COVID-19: A Precautionary Checklist For Diabetes Patients

The spread of Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-19 or COVID-19) is currently rampant across the world, with Europe and the US being in the top regions affected by it. Countries are on lockdown, supplies are low, and businesses are reeling, and senior government officials of different nations are testing positive. With more than 25,000 deaths, this is more than a pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation.

Coronavirus(COVID-19) Safety Precautions for Diabetes

Now, a question comes to mind where people with diabetes are concerned. Are they more prone and vulnerable to getting affected by the COVID-19 infection?

The American Diabetes Association emphasizes the fact that there is no relevant or sufficient data connecting people with diabetes to the threatening outcomes of COVID-19.

The problem is that those suffering from diabetes are not more likely to attract the virus, but the consequences of the virus can be severe for them. Surveys and study of the deaths in China demonstrate that people with diabetic symptoms succumbed to the virus sooner than others. In fact, studies suggest that the mortality rate in those with diabetes and COVID-19 might be as high as 7.3%. 

However, the chances of someone with diabetes contracting the virus without sufficient contact with COVID-19 affected patients are very slim.

COVID-19

Glucose Control to Act as Rudimentary Solution

A comparative study and analysis of the deaths across the globe up to March 23rd indicate that people with diabetes or relevant symptoms are the second-most affected by COVID-19 (cardiovascular disease is the first). People with chronic diseases are currently threatened the most by this pandemic. Medical agencies in the US, including the likes of the US CDC, ADA, and Red Cross International, are always laying stress on glucose control for prevention in patients with diabetes. 

According to these expert bodies, adequate glucose control can thwart the spread of the disease and boost the immunity of the patient extensively. Glucose control will stimulate the white blood cells, which are considered the “protectors” of the body by reducing hyperglycemic levels. When the latter is reduced, a patient’s body will be able to fight the smallest of viruses like influenza or cold. This can serve as the primitive method to tackle COVID-19 for people with diabetes.

 In order to achieve adequate control, your doctor may consider stopping the certain medication and starting insulin if you are positive for COVID-19. It is recommended that self-medication not be practiced, and medical advice be sought when possible.

Other Medications

Current biomedical research advises patients with heart issues, diabetes related issues, or cardiovascular diseases to avoid the intake of painkillers or pharmaceutical compositions like Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen, according to the World Health Organisation and ICMR, can worsen the symptoms of COVID-19 and cause irreparable damage to your kidneys and even the heart. 

The sale of Ibuprofen is prevalent in Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and China, and many European countries. These are the places currently on the verge of reaching Stage IV levels of COVID-19, and therefore, doctors are already raising the alarm. However, paracetamol is the safest painkiller for diabetic patients during this crisis, according to doctors

Diabetes checklist for COVID-19

Diabetes Checklist

Medical Supplies

Buy all the insulin you need (don’t’ panic buy!) and a few test strips as well. Regularly monitor your glucose level and never compromise on insulin intake. If you use a glucose meter, buy spare batteries.

Food

Stick to low-carb meals, stay hydrated, and eat on time. Be prepared with a list of diabetes-friendly snacks and plan your meals. Consult a dietician for a proper diet chart of food to control diabetes.

Exercise

Diabetes patients must lay stress on regular exercise and fitness. Walk indoors for 20 to 30 minutes and avoid weight training or intensive workout. Yoga and suryanamaskar are also great indoor workout options.

Sleep

Remember to maintain sleep hygiene and give your body enough rest to stay healthy. Avoid screen time before bedtime and pay attention to your body’s natural circadian rhythm.

Closing Thoughts

Among the various coronavirus precautions, monitoring blood glucose, water and ketone levels is key for diabetes patients. Sodium levels and hydration are essential to supervise, especially if the affected individual is a child with type 1 diabetes.

With COVID-19 reaching new heights of pandemonium, the smallest symptoms of illness will require you to visit a doctor or physician. Medical enterprises like Phable can help you upon unavailability of medical assistance, even in the case of a lockdown. You can also contact the necessary government helplines for this purpose as well.

Reviewed by Dr. Vivek Baliga of Baliga Diagnostics

Phable is an innovative lifestyle disease management app simplifying life for patients & doctors through health monitoring and doctor intervention.

Download Phable: Play Store (or) App Store

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