Covid 19 is the pandemic that has hit the world badly, affecting different age groups equally. If you have diabetes, then you must know about the tips to manage diabetes in covid. Covid is a life-threatening situation, and unfortunately, diabetics are the easy target for this viral illness.
Covid symptoms affect everyone, but it may carry severe consequences in a person with diabetes. Diabetic patients affected with covid are more likely to survive on a ventilator for breathing, which you don’t want to.
How can I manage my diabetic health during the covid pandemic? The first attempt is to stay home, stay safe and protect yourself from getting covid. Secondly, try to manage your diabetes during covid lockdown by taking all precautionary measures while being at home. Work out regularly at home, and fill up your diabetic medication stock before it gets too late.
How Can You Get Infected with Covid-19?
Do you know how you may get a covid 19 infection? Covid is a viral illness that is spread from animals, and also from the human to humans. A respiratory ailment usually spreads via aerosols and contaminated droplets from the infected person’s mouth.
Talking, sneezing, and coughing help this virus to spread from infected to others. You can get the virus even by touching the infected surfaces and then touching back to the nose and mouth. The virus can stay in the environment for a few hours to one day, and this prolonged environmental resistance helps it spread even faster.
Infected persons are the source of spreading this infection, and they must quarantine strictly until complete recovery. If you feel any symptoms, get them diagnosed immediately and avoid your contact with others.
How Severe Can Covid-19 Be For Diabetics?
People with previous or ongoing records of any serious medical condition like diabetes have more risk of covid infection and its severity. Fortunately, covid is safe, and about 98% of the infected people recover; but those with diabetes have to be careful.
Two reasons are likely to affect the severity of covid in people with diabetes; firstly, they have a weakened immune system due to this severe medical illness that cannot fight this viral infection. Secondly, increased blood sugar levels may encourage the virus to live longer than usual sugar levels.
What is a link between covid and diabetes? According to the latest research, covid infection increases the chances of affecting by diabetes. The covid virus can target and affect the body’s insulin-producing cells, ultimately affecting blood sugar.
9 Tips To Manage Diabetics Health in Covid
If you have diabetes, then in this covid scenario, you need to follow specific tips to manage diabetic health in covid.
1- Stay Active at Home
Exercise and diabetes have a robust relation, and one cant even simply deny its importance. Exercise helps to control diabetes and also prevents the risk factor associated with it.
Exercises are essential for mental health and help release endorphins, which are body-good hormones and make you stress-free. Try to stay active and keep on indoor activities during covid. However, if you have to go for a walk, follow the covid protocols. Wear a face mask, avoid contacting anyone and sanitize yourself before entering the house again.
Don’t you want to have a healthy weight? It is maintained through the exercises and helps a lot in delaying the diabetic consequences. Besides weight loss, exercise has a very positive impact on blood sugar levels.
Also, it assists you in monitoring your foot and leg health which may get affected by diabetic complications. You could choose a simple activity like walking or weight lifting etc.
2- Eat A Proper Diet And Drink Enough Water
Nutrition is one of the primary factors which determines how well your body performs. During covid pandemic, you should maintain a proper diet if you have diabetes. Consume a balanced amount of carbs to regulate the serum glucose level
Following is the diet for diabetic covid patients and tips to manage diabetic health in covid:
- Don’t consume fried food excessively
- Limit ingesting those foods which are high in carbs, fats, and added sugars
- Eat fruits, but generally in two or three servings
- Prefer lean protein ( meat, beans, egg, milk)
- Choose those foods having a low glycemic index, as they are suitable for diabetic covid patients.
- Eat green leafy vegetables.
Type 2 diabetic patients are more suspected to get dehydration; how? Due to high blood sugar levels, the kidney has to work more to remove the excess sugar. So it results in more urination and removing body fluids, leaving behind dehydration.
Take some fluid, preferably water, to overcome dehydration. Try to avoid sugary beverages as they are more harmful than overcoming dehydration.
