April 01, 2022

Investigating the Connection Between COVID-19 and Diabetes

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As with any newer public health concern, the more time goes by since the onset of COVID-19, the more researchers learn about the disease.

One piece of information that’s emerging is how the virus can really impact those with diabetes.

It’s recently been reported that anywhere from 30% to 40% of all coronavirus deaths in the United States have occurred in people who were diabetic.

Centers Health Care has a look at why that’s the case and how those with diabetes might be able to protect themselves from the harsh effects of COVID-19.

Why Do Diabetics Struggle With COVID-19?

Data shows that diabetics aren’t more likely to be infected with COVID-19, but they do have a greater chance of having serious complications when infected.

Due to the way that diabetes wreaks havoc on the immune system, people with the chronic condition are more susceptible to more severe symptoms and complications from a number of viruses, not just COVID-19. Inflammation (internal swelling) is a common concern for diabetics, and viral infections can increase that, leading to complications.

Is There a Higher Risk Among Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetics?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those with type 1 diabetes may be at a higher risk for severe illness due to an increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is a condition that makes it hard to manage fluid and electrolyte levels and can lead to sepsis and septic shock.

How Can Diabetics Protect Themselves?

Above-target blood sugar levels can make inflammation worse, so the risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 is lessened in those who manage their diabetes well.

Taking medication as directed, managing blood sugar, and keeping up with doctor visits are all ways to keep symptoms under control.

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