Diabetes and the link to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
April 16th, 2020
The NHS and WHO has said diabetes is one of the health conditions that may increase your risk of having complications from coronavirus.
But most people with diabetes are not considered “extremely vulnerable” to coronavirus unless they are also pregnant or have another health high risk condition which includes people who have:
- Received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication.
- Cancer and are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
- Cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment.
- Severe chest conditions like cystic fibrosis or severe asthma – requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets.
- Severe diseases of body systems such as kidney disease (dialysis).
- A condition, or are taking medicine, that makes them much more likely to get infections.
- Serious heart conditions.
Diabetes UK says it is unclear how coronavirus affects people in remission from type two diabetes. They advise everyone, including people in diabetes remission, to follow the stay at home measures.
Facts about Diabetes and COVID-19
- When you have diabetes, being ill can make your blood sugar go all over the place.
- Your body tries to fight the illness by releasing stored glucose (sugar) into your blood stream to give you energy – but your body can’t produce insulin to cope with this, so your blood sugars rise.
- Your body is working overtime to fight the illness, making it harder to manage your diabetes.
- This means you’re more at risk of having serious blood sugar highs and lows, as well as longer-term problems with your eyes, feet and other areas of your body.
- For most people, coronavirus is a mild illness, but some people develop a more serious form of the virus and could have further complications or loss of life.
- People with diabetes who do contract coronavirus need to be extract vigilant about keeping their blood glucose levels on target and follow the guidelines for when they are ill.
- This includes checking blood glucose levels more often if they monitor their levels at home.
- It is important that people with diabetes follow the isolation rules should they feel unwell or feel they have symptoms.
The latest NHS guidelines and information about Coronavirus, can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Diabetes UK also has the latest advice for those living with the condition: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus