How coronavirus can affect people with diabetes?

Murakami Medical Centre

15 June 2020

How coronavirus can affect people with diabetes?

People with all types of diabetes are particularly susceptible to COVID-19.

It increases your chances of catching the coronavirus and could impact on your ability to recover quickly from this serious illness.

It is vital for anyone with diabetes to remain particularly alert to the symptoms of COVID-19. Especially, a high temperature, new continuous cough and changes to your sense of smell or taste. If you have one or more of these COVID-19 symptoms you must seek a test to confirm that you are infected.

Even before the result, self-isolate as a precaution. With a positive result, you will need to self isolate for 14 days and engage with the UK Coronavirus Track and Trace team.

Self-isolating with diabetes and coronavirus

Everyone’s physical reaction to the virus varies. Like many others, you could have a mild form which can be treated at home.

However, if you have both diabetes and COVID-19 symptoms, you may find your condition deteriorates noticeably and swiftly. Not least as COVID-19 could affect your blood sugar balance adversely, as you use stored glucose to fight the infection. This imbalance can make your virus harder to fight off, leading to severe symptoms especially breathing difficulties. If this happens, call 111.

Even as lockdown restrictions ease in the UK, anyone with diabetes is advised to stay at home as much as possible. They must avoid mixing with people from other households.

Reduce your risk

Even as lockdown restrictions ease in the UK, anyone with diabetes is advised to stay at home as much as possible. They must avoid mixing with people from other households.

Also, as detailed in the current Government guidelines for COVID-19 infection control, continue to work from home if possible.

If people with diabetes do have to leave home for essential reasons, they must maintain strict social distancing, remaining 2 metres (6ft) away from other people, and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.

If you have multiple diagnoses including diabetes – and you are therefore in the ‘Shielded’ group of UK residents – complete adherence to self-isolating recommendations is crucial.