3- Focus On Your Immunity
Nothing can improve your immunity all of a sudden except good health, which too requires careful management. A weakened immunity attracts the covid, and if you have diabetes too, you should be conscious about your health.
An easy and effective tip for managing diabetic health in covid is to focus on immunity. The stronger your immunity is, the more you will be resistant against covid and have fewer chances of infection.
Importantly good hygiene and proper following of government precautions and restrictions against covid are the best strategies to prevent this virus ailment. However, here are few tips which help you to manage diabetes during covid and supporting your immunity:
- Regularly sanitize the everyday objects like cellphones, door handles, and other high touching surfaces
- Wash your hand frequently for at least 20 seconds using warm water and soap
- Cover your mouth and nose with the help of a face mask; it prevents viral entry and spread
- Stop alcohol consumption immediately for strengthening the immune system
- Quit smoking as it exposes you to get respiratory infections
- Vitamin D is essential for immunity, but where to get vitamin D? Sun is the best and cheapest source of natural vitamin D, spare some time under the sun; but remember to follow the social distancing and other sops.
- Take immune booster supplements and vitamins, but don’t forget to consult your doctor before initiating them.
4- Take your Medications Regularly
Don’t believe rumors that certain diabetic medications make you more susceptible to covid infection. In fact, leaving the diabetes medicine comes up with severe complications and more risk of getting a covid disease.
Consult your doctor if you feel that there is a need to change the medicine. The doctor will check your diabetes score and modify the dosage accordingly.
Blood sugar fluctuations may seriously affect a person if one quits the concerned medication without consulting a doctor. Medicine has nothing to do with the covid; rather, stopping medication can be disastrous.
Leaving medication may result in hyperglycemia, which can lower the activity of the immune system and increase the chances of getting this viral respiratory illness.
5- Manage Your Stress
In the covid pandemic and strict lockdown era, stress is getting famous due to continuous staying inside. Stress and depression are the silent killers, and if you have diabetes too, you can’t afford to have stress.
Different factors induce stress, might it be restrictions, responsibilities, or financial crisis. But whatever the reason is, stress is bad for diabetic health, especially during covid.
How can I manage stress then? Stay in touch with the people who care about you and discuss your tensions. If the meetup is not possible, plan a meeting using technology like video calling on any app.
Try to engage yourself in different activities like cooking, gardening, etc., and sit a mile away from matters which tease your mental health.
6- Maintain Your Diabetes Hygiene
More severe is your diabetic score, more are the chances to get covid. So you must be vigilant to manage your diabetes hygiene without any carelessness and delay. Check your blood sugar and ketone bodies regularly and seek medical attention if there is any abnormality.
Watch for any abnormality or diabetes complication, treat it as soon as possible. Take an excellent sugar-free diet and try to lower the related risk factors that worsen the diabetic score.
If you are taking insulin injections, do not stop them in any condition without consulting a healthcare professional. No doubt staying home continuously feels like being in prison, but it’s for your safety. Don’t let this pandemic disturb your hygiene; otherwise, the consequences may shock you.
Why is coronavirus dangerous for diabetes? Coronavirus is a severe threat for diabetes, as it raises the risk of developing diabetic complications like Diabetic Ketoacidosis, and it can be tough to handle.
7- Know The Effect Of Certain Covid Medicines Over Diabetes
A vital tip to manage diabetic health during covid is knowing that certain covid medications may affect the serum glucose level. This effect is unacceptable for diabetics, and you should know about it.
Common medications used to treat flu and other covid respiratory symptoms should be used carefully in diabetic patients. Among these are:
- Large doses of aspirin
- Ibuprofen raises the insulins hypoglycemic effect, so avoid it
- Cough syrups, always prefer those which are sugar-free
- Certain pills having the same composition as syrups and don’t have carbohydrates.
Ask your physician before starting treatment if you get the infection. The covid vaccine is free for diabetics and everyone, so get it as early as possible and save yourself from disease.
