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What You Should Know About COVID-19

 

The year 2020 has certainly thrown all of us a curve ball! Since the introduction of COVID-19, from directions to shelter-in-place, wear masks in public, and remain socially distant from others, to local toilet paper shortages, we’ve experienced more than most of us could have ever imagined!

While much of what’s happening with the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, the fundamentals of diabetes self-management still ring true. Finding ways to be active, eating healthfully, and working towards achieving diabetes goals is arguably more important than ever. While having diabetes alone is not known to put a person at higher risk for contracting COVID-19, people with diabetes are at higher risk in general for having less optimal outcomes if they become infected1. On a positive note, having well managed diabetes is likely to lower the risk of severe illness1,2,3.

Here’s what you should know about COVID-19.

 

Signs & Symptoms:

The list above was last updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)4 on May 13, 2020 and may continue to change as the medical and scientific community works to study the disease. Click here [1] to review the most up-to-date information from the CDC.

 

Strategies to Decrease Risk of Contracting a COVID-19 Infection:

What Can You Do NOW to Minimize the Severity of Illness Should You Contract COVID-19?

It’s more challenging to manage diabetes during illness because the body releases hormones in response to an infection or illness5. Some hormones promote the release of glucose into the blood stream, and others change the way your body responds to insulin. While every person and situation can be different, most times people become more insulin resistant when the body is fighting an infection. This means you may require more insulin than you would expect during an illness. In addition to high blood sugar levels that may result from the stress of illness, some medications may also contribute to high blood sugars. The most common are steroids, which may be used to treat diseases, including COVID-196. Therefore, close communication with your diabetes healthcare team is important during illness and when new medications are added to your plan to ensure your glucose levels and insulin doses are assessed and modified appropriately.

Keep in mind, the topics and suggestions in this blog do not take the place of medical advice or guidance. Be sure to remain in communication with your healthcare team if you have questions or concerns about your diabetes management or the way COVID-19 is impacting you personally.

Let’s continue to forge through the global pandemic and find new ways to thrive together!

 

References:
1American Diabetes Association (n.d.) . How COVID-19 impacts people with diabetes . Retrieved August 5, 2020, from https://www.diabetes.org/coronavirus-covid-19/how-coronavirus-impacts-people-with-diabetes [3]

2Ho, C., Ng, N.B.H., Lee, Y.S. (2020). Caring for pediatric patients with diabetes amidst the Coronavirus disease 2019 storm. The Journal of Pediatrics, 1097-6833.

3Erener, S. (2020). Diabetes, infection risk, and COVID-19. Molecular Metabolism, pp. 101044; doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2020.101044

4Centers for Disease Control (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved 7/19/2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html [1]

5Kitabchi, A.E., Miles, J., Umpierrez, G.E., & Fisher, J.N. (2009). Hyperglycemic crisis in adult patients with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 32, 1335-1343. doi: 10.2337/dc09-9032

6Wicaksana, A.G., Hertanti, N.S., Ferdiana, A., & Pramono, R.B. (2020). Diabetes management specific considerations for patients during coronavirus disease pandemic: A scoping review. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, 14, 1109-1120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsx.2020.06.070 [4]