Today we’re going to talk about the coronavirus and diabetes.
Is it true that people with diabetes, like myself, have a higher risk of getting the coronavirus? The answer is…just like adult diapers, it depends.
If your glucose control is really good, your A1C is around 7, your risk for getting the coronavirus is no higher than anybody else in the community. But, if your glucose control is not good, let’s just say your hemoglobin a1c is 8.5 or 9% or higher, your average blood sugars are above 200, you’re at risk not only for getting the coronavirus more than anybody else, but for any type of infection. So that’s really important.
Now, what if you have underlying medical conditions – heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease? That puts anybody at a higher risk not only for getting the virus, but also for having a hard time getting rid of it and getting healthy again.
Now, what are the signs and symptoms of the coronavirus and are they different in people with diabetes?
Well, don’t forget I have diabetes, and I’m also a doctor so I know something about this area. It is: fever, cough, sore throat, and the one that really worries a lot of us healthcare professionals, shortness of breath. So that’s basically the same – they symptoms are no different for people with diabetes.
What about the therapies? Once again, no different. Drink lots of fluids, take over the counter medications such as: throat lozenges, if you have a sore throat, cough medicines to suppress your cough, maybe some Nyquil if you’re congested, and bring down your fever with Tylenol. Many medications such as Advil and Motrin, they’re anti-inflammatories and they’re kind of hard on the kidneys. So if you have diabetes and you have some kidney issues, really stay away from those medications.
So it’s really important to know that, what we need to do that’s different than the average person, we’ve got to control our blood sugars. What happens to our blood sugars with the coronavirus? Do they go up, or do they go down? Once again it depends. For some people that are really under good control and they may not have a good appetite, or they’re on insulin, you’ve got to watch out for low blood sugar. Other people with type 2 diabetes, any type of medical stress can raise your blood sugars, and who knows, maybe you’re eating at home more than you normally would and not getting any exercise.
So the bottom line is, it’s variable, and you need to test your blood sugar. For those of us who have a continuous glucose monitor, that makes it really easy. For those of you who have to prick your finger, I’m so sorry. But it’s important that you test MORE now than you normally would. So in closing, Nation, remember, stay calm, we’re going to get through this, and stay healthy. Until the next time we come on with some more advice. So long!