People with Diabetes at Higher Risk for Complications from COVID-19

People with Diabetes at Higher Risk for Complications from COVID-19

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has warned that individuals with diabetes and/or underlying health conditions have a higher risk of experiencing severe symptoms and complications if infected with COVID-19.

At this time, there is no concrete data around the likelihood of individuals with diabetes being more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. However, the risk is likely to be lower if diabetes is well-managed.

Protect yourself from COVID-19 by following these standard precautions:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your face, nose and eyes
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces

Individuals with underlying health conditions, including diabetes, should take extra precautions to protect themselves by practicing the following: 

  • Social distancing
    • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces
  • Have at least a month’s worth of medication and testing supplies on hand
  • Keep the phone numbers for your physician and pharmacy handy.
  • Maintain a list of medications you take regularly

If you do contract COVID-19, follow these tips on how to manage any potential complications.

  • Call your physician immediately and have the following information available:
    • Glucose and ketone reading levels
    • Record of your fluid consumption
    • List of your symptoms
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Check your blood sugar frequently
  • Eat simple carbs like honey, Jell-O or popsicles if your blood sugar levels drop too low
  • If your blood sugar is too high, more than twice in a row check for ketones to avoid diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Talk to your doctor about extra insulin

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure
  • Confusion or inability to awaken
  • Discoloration of face or lips