COVID and DiabetesStudies show that certain groups of people are more vulnerable to contract COVID19, and are more likely to suffer its adverse effects. They are people who:
- Have hypertension
- Are diabetic
- Are undergoing chemotherapy
- Have underlying conditions that leave them with lower immunity
- Are undergoing dialysis
- Are of advanced age
Can Covid19 cause diabetes?While there is insufficient data to show that people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to get COVID19, evidence shows that they are more likely to develop severe complications if they contract it. In a study, doctors found that among people with diabetes who had COVID19, those who were obese were three times more likely to progress to severe illness. In fact, the rate of hospitalization was much higher in people with obesity than others. The same study also found that mortality rates were higher among diabetics than non-diabetics when it comes to COVID. The other important finding is that people who diligently took their insulin were at a lower risk of developing complications. Hence, it is important for diabetics to keep their weight in check. This means they should monitor their blood sugar levels regularly, exercise, have a strict control on their diet and take their insulin regularly. Make sure your BMI stays lower than 25kg/m2. But what about those who have type 1 diabetes? As we will see- they make for a special category.
Covid and Type 1 DiabetesIf you have type 1 Diabetes, you will face some unique challenges. Studies show that people with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of getting Covid19. In fact, they are more likely to contract COVID19 than those with type 2 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes who get COVID19 are more likely to develop:
- Fungal, bacterial and viral infections in their respiratory tract
- Urinary tract infections (UTI)
- Stomach infections
- Liver infections
- Infections of skin and soft tissues
- Infections of head and shoulders
COVID with diabetes: Complications to watch out forIf you have diabetes, you may develop COVID-19 related complications that can take a turn for the worse and have long-term adverse affects. Two of the most severe complications are DKA and sepsis.
COVID19 and DKA- what to do when you have Covid 19 and DiabetesPeople with type 1 diabetes are especially more prone to this. If a diabetic person contracts a viral infection like COVID, their body will see a buildup of acids called ketones. The condition is called DKA – aka- diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition can aggravate very fast- and often, condition deteriorates just over 24 hours. When the body develops DKA, the person may be unable to retain fluids and can vomit any food that is given to them. They can also get fatigued fast, experience nausea and stomach pain, and have difficulty breathing. DKA cannot be managed by insulin given at home. Covid 19 and diabetes can compound matters and lead to a life-threatening condition. In case DKA develops, the patient needs immediate medical intervention.
COVID19 and SepsisSince a diabetic patient’s immunity is compromised, contracting COVID19 can lead to some serious complications. In some cases, the viral infection can trigger a body-wise response called sepsis. Sepsis happens when infection cannot be contained at the local tissue level and starts spreading fast to other organs. This can often lead to multiple organ failure. People who develop sepsis have a higher mortality rate than others. The problem with diabetes is Sepsis often results from DKA, and the treatment for both involve administering fluids and electrolytes. DKA makes management of fluids and electrolyte levels difficult.
Can Covid-19 cause blood pressure spikes?When it comes to diabetes, there is always a greater chance of the blood pressure spiking or falling. People with diabetes often develop hypertension- and this is more likely for those who gain weight. If you have type 2 diabetes, you should be doubly careful, as weight gain can lead to sudden increase in your BP. Research also suggests that those who contract COVID19 may also develop hypertension as a long-term side effect. For people with diabetes, this presents an additional challenge.
Covid and low blood pressureThis is an atypical effect of COVID19. In some cases, scientists observed that after getting COVID19, blood pressure can suddenly drop. This is more common in frail patients of advanced age. For diabetics, a sudden drop in blood pressure can be dangerous. On the other hand, a sudden drop in blood sugar levels may also lead to a drop in BP- which can lead to sudden blackouts. This may lead to some serious complications and can even lead to grave injuries. Low blood pressure and COVID19 can prove to be a dangerous combination for old people who have diabetes. So, constant management of blood pressure is imperative for senior citizens.
