Diabetes and Coronavirus: What People Should Know About COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic is a concern to everyone, but none more so than those that fall into the “vulnerable” category due to pre-existing medical conditions or being elderly. There is a huge list of different health conditions that can be exacerbated by COVID-19 and can also make a recovery from the virus more difficult. Around 422 million people around the world suffer from diabetes, and over one million people living in the UAE have the disease. A majority live in low and middle-income countries. This well-known illness can cause complications if the sufferer contracts COVID-19 too. Here’s everything you need to know about living with diabetes and the pandemic.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a long-term disease that affects your body’s ability to convert food into energy. It impacts how your body processes glucose, which is a sugar released into your bloodstream. The body can detect the increase in these sugars, signalling the pancreas to release a chemical known as insulin. This allows your blood to effectively deliver glucose to the right cells in your body, providing you with the required energy. There are two main types: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The first is often more severe, and this is where your pancreas no longer produces insulin, and you have to inject the chemical regularly to avoid becoming seriously ill. Type 2 is still bad, but you still produce insulin. However, the body doesn’t use the insulin properly, leading to sufferers being unable to keep their blood sugars at normal levels.

Diabetes In Children

This illness is bad for anyone that is unfortunate enough to suffer from it. But there are higher risk people, such as children, that should be monitored regularly by doctors and responsible carers. A UK study investigating the link between more diabetes cases in children during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that cases of Type 1 diabetes nearly doubled in the children involved in the study during the peak of the country’s epidemic. Experts have raised concerns that this shows a potential link between both diseases and warrants further scrutiny. Make sure you can recognize the signs of diabetes in children so you can get professional help early. Symptoms to watch out for include increased thirst and urination, intense hunger, fatigue and tiredness, weight loss, and irritability. If you notice these symptoms, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

The Risks Of COVID-19 For People With Diabetes

Being quite a serious illness, people with diabetes are much more likely to end up with serious complications when infected with the coronavirus. This is not unheard of, as diabetic people are always more likely to have increased severity of symptoms and complications when suffering from any extra illnesses. Experts suggest that being vigilant with your diabetes management is as important as ever during the pandemic. Your chances of getting significantly ill from COVID-19 could be reduced if you keep your treatment and lifestyle in check.

Our bodies are generally resilient as a species but handling multiple ailments like viruses and infections regularly worsen our symptoms. The immune system is going to be far less effective when having a split focus as opposed to helping you recover from one problem, and diseases such as diabetes generally weaken our bodies such as damaging blood vessels and nerves. This makes it much easier to succumb to more severe COVID-19 symptoms.