Am I At Greater Risk From The Coronavirus Because I Have Diabetes?

It’s a risky day and age we’re living in right now — risky for all of us, not just those who are living with underlying conditions that could make us more susceptible to the disease caused by the coronavirus. The disease is called COVID-19. Symptoms might include shortness of breath, fever, cough, and runny nose. While there is much we don’t know about how the coronavirus attacks its host, we do know that COVID-19 is far more dangerous if you’re older or have an underlying condition.

Is one of those underlying conditions diabetes?

The obvious answer seems like “yes,” but the truth is that we don’t have enough data to be sure. It’s helpful to remember that the coronavirus is extremely new. We believe that people living with diabetes aren’t necessarily more likely to contract the virus than anyone else, but that outcomes are less likely to be positive. Still, it seems like older people living with diabetes are at far greater risk than the young.

According to the American Diabetes Association FAQ: “People with diabetes do face a higher chance of experiencing serious complications from COVID-19. In general, people with diabetes are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when infected with [any] virus. If diabetes is well-managed, the risk of getting severely sick from COVID-19 is about the same as the general population.”

Do you have COVID-19 symptoms already? The ADA recommends that you: “Have your glucose reading available, have your ketone reading available, keep track of your fluid consumptions (you can use a 1-liter water bottle) and report, be clear on your symptoms (for example: are you nauseated? Just a stuffy nose?), [and] ask your questions on how to manage your diabetes.”

The bottom line is this: there has never been a better time to keep your diabetes under control. Although you should be staying indoors as much as possible and avoiding people in general, you need to be getting the appropriate amount of exercise. Vitamin D never hurt anybody! Don’t go outside with a group, but feel free to take a walk around the block or find an out-of-the-way hike to enjoy.

Manage your meals as best you can. Frozen fruits and veggies are just as good as fresh, and you need them right now. Don’t skimp on nutritional content or allow yourself to become lazy during this time of crisis. 

The second you feel sick, make that call!