Coronavirus and Diabetes: Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 is still a new disease, and there is a lot we don´t know. However, new information is being unearthed all the time, including the relationship between coronavirus and diabetes. In this article, we´re going to answer some of the frequently asked questions about how COVID-19 impacts people with diabetes. We hope you find it helpful.

How Does Coronavirus Affect People With Diabetes?

Research is ongoing, but people with diabetes tend to develop more severe COVID-19 disease. In general, people with diabetes are more likely to experience more severe symptoms and complications when infected with any virus, not just coronavirus.

Diabetes is usually associated with inflammation, and with COVID, the inflammatory states get worse much quicker. Also, the virus may exaggerate poor blood flow due to clotting problems.

Additionally, when you are ill, your body is working overtime to fight the illness, making it more challenging to manage your diabetes. This can put you at increased risk of severe blood sugar highs and lows that could lead to Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially life-threatening complication.

It's important to point out that most adults, including those with diabetes, will only experience mild symptoms if they catch coronavirus and will not be hospitalized. However, some people will develop a more serious illness and could sadly die. The way the disease affects people varies significantly.

Are People With Diabetes More Likely To Catch Coronavirus?

If you have diabetes, you are no more at risk of contracting COVID-19 than anyone else. According to current research, several risk factors make people with diabetes at higher risk, such as being older, having a high HbA1c (average blood glucose level) and having a history of diabetes-related complications like nerve damage, heart problems and foot problems. However, your risk of becoming seriously ill is lower if your condition is well-managed.

How Does Coronavirus Affect Children?

As far as scientists are aware, coronavirus causes mild symptoms in children. That being said, catching it can make your child´s diabetes more difficult to manage. So it´s essential to follow recommended health and safety measures to reduce their risk of catching the virus, such as social distancing and frequent handwashing.

How Does Coronavirus Affect Pregnant Women With Diabetes

If you are pregnant and have diabetes, you are at no greater risk of getting the virus than anyone else in the general population. However, if you do get it, you could be at a higher risk of developing complications.

How Can I Reduce My Risk of Getting Seriously Ill From Coronavirus?

The CDC has published a list of recommendations to help people protect themselves from coronavirus, including:

What Are The Symptoms and Warning Signs I Should Watch Out For?

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms. They include but are not limited to:

What Should I Do If I Think I Have COVID?

If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor. Be ready to describe what you´re experiencing and have ready your glucose readings and ketone readings. Also, keep track of your fluid consumption to provide details.

Does Coronavirus Cause Diabetes?

One of the things to understand about coronavirus is that scientists are learning about the many ways it causes COVID-19 and affects different groups of people. There are still many questions. 

Some early studies have shown that people are developing diabetes after infection. Lab research by one group of scientists appears to show that coronavirus hijacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas by replicating inside them before spreading to other cells.

Another research team has discovered that following infection, insulin-producing cells made much less insulin and instead started producing glucagon, which also plays a role in controlling blood glucose levels.

Both teams reported that infection with coronavirus led to a reduction in the amount of insulin produced and released from pancreatic islet tissue.

Do You Have Any Questions About Diabetes?

If you are concerned about any aspect of diabetes, including possible complications, please come and talk to us at the Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy. Dr. Akinwande and his friendly and experienced team can see you at one of four convenient locations throughout the St Louis area. Book an appointment today to schedule a consultation.


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