Diabetes and COVID-19

Dear All,

Unfortunately, as you all know most countries are seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 and sadly people with Diabetes seem to one of the hardest-hit groups.

How coronavirus can affect people with diabetes

If you have diabetes – regardless of what type you have – you are no more likely to catch coronavirus than anyone else. And the majority of people who do get coronavirus – whether they have diabetes or not – will have mild symptoms and don’t need to go into hospital. 

However everyone with diabetes, including those with type 1, type 2, gestational and other types, is vulnerable to developing a severe illness if they do get coronavirus, but the way it affects you can vary from person to person. In children, the risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus is very low.

Being ill can make your blood sugar go all over the place. Your body tries to fight the illness by releasing stored glucose (sugar) into your bloodstream to give you energy. But your body can’t produce enough or any insulin to cope with this, so your blood sugars rise.

Your body is working overtime to fight the illness, making it harder to manage your diabetes. This means you’re more at risk of having serious blood sugar highs and lows, potentially leading to DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) or HHS (hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state). 

For most people, coronavirus is a mild illness, but some people develop a more serious form of the virus and sadly could die. Research shows us that there are certain risk factors that make you more at risk, like being from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic group, increased age, a BMI over 30, a history of high HbA1c, or complications such as heart failure or kidney disease. There are some risk factors that you can’t change, but others where you can reduce your risk.

Optimally managing your blood glucose, blood pressure, weight etc is even more important during these difficult times. 

From the data available in the UK  it seems, people of certain ethnic groups are more at risk of dying of COVID-19 than others(Source:Diabetes UK).

Source and more information are available on the Diabetes UK website. I would recommend you to take a minute to have a further look at this website. It has reliable and up to date information regarding COVID-19.


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!

Thank you,
Best Regards
Dr Ryizan Nizar MD MRCP UK 
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