And the renewed COVID alert has raised concerns for people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart issues, hypertension, respiratory disorders, kidney complications, etc., as they remain more susceptible to higher risk if they contract COVID.
There are many studies that show people with diabetes when infected with coronavirus, have a higher risk of developing severe pneumonia and inflammation, higher risk of hospitalization, higher risk of needing ventilator support, and an increased mortality risk.
Dr. Makkar, Senior Diabetologist, President, RSSDI, says, “People with diabetes have compromised immune systems that make them vulnerable to grave complications with infections in the body, especially when the virus is COVID. If you have diabetes or have a family member diagnosed with any type of diabetes, be prepared for the unexpected pandemic crisis.
Here is what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe from COVID if you’re a diabetic :
- Abide by the standard protocol and guidelines given by the government of India regarding symptoms, hygiene practices, washing hands with soap or sanitizing hands, etc.
- Avoid venturing outside as much as possible and if not then follow social distancing measures properly.
- Take your medications regularly and don’t skip them off and on. Ensure that you have sufficient stock of your diabetes medicines. Always keep your drugs to treat hypoglycemia or any other diabetes condition handy.
- Check your blood sugars regularly and make sure you are in good control range.
- Make sure you carry or have extra insulin supplies in case the lockdown strikes back.
- Do not hoard medicines and supplies out of panic, as the government will ensure the uninterrupted supply of medicines and drugs.
- Do not self-medicate. Always consult your treating physician before using any medication.
- Be watchful for signs of hypoglycemia(low blood sugar) or diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition can potentially develop life-threatening complications among people with diabetes, most often in type 1 diabetes patients. It can occur while the body lacks enough insulin to convert glucose into energy, causing the breakdown of fats and leading to the build-up of acids called ketones within the blood.
- During the pandemic, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following a routine must be considered essential by people with diabetes. Don’t skip physical activities and start exercising at home.
- Make sure you take a nutritious diet. Avoid deep-fried foods as they might derail your diabetes condition.
- Keep in touch with your doctor. If your blood sugar levels are frequently fluctuating, do not hesitate to take medical help.
Dr. Makkar says, “Amid the COVID-scare, it is precarious to handle diabetes as it requires constant vigilance. With new variant of COVID revealing themselves and rising cases in many states, it is better to follow precautionary measures than look for cure. Staying informed but not fearful can enable you to help yourself and your family at the earliest.
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