How Coronavirus Disease Affects Diabetic People


Coronavirus disease is more serious in diabetic people. The immune system of diabetic does not function well, which makes it harder for their bodies to fight the virus. The coronavirus looks as if it thrives in an environment of elevated blood glucose levels. Wherein, it makes a slower healing response to any infection. High blood sugar levels combined with a persistent state of inflammation make it much more difficult for people with diabetes to recover from illnesses. 

Anyone with diabetes who notices symptoms of COVID-19 must speak to a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Your risk of getting very ill from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if your diabetes is well-controlled. Having heart disease in addition to diabetes might worsen the chance of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 since your body’s capacity to fight off an infection is compromised. 

Preventative Actions

  • Avoid people who are sick or who have been exposed to the virus
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, and nose
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
  • Clean your hands frequently
  • Wear a face mask when you leave your home

Be Prepared

If you have diabetes, take the following action steps to prepare and decrease your risk of infection:

  • Have up-to-date supplies and prescriptions for your diabetes devices and medications. 
  • Ask your doctor how often to check blood glucose levels.
  • Continue taking ACE inhibitors and ARBs as directed. Keep taking your prescriptions unless your physician recommends otherwise. 
  • Be prepared if you do get sick. Keep a supply of fever-reducing medications and cough medications. You can also ask your doctor what drug is appropriate especially if you have other health complications. 

Diabetes and COVID-19 Diagnosis

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and you also have diabetes, follow your provider’s instructions carefully. Ask your doctor for instructions on how to watch your blood sugar and adjust for changes. Moreover, check your blood sugar more often and contact your doctor if it stays at a higher level. If you have type-1 diabetes and your blood sugar rises, you might be at risk for ketoacidosis. It happens when the body burns fat for energy and makes high levels of blood acids. In due course, these ketones can poison the body. 

During the coronavirus outbreak, it is very important to keep your ketone levels down and avoid trips to the emergency room, when possible. Overall, having diabetes does put you at risk for COVID-19 complications so do your best to avoid getting sick and needing care at the hospital. For all of us, routines have been disrupted, therefore it’s so important to get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, and exercise within your ability. Keep in mind that your mental health can also have an impact on your blood sugar levels. Make time to do the things you love, and stay connected to friends and family. This is a unique period in our lives. We’ll get through it together.