Diabetes and COVID-19
December 29, 2020
Did you know that having a medical condition such as diabetes puts you at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Having type 2 diabetes increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what the CDC knows at this time, having type 1 or gestational diabetes might also increase your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
The certified diabetes educators at Lake Health are committed to helping patients manage their diabetes. Follow their tips below for guidance on how to handle your diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take these actions:
- Continue taking your diabetes pills or insulin as usual.
- Test your blood sugar and keep track of the results, as directed by your health care provider.
- Make sure that you have at least a 30-day supply of your diabetes medicines, including insulin.
- Follow your health care provider’s instructions if you are feeling ill.
- Call your health care provider if you have concerns about your condition or feel sick.
- If you don’t have a primary care provider, call Lake Health’s Best of Health Line at 440-953-6000for a referral or visit our online physician finder.
Reduce your risk of getting COVID-19:
- Limit your interactions with people you don’t live with as much as possible.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when around others. Everyone should wear a mask in public and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Social distance – continue to keep 6 feet between yourself and others. Wearing a mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing.
Prepare now in case you get sick:
- Like everyone, people with diabetes can get sick even when trying their best to prevent it. So be prepared.
- Make sure you have easy-to-fix foods in your home for several weeks or longer.
- Keep these supplies stocked in your home:
- Medicines and supplies – milk of magnesia, anti-diarrhea medicine, antacid, pain/fever reliever and suppositories to treat vomiting.
- A working thermometer
- Foods – sport drinks, juice boxes, canned soup, regular gelatin, regular soft drinks, instant cooked cereals, crackers, instant pudding and unsweetened applesauce.
Follow these steps if you get sick:
- Continue taking your insulin and diabetes pills as usual.
- Test your blood sugar every 4 hours and keep track of results.
- Drink extra calorie-free liquids and try to eat as you normally would.
- Weigh yourself every day. Losing weight without trying is a sign of high blood sugar.
- Check your temperature every morning and evening. A fever may be a sign of infection.
- Seek care when needed.
If you need help managing your diabetes, call our diabetes education team at 440-354-1622.