Covid19 vaccine for diabetes patientsIt goes without saying that for anyone, getting the COVID19 vaccine should be their top priority. If you have diabetes, you MUST get the vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective, and you should seek your doctor’s advice if you have any doubts. Remember, if you are vaccinated- even if you develop the disease- your body will be in a better position to fight it.
Do and Don’ts in COVID19 for diabetes patientsSo what precautions should you take if you are diabetic? Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
- Diligently take insulin
- Eat right
- Keep your weight in check
- Constantly monitor blood sugar levels
- Constantly monitor your BP
- Take plenty of fluids
- Be alert about any symptoms
- Avoid direct contact with others
- Maintain social distancing
- Keep your surroundings clean
- Wear a mask or face shield
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Disinfect your hands regularly with sanitizers with at least 70% alcohol
- Avoid going out unless necessary
- Seek immediate medical assistance if any symptoms aggravate, or if you feel severely unwell.
- Get vaccinated as soon as you can
- If you do get COVID19, follow COVID treatment protocol strictly.
Conclusion: Covid 19 and diabetesIf you have diabetes, you should make sure that you stay safe from Covid19. Covid 19 and diabetes can team up to give rise to some serious complications. However, if you are a diabetic and do contract the disease- don’t lose hope. With careful monitoring, proper management and proper medical intervention, COVID19 treatment is possible. If you want to have an accurate diagnosis for COVID19, contact our team at Seychelles Medical.
Frequesntly Asked Questions
Not really- high blood pressure or hypertension is an independent condition. The common signs and symptoms of COVID19 are:
- Shortness of breath
- Respiratory problems
- Loss of taste or smell
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Muscle or body aches
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
However, doctors have found that people who get COVID19 may have elevated BP. While more research is required on long COVID, prima facie evidence suggests that people who had COVID19 may develop hypertension for a long time. This is more likely for those who have diabetes.
People who already have hypertension are more likely to develop COVID complications. So, they should take precautions to stay safe and regularly monitor their BP.
There is evidence that suggests that people who get COVID19 may see their blood pressure spike. Hypertension is also a common symptom of long COVID- many people who had COVID develop high pressure in the long run. COVID is known to severely affect the cardiovascular system- and it is possible that damage it causes may lead to high BP.
If you have hypertension or some heart disease, you should follow all safety measures to keep yourself safe from COVID19. In case you do get COVID, you need to follow your doctor’s instructions to the T so that you can manage your condition better. Treatment of COVID 19 is tough when you develop complications. In that case, hospitalization may be necessary.
Usually, a person starts showing symptoms for COVID19 after five or six days of getting infected. However, in some cases, symptoms may appear after 14 days- and many people can even be asymptomatic. Which is why it is necessary to have a confirmed diagnosis for COVID19 from a reputed lab.
However, after a persona has COVID, the symptoms may linger for a long term. For weeks after recovering, many people report experience scratchy throat, shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness. In many cases, the effects linger for months- which is called long COVID19.
If you have COVID 19 and diabetes- you may also see some irregularities in your blood sugar levels. Evidence shows the disease can affect pancreatic secretions, you should monitor your condition continuously and stay alert.
If you have recovered from COVID19 but are still feeling side effects, talk to your doctor. The issues may get complicated for people with diabetes and hypertension, so it is important to seek medical attention when needed.
Yes, it can. Evidence shows that many people who have got COVID may develop higher BP compared to their normal levels. COVID19 is known to affect the heart and the cardiovascular system, and resulting complications can lead to a spike in blood pressure.
For many, hypertension is a lingering effect of COVID. If you have high blood pressure, you should talk to your doctor about managing your condition in case you get COVID19. You may require hospitalization, and can develop severe complications.
Usually, fourteen days after the symptoms surface, the patient recovers. However, if you have pre-existing conditions like diabetes or hypertension- or are undergoing chemotherapy or dialysis, or have some immunodeficient conditions- the infection can take more time to subside.
Many people also develop long COVID, which is experiencing the lingering effects of the disease months after recovering from it. It can become a debilitating condition, and severely affect your quality of life. Take your doctor’s advice to ensure that you stay healthy and safe.