Several studies have suggested that Covid-19 may hit harder on people with diabetes. They’re more likely to develop worse complications and die if they get infected by the virus, compared to those without diabetes. Why people with diabetes are more susceptible to severe Covid-19 infections? One of the reasons being that high blood sugar levels can weaken their immune system defenses. In addition, health experts suggest that the virus may thrive in an environment of elevated blood glucose and also increase inflammation, or internal swelling, in people with diabetes, which can make recovery from the illness more difficult. As researchers continue to exlpore the impact of Covid-19 on people with diabetes, a survey-cum-study has revealed that over three-fourths of diabetes patients experience fluctuations in their blood glucose level after they are diagnosed Covid-19 positive. Also Read – Risk factors of severe COVID-19 complication in people with diabetes identified, but metformin reduces risk
The study by diabetes management platform ‘BeatO’ included 800 people with diabetes who tested Covid positive. In the subsequent three months following a positive Covid-19 report, many had their blood glucose levels increased by almost 28 per cent in first month, 17 per cent in second month and 11 per cent in third month. Almost 62 per cent of them experienced a change in their weight and roughly 37 per cent reported fluctuation in their blood pressure level. Weakness, body ache and fatigue are other common issues experienced by the diabetes patients during the Covid-19 recovery period, as revealed by BeatO. Also Read – Diabetes treatment: This allopathic drug combination can help you manage this condition
“If your blood glucose fluctuates and gets uncontrolled or you experience hypoglycemia, contact your doctor for the needful,” said Mudit Sabharwal, Consultant Diabetologist and Head of Medical Affairs, BeatO who spoke to IANSlife. Also Read – Blood glucose level should be considered as ‘fifth vital sign’ during hospitalization: Indian docs
Tips for diabetes management during Covid-19
Not just Covid-19, diabetes patients are more likely to have more severe symptoms and complications from any viral infection. Having more than one condition, for example heart disease in addition to diabetes, could even worsen the chance of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. Keeping your diabetes well-managed can reduce your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 or other viral infections. Talking to IANSlife, Mudit Sabharwal also suggested some tips for diabetes management during Covid-19.
- Monitor blood glucose frequently, especially those who are on insulin or medication like sulphonylureas, etc.
- If you notice any symptoms of Diabetes Ketoacidosis like increased thirst, nausea, abdominal pain, extreme fatigue and fruity breath, talk to your doctor immediately.
- Keep yourself well hydrated as any infection can increase blood glucose levels, which can increase your body’s need for fluids.
- Eat well and avoid fasting.
- Get enough sleep and exercise regularly to boost your immunity.
- Make sure you have enough of your diabetes medications in case you had to quarantine yourself.
- Have sweet candy/sweet juice, etc in case your blood glucose drops suddenly and contact your doctor.
COVID-19 can cause a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Potential COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, etc. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor immediately.