people with diabetes can develop life-threatening issues like pneumonia when they contract the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Reduce Risks When COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes

People suffering from any type of diabetes can suffer from serious complications. The chances of developing serious illness and other complications are high for people with diabetes compared to normal people. COVID impacts people with diabetes in different ways. But, you can minimize the risk associated with the illness. Here are some of the methods you can take to reduce any complication or reduce the risk:

Manage Diabetes

Your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if your diabetes is well-managed. When people with diabetes do not manage their diabetes well and experience fluctuating blood sugars, they are generally at risk for a number of diabetes-related complications. Having heart disease or other complications in addition to diabetes could worsen the chance of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, like other viral infections, because your body’s ability to fight off an infection is compromised.

Dealing Effectively To Prevent Complications When COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes

If you have diabetes, then you need to plan ahead. Take essential steps to ensure you are safe even when you get ill. So, you have to follow the pointers suggested below:

Contact Information Of Healthcare Provider

It is recommended you have the contact information of your doctor at hand. The professional advice will help you guide through the steps to ensure safety. Your doctor can advise you on the steps to take to monitor the blood glucose levels. Apart from that, the medical professional can also suggest the information on the adequate refills of medications like insulin and the adjustments you need to implement in your medication or diet to avoid the glucose levels from escalating to dangerous levels.

Stock Medications

You have to make sure to buy medications as well as supplies to monitor your blood glucose levels at home. Having an adequate stock of essential medications and supplies to check the blood glucose levels will help avoid any complication. So, having the stock will prevent the need to go out when COVID-19 people with diabetes.

Sick Day Rules To Follow When COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes

When you suffer from signs that indicate coronavirus infection, then you need to take extra care. People with high blood sugar levels can observe their glycemic control deteriorating while they suffer from the infection. So, healthcare professionals suggest practicing Sick Day Rules. The Sick Day Rules are helpful in dealing with any stressful situation and aids in improving the patient’s diabetes decompensation. It is important to follow the sick day rules to ensure the problem never escalates to life-threatening complications. So, when you see signs like runny nose, fever, or other signs, follow the guidelines:

Get Rest

It is important to get rest. Your body needs to fight any infection. Since your immune system is fighting the virus, you will feel fatigued and exhausted. So, you need to get enough rest to help your body recover.

Stay Hydrated

You need to drink enough fluids to keep your body hydrated. So, drink water or other fluids to ensure you never suffer from dehydration.

Monitor Blood Glucose Levels

Monitor Blood Glucose Levels

You need to monitor your blood glucose levels at frequent intervals. When you monitor it frequently, it helps you take the necessary action as the blood sugar level spikes.

Check Your Body Temperature

You need to check the body temperature at regular intervals. A spike in the body temperature needs medical attention. So, consult your doctor when you see the escalation of your body temperature.

Ketone Bodies

People who are taking insulin to control their blood sugar levels need to monitor their ketone bodies. The presence of ketone bodies indicate a severe complication like DKA (Diabetic ketoacidosis)

Follow Guidelines

You need to follow the recommendation offered by the healthcare team to avoid any complications.

COVID-19 Impacts People With Diabetes: How To Prevent It?

The novel coronavirus has affected lakhs and lakhs of people around the world. It spreads from one person to another through the tiny droplets of body fluids from the infected people. So, when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, the tiny droplets reach the person standing within two meters (six feet). So, the infection enters the body of the person coming in close contact with a coronavirus infected person. It also transfers from a contaminated surface. When a person touches the surface contaminated with the infected body fluids, it transfers to their hands. Touching face, nose, or eyes with the contaminated hands can lead to contracting the virus. So, you need to take the following steps to avoid COVID-19 from infecting people with diabetes:

Ensure Hand Hygiene

Ensure Hand Hygiene

You need to wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Using soap and water will help eliminate the presence of harmful pathogens from your hand surface. When soap and water are not available, you can ensure hand hygiene by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Try to opt for a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Also, try not to touch your mouth, eyes, or mouth after touching any surfaces. It is because touching surfaces can contaminate your hands.

Avoid Touching Surfaces

You must never touch surfaces in public places. It has high chances of contamination as it is possible that infected people have touched the surface. At home, clean and disinfect the surfaces you use to avoid coronavirus transmission. So, you need to disinfect surfaces like door handles, tabletops, or countertops.

Social Distancing

Social Distancing

You need to practice social distancing while going out. So, maintain at least six feet (two meters) distance from others in public areas like supermarkets. Maintaining distance from others will help prevent contracting the virus.

Self-Isolation

You need to avoid coming into contact with people who are sick. So, stay away from people who suffer from cough, fever, or both. Avoid going out of your home. Isolate yourself from others who can make you sick.

Sleep Well

For strengthening your immune system, you need to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Good sleep helps you reduce stress levels.

Adequate Food And Fluid Intake

You need to eat a balanced diet and drink enough fluids to ensure your immunity remains strong.

Keep Sugar Under Control

You have to take medications on time to keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Conclusion

A person suffering from underlying health issues like diabetes can suffer from serious complications when affected by coronavirus infections. So, it is essential to take necessary precautionary steps and get proper medical assistance when COVID-19 impacts people with diabetes. Consult a doctor immediately when a diabetic person in your family shows signs of coronavirus infection. It is always essential to take preventive measures to stop contracting the infection. Diabetic people can avoid serious complications by checking your blood sugar levels, maintaining the right levels, and following the infection prevention guidelines suggested by the WHO. It is always better to take steps to avoid the disease from affecting you or your loved ones.

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