By Dr. Radhika V Kumar, Senior Consultant -Endocrinology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Sarjapur Road
COVID 19 affects people of all age groups. However, people with underlying health issues like diabetes, heart problems, asthma etc are more vulnerable to develop complications due to COVID 19. While diabetes directly does not make you to get infected by COVID 19, it increases the risk for serious complications. When people with diabetes develop a viral infection, it becomes harder to treat them due to fluctuations in blood glucose levels and other complications.
Diabetes is a complex condition wherein the body’s sensitivity to insulin is reduced. While insulin resistance leads to inflammation in the body and this inflammation can subsequently cause insulin resistance. This is a vicious circle and, in the process, other organs in the body gets affected.
Diabetes causes the body’s immune system to get compromised and hence a person’s body has to fight harder to avoid the virus and also may need longer duration to recover if he gets infected. Also, there is increased chance of virus infection if the body’s blood sugar level keeps fluctuating. With badly managed diabetes, the person might face severe complications, making it worse or at times fatal if timely treatment is not available.
Here is a list of precautions diabetes patients should follow to avoid any risk.
Keep active:- Keeping fit is important to all and the regular exercise can help the diabetes patients in the long run. Exercise can help in maintaining body weight and can aid in controlling the blood sugar levels. Regular exercise can also help in reducing the cholesterol level and blood pressure.Exercise and yoga can also relieve you from the anxiety leading to balanced mental health aiding in better focus and getting sound sleep.
Monitoring your sugar level:- It is important to monitor your sugar level on a regular basis. Pay extra attention to blood glucose control. Any infection can increase the sugar level in your body if you are diabetic.
Consume nutrient rich food:- Eat food which are high in nutrients. Add more vegetables, peas, beans, grains and fruits in your diet. Nutrition can help you increase your immunity level. Avoid sweets, junk food like chips, cookies etc
Stay hydrated:- Remember to drink lot of fluids throughout the day. Patients with type 2 diabetes are more prone to dehydration. Therefore, it is important to drink water, sugar free juices.
Beware of the over the counter medicines:- Do not miss or skip your regular medications. In case of any fever or cold like symptom, visit the doctor and get the test done. Consuming over the counter tablets can fluctuate your blood sugar levels.
Strict adherence to COVID 19 protocol is important.
Wear mask regularly
Maintain social distancing when you are out
Wash your hands as soon as you reach home
Use sanitizer to clean your hands when you are outside
Follow your daily exercise routine at home, if it is difficult to step out Consult your doctor regularly to check the blood sugar level. Ignoring any mild symptoms or overlooking your diet can lead to sever complications. Visit your doctor at the hospital and take the necessary steps to keep fit and healthy.