Each person needs to be vigilant to prevent the COVID-19. If you have type-1 or type-2 diabetes, you must be even more cautious. Your risk of catching the virus isn’t higher than anyone else’s but you may have worse problems if you do get ill. To lessen your chance of getting infected:
- Use good hygiene
- Have a plan in place in case you get sick
- Keep your blood sugar under control
- Keep your distance from other people
Some people who went to the hospital with severe coronavirus cases had diabetes. These people were more likely to have serious complications and to die from the virus. One reason is that high blood sugar weakens the immune system and makes it less able to fight off infections. Your risk of severe coronavirus infection is even higher if you also have heart or lung disease. If you do get the coronavirus disease, the infection might put you at greater risk for diabetes complications. A complication in diabetes occurs when high levels of acids called ketones build up in your blood which can be very serious.
Tips to Avoid Infection
The best way to avoid getting sick is to stay at home as much as you can. People with diabetes have the right to work from home or take sick leave when they need it. While the vaccine is not yet available, you need to keep at least 6 feet away from other people and wear a face mask. Also, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often while you’re out and when you get home. Furthermore, wash your hands before you give yourself an insulin shot. Clean each site first with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. To protect you as well, each person in your house must wash their hands frequently, especially before they cook for the family. Don’t share any utensils or other personal items.
Your Diabetes Plan
Social distancing and stay-at-home rules could make it harder to get the supplies you need. Store up on sufficient goods to last you for a couple of weeks, in case you get quarantined.
Ensure you have:
- An adequate amount of food, especially healthy carbs
- Simple carbs in case your blood sugar dips
- Extra glucagon and ketone strips
- The maximum number of refills you can get of your insulin and other medications
- Phone numbers for your doctors and health insurance company
If you have questions for your doctor, you can ask by video chat or phone instead of going into the office. When you talk to your doctor, ask:
- What cold and flu remedies are safe for you to take
- How to adjust your diabetes medicines if you’re sick
- How often to check your blood sugar and ketones
Things To Do If You Get Sick
Stay at home if you start feeling sick. Monitor your blood sugar more than usual. COVID-19 may decrease your appetite and cause you to eat less that can affect your levels. You also need more fluids than usual when you’re sick.