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Are Diabetics Particularly Prone to the Corona Virus?

Diabetes is a health epidemic and literally millions of people are afflicted with the disease worldwide. Unfortunately, the coronavirus is attracted to people with diabetes. An infection from the coronavirus is a threat everybody is afraid of, but the virus is especially harmful to anyone whose health is vulnerable.

When a person is diagnosed diabetic, it means that they secrete very little insulin or no insulin. Being a diabetic means that your body doesn’t respond the way it should to insulin – it doesn’t transfer glucose from the bloodstream into cells and maintain blood glucose balance.

When you eat food, your blood sugar levels rise as you absorb glucose into the bloodstream. Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar. Problems with the pancreas means that it stops producing enough insulin to meet the body’s needs.  It can’t return blood sugar levels to a normal range.

Diabetes – it’s a serious disease

Diabetes is categorized into two main types – type 1 diabetes and type 11 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and diabetes 11 is known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.

The disease is associated with a high death rate resulting from its complications. This is in spite of the advance of insulin-regulating treatments. It’s a serious disease this diabetes and it comes with some dangerous complications –

  • kidney damage
  • neuropathy or nerve damage which results in pain as well as numbness in the hands and feet
  • eye disease such as retinopathy and cataracts which can lead to blindness
  • risk of peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and heart disease
  • hormonal imbalances. This is because of the excessive production of cortisol, adrenaline and even insulin.
  • skin lesions and ulcers. You’ll find this more often in the legs because circulation is compromised.

These complications that arise for both types of diabetes are as a result of long-term elevations of insulin or glucose. If the levels of these go beyond normal levels for too long, inflammation results and the abovementioned complications occur.

Certainly, those with diabetes are more likely to experience complications when infected with a virus. For most people, coronavirus is a fairly mild illness, but for some people it can be a death sentence. 

Diabetics have a higher rate of serious complications as well as death with the coronavirus than those who don’t have diabetes. However, your risk of becoming ill from COVID-19 will be lower if your diabetes is well-managed.

As it is, when diabetics don’t manage their diabetes well, the have fluctuating blood sugars and they’re at risk for these complications mentioned. Coronaviruses can cause symptoms which are more severe in people with diabetes, but not only diabetes – people with other long-term conditions as well such as cancer.

The truth is, everyone with diabetes is at risk of developing a severe illness if they get coronavirus. When you’re a diabetic, becoming ill can upset your blood sugar and your body releases stored glucose into your bloodstream to provide you with more energy. Because your body can’t produce insulin to deal with this, your blood sugar rises.

Yes, diabetics are more at risk with COVID-19

The truth is that those with diabetes do face greater risks of complications with viral infections. With a lower immune response, diabetics have to be particularly careful with their social distancing, the washing of hands and ensuring that their flu vaccines are up to date. Also, those with diabetes have to be careful of dehydration, especially when blood sugar rises. Having a stock of bottled water is a good idea as well as having drinks with electrolytes. 

If a person with diabetes is infected with coronavirus, it can cause the glucose levels to rise so that inflammation of the respiratory tract sets in accompanied by shortness of breath.

Don’t panic – just be careful

As a diabetic, the outbreak of corona is causing panic. Because diabetes is a chronic condition, meaning it’s a diasese that doesn’t go away, it is natural to panic because it’s a disease that you have to be constantly taking precautions with to prevent complications. It’s not a disease that you treat and it goes away. You need to be constantly controlling your glycemia and trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle wherever possible.

The World Health Organization also recommends that diabetics take extra precautions with the washing of hands and to seek medical care as soon as they experience difficulty with breathing.

The coronavirus isn’t likely to be exiting soon, so learning how to prevent becoming infected and practicing good hygiene is all you can do for now to stay safe.

Published by Servants Approach Consulting

Servants Approach Consulting, is a non-profit healthcare consultation platform. Founded by Dr. Samuel M. Founded on the core belief that serving one another, is the purpose of life itself.

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