The threat of COVID-19 cases is looming large and new cases are being diagnosed every minute, across the nook and cranny of the world. The positive cases have long since crossed 1 million in number and the fatalities are increasing at an alarming rate. It is a known fact that children, older adults, patients suffering from the compromised immune system and comorbid conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer are at increased risk of getting infected with SARS-Cov-2 virus and it is very imperative for the above to be even more careful to avert the risk of this deadly virus.
Doctors warn that diabetics are at higher risk and a majority of patients currently fighting COVID-19 are either suffering from Type -1 or Type-2 diabetes mellitus. Also Read: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Diabetes And Coronavirus:
If you are a diabetic, you should be even more vigilant, as your risk of infections is more than others, particularly if blood glucose levels are fluctuating and not under control. Uncontrolled diabetes weakens the immune system and makes it less liable to battle infections. As per the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the fatality rate caused due to COVID-19 stands at 7.3%.
Diabetic patients who are suffering from COVID-19 are also prone to a higher risk of diabetic complications like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), this occurs when the levels of ketones build up in the blood and it can be very severe. While it was also observed that people with coronavirus disease have a dangerous body-response to sepsis. This can be treated by correcting the electrolyte balance and maintaining body fluids and diabetic ketoacidosis also leads to electrolyte imbalance, hence it becomes even tougher to control and manage sepsis. Maintaining the blood sugar levels under control is the primary goal in managing COVID-19.
Guidelines To Prevent Infection:
The best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease is to practice social distancing and staying at home as much as possible. Also Read: Coronavirus: All You Need To Know About Home Quarantine Guidelines
In case you have to go out, maintain a distance of six feet from other people.
Every time you come back from departmental stores or public places, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or else use alcohol –based hand sanitizer.
It is vital to wash your hands before taking your insulin shot. Always clean the area first with soap and water or alcohol swab.
Do not share your personal belongings with others.
If any member in your house is unwell, stay away from them as far as possible or avoid contact.
Diabetes Management Plan:
Amidst the strict lock down and home quarantine it makes it very tougher for people to get their daily essentials including food supplies and medicines, so it is important to maintain supplies to meet the demands.
Ensure to stock up adequate foods including whole grain cereals and complex carbs like wheat bread, multi grain crackers, oats, vegetables and fruits.
Keep a supply of glucose pellets, honey, fruit juice or hard candies in case if you have to manage hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
Stock up for a month or two of refills of your insulin injections and other diabetic medications.
Keep an excess reserve of glucose and ketone monitoring strips.
Save the contact numbers of your physician, diabetologist and health insurance company.
Plan for a virtual or tele consultation with your health care providers to steer clear away all your doubts and queries pertaining COVID-19. Ask your health care provider about:
Cold and flu remedies and how to tackle at home.
How to adjust insulin dose or diabetes medications if you fall sick.
When and how often to monitor blood sugar and ketones.
Precautionary Measures To Follow If You Fall Sick:
Home quarantine yourself or stay at home if you are unwell.
Monitor your blood glucose level very often, as you may have a poor appetite which may reduce food intake, continue your normal meal plan to avoid blood sugar fluctuations.
Adequate hydration is very important when you are sick, drink plenty of warm water and fluids to trigger your immune system.
Consult your physician about the medications to be taken if you have a viral attack like flu or cold.
Seek immediate medical care if you suspect coronavirus symptoms like dry cough, fever or shortness of breath.