While all of us have been advised to take precautions during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the data continues to show that certain segments of the population must be much more considerate and careful when it comes to both avoiding the virus and dealing with the symptoms that its infection – known as COVID-19 – produces. This includes diabetics, who number 34 million in the U.S. alone.
Longstreet Clinic endocrinologist Evgenia “Jenya” Korytnaya, M.D., and longtime clinic program director and Diabetes Education Coordinator Cheryl Williams, RN, CDE, want all diabetics to be aware of the risks posed by the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 and – just as critical – the importance of monitoring their blood sugar during a time when access to typical healthcare has been altered.
“People with diabetes, both type 1 and 2, have a higher risk of becoming very sick and experiencing serious COVID-19 complications, and this risk is highest for people who do not manage their diabetes well, those whose blood sugars are high,” Dr. Korytnaya said. “That is why it is important to stay on top of your numbers. High blood sugar suppresses immune system function and decreases defense against infection.”
Williams adds that it’s critical to main the lifestyle routines designed to improve patient health, while also practicing responsible social distancing and good hygiene in order to decrease the odds of contracting COVID-19.
“All diabetics need to be on top of their routine right now and make sure they have a full supply of their medications in order to stay healthy and keep their blood sugar down,” Williams said. “If your blood sugar is consistently high or out of control, then you also increase your risk for stroke and heart attack – and keeping patients out of the emergency room is a high priority during the time of pandemic.”
Read more about how diabetics and their loved ones can take extra steps to avoid COVID-19 as well as methods to keep blood sugar in check during the pandemic.