Diabetes and COVID-19: Diabetics are at Higher Risk for Coronavirus Infection Complications

“The problem people with diabetes face is primarily a problem of worse outcomes, not greater chance of contracting the virus,” states the American Diabetes Association (ADA). These worse outcomes are in the form of serious complications which people with diabetes are at a higher chance of experiencing. The ADA also shares that, “Your risk of getting sick from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if your diabetes is well-managed.”

According to the International Diabetes Federation, “People with diabetes may see their glycemic control deteriorate during the illness.” WebMD explains that, “Early studies have shown that about 25% of people who went to the hospital with severe COVID-19 infections had diabetes. Those with diabetes were more likely to have serious complications and die from the virus. One reason is that high blood sugar weakens the immune system and makes it less able to fight off infections.”

COVID-19 puts diabetics at increased risk for serious complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and sepsis. DKA occurs “when high levels of acids called ketones build up in your blood.” Sepsis is a dangerous body-wide response to infection.  WebMD shares that, “To treat sepsis, doctors need to manage your body’s fluid and electrolyte levels. DKA causes you to lose electrolytes, which can make sepsis harder to control.”

Endocrineweb.com offers the following tips to stay safe from COVID-19 if you are a person diagnosed with diabetes:

  • Stock up on a few weeks of medical supplies, insulin, food, and water.
  • Make a virtual medical plan with your healthcare provider, insurance carrier, and pharmacy in case you are quarantined so you will have adequate doses of insulin and able to do digital check-ins.
  • Practice social distancing – leave at least 6 feet between you and strangers if you must leave your home.
  • Have an emergency contact of someone you trust, who knows your medical history, including diabetes, on speed dial.

To speak with a healthcare provider at Primary Medical Care Center & Urgent Care Clinic to assess any non-emergency health concerns, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms, please call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic. For life-threatening emergencies, always call 911. For coronavirus updates and resources, please visit our website at www.primarymed.com.

Sources: https://www.diabetes.org/covid-19-faq