Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Diabetes
What happens if I am already suffering from diabetes?
People with diabetes are at no more risk of catching the COVID than anyone else but if you do then you could become sicker this is why you are ‘classed’ as high risk. The same happens with all types of diabetes (Type I, Type II and gestational diabetes). People with diabetes could be more susceptible to becoming unwell. There is a new dedicated helpline for people with diabetes to acquire information from the health service in England.
If you do become sick, this might affect your blood sugars (primarily higher readings). This is because the body trying to fight the virus. The body releases glucose (sugar) to help give you energy but can’t produce enough insulin to cope with this, resulting in higher glucose levels.
In most cases, the primary symptoms for COVID-19 are mild flu-like symptoms. These could include a high temperature, dry cough, shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), feeling tired, muscle aches, headaches, and a loss of taste and smell. The way the virus affects people will differ from person to person.
Are there any specific measures I must take?
To help prevent the spread of COVID, it is crucial to follow government guidelines and wash your hands frequently and follow the social distancing rules.
To assist you with managing your diabetes:
- If you already monitor your blood glucose levels, you will require to check these more often. If you are noticing higher levels, speak to your diabetes team for further guidelines.
- If you have been advised to check your blood glucose levels, ensure you have an extra supply of your glucose monitoring equipment plus supplies.
- Keep well hydrated by drinking regular fluid throughout the day (aim for six to eight glasses per day).
- Look out for symptoms ‘The 4Ts’ – toilet, thirsty, tired and thinner are symptoms of elevated blood glucose levels. If you are experiencing these symptoms, speak to your diabetes team or get advice from your general practitioner (G.P) (or 111 out of hours). Left untreated, these might get worse and lead to a life-threatening diabetic emergency, diabetic ketoacidosis, or ‘DKA’, if you feel very unwell, call 999.
If you have any concerns or queries it is really crucial that you contact your diabetes specialist nurse or General Practitioner (G.P).
It is crucial that you continue taking medication that has been prescribed to you. Otherwise, this can have an effect on your overall condition and possibly make you feel worse. If you have any concerns or queries about your medication please talk to your local pharmacist or your general practitioner (G.P). Your local surgery or pharmacist could organize a delivery for you.
If you are on insulin, ensure that you have a one-month supply.
If you do require to be admitted to the hospital, please remember to bring an up-to-date list of your medication with you.
Hospitals have had to postpone many non-urgent appointments and planned procedures because of the coronavirus outbreak. These decisions have been in line with national guidelines, and you will be provided another appointment when it is safe to do so..
Local hospital teams should reach out to patients to see how their appointment was impacted.
Some of the appointments might go ahead and will be provided either face-to-face (urgent) appointments or via the telephone.
If you are not sure what has happened to your appointment then please contact your local hospital switchboard or ring the number on the appointment letter.
Although, it is crucial to remember that you should not attend if you have any symptoms of COVID, or have suffered from illness or diarrhea in the last 48 hours.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from post covid diabetes, our expert providers at Post Covid Centers will take care of your health and help you recover.