8- Keep Your Stock Filled With Diabetes Supplies
Due to the pandemic situation and travel restrictions, there might be some shortage of medication in the market. Or even what if you don’t find a way to visit a doctor or medical store?
Whenever you find a chance, fill up your stock of diabetes supplies and medication. Better to have enough insulin, glucose tablets so you won’t have to worry about any serious emergency situation like hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
Maintain a place having backup insulin reserves and ketone strips other than the average stock. Although there is no restriction on medicine manufacturing and selling, still a slight delay may deprive you of life-saving medications.
Filling up the stock should be the priority to manage diabetic health during the covid. You should have an extra supply for at least one month in case of an emergency. Like if you get the covid infection, there is a self-quarantine period of 14 days in which you can’t move out, and you have to rely on the stock.
Besides stocking the diabetes supplies, keep a backup or a source that can supply you if you run out of those medications.
9- Stay Prepared For Any Emergency; Like Low Blood Sugar
Never underestimate diabetes; it can sometimes amaze you with severe complications. Always ready for any trouble like extremely low blood sugar. Therefore, it is recommended to check blood sugar levels and ketone bodies at home and treat it accordingly if the level rises or drops.
Diabetics body is more suspected of ketoacidosis, a condition in which the body won’t have enough insulin to use glucose as an energy source. As a result, it uses the fats for energy resulting in ketone bodies.
Failure to access insulin injection may result in hyperglycemia, which would be life-threatening if not treated immediately. So there is a need to be vigilant enough and deal with the diabetic emergency as per requirement.
What Should People With Diabetes Do If They Have The Virus?
It’s better to map a plan in mind well before getting the virus; it would save your time later. Firstly you have to quarantine yourself and implement the Stay Home Stay Safe strategy to avoid infection spread.
Contact your healthcare professional about the situation, and make sure to stock the necessary medications. Monitor the blood sugar level at home, and don’t leave the house except in any complex emergency.
Your glycemic control may fluctuate during viral infection and is treatable with the medication. But strictly follow your doctor’s suggestion before initiating any medicine as certain covid medicines drastically affect the serum glucose level.
Strictly follow the specific Sick Day Rules for better health. These includes:
- Monitor temperature
- Regular checking of blood glucose and ketone bodies
- Stay hydrated
- Strictly follow the physician’s recommendations.
CoronaVirus: How Diabetics Can Avoid it?
Simple protocols and following the recommended sops has a significant role in preventing the Corona Virus. Here are a few tips for managing diabetics’ health in Covid and how to avoid the coronavirus.
- Don’t share food, glasses, towels, and other personal utensils with anyone
- Wash hand frequently with soap and warm water
- Keep a pocket sanitizer, and sanitize yourself regularly after contacting someone.
- Avoid contact with ill persons.
- If you develop any respiratory symptoms, quarantine yourself
- Wear a face mask if it’s necessary to go out
FAQs: Diabetes and Coronavirus
1- Are those with diabetes at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness
People with diabetes are more likely to have the covid complications and have more severe symptoms than others. However, risk lowers eventually if your diabetes is well managed.
2- Can COVID-19 increase blood sugar in people with diabetes
Yes, if the body faces stress with covid infection, there is a chance that blood sugar may increase.
3- How will the COVID-19 vaccine affect my blood sugar levels?
Vaccine develops the minor symptoms of illness and also raises the blood sugar level due to induced stress.
4- Do different types of diabetes respond differently to COVID-19?
According to the American Diabetes Association, covid is a severe risk for any type of diabetes. However, severity depends on how well you manage diabetes, either type 1 or type 2.
5- Does research show that COVID 19 vaccine will work for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia?
All the authorized vaccines like Moderna, Pfizer are considered safe for adults having diabetes and will work for hypoglycemic patients.
Key Takeaway: Prevention is Better Then Cure!
Covid is a severe threat and pandemic for society, especially for people with diabetes. However, you can get rid of covid complications by managing diabetes efficiently.