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COVID and Diabetes: Surviving The Odds

COVID and Diabetes: Surviving The Odds

COVID-19 is a deadly disease that continues to spread rapidly all over the world. COVID symptoms are mild for most people but deadly for immunocompromised like those with diabetes. it poses a lethal threat. In this post, we will discuss how COVID and diabetes can be a deadly tandem and how you can survive the odds as an immunocompromised patient.

As a trusted family practice and internal medicine provider in Rock Hill and Charlotte, Metrolina Medical Associates will share some tips on how to manage and survive diabetes and COVID during this difficult time. Let’s first see why diabetes makes COVID worse for most patients.  

How COVID-19 Affects People Suffering from Diabetes

COVID-19 patients may experience mild symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath which can be more severe in people suffering from diabetes. The primary reason for this is that people with diabetes have a compromised immune system that impairs the optimal immune response of the body. According to a study under the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the COVID virus and its other variants, like the delta variant, thrive well in bodies with elevated blood glucose.

Diabetes tends to keep the body in a constant state of inflammation which makes it difficult for the body to heal or respond faster to infections. This is why people with diabetes have a 7% increased risk of losing the battle against the COVID-19 infection.

Potential complications of diabetes 

Viral infections like COVID in people with diabetes may result in severe complications, such as:

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Illness or stress can increase sugar levels in people struggling with diabetes, resulting in diabetic ketoacidosis. It is a condition where the body does not have enough insulin to deal with high levels of blood sugar. The body then starts to break down fats faster, resulting in ketones buildup in the blood. The ketone buildup makes the blood acidic, which results in other serious health problems. 


Pneumonia is the common COVID-19 complication that is causing deaths worldwide. It is the inflammation of the lungs’ air sacs leading to symptoms such as trouble breathing and limited air capacity. People suffering from diabetes are at risk of developing pneumonia once infected with COVID-19.


One of the symptoms of COVID-19 infection is severe sweating and a high fever. These two symptoms cause many patients to lose a lot of fluids, leading to dehydration. Dehydration is a deadly condition that requires immediate medical care.

High Blood Sugar

Infections, including COVID-19 infection, trigger the body’s stress response. This increases the body’s glucose production, which results in a spike in blood sugar levels. Due to this condition, patients of both Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes may experience difficulties managing their blood sugar levels.

Even though diabetes is one of the risk factors of COVID-19, Patients can still dodge the bullet by managing good blood sugar levels. Below are some tips on how to survive COVID despite suffering from diabetes.

Beating COVID and Diabetes: Tips to Protect Yourself

Keeping the worst outcomes in mind, it’s crucial for you and your family to remain vigilant in preventing getting infected. Aside from getting fully vaccinated, you must ensure that everyone that comes inside your house isolates themselves for 14 days.

COVID-19 vaccination may lower the risk of severe symptoms but does not guarantee that you will not be infected. With that, here are other tips to help you manage diabetes and save yourself from getting infected with COVID:

  • Wash your hands frequently with water and soap, or use 70% alcohol to sanitize your hand.
  • Avoid touching frequently touched surfaces in public.
  • Disinfect all the surfaces in your homes frequently, including tabletops, door handles, and remote controls.
  • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, and mouth.
  • Observe social distancing by staying 6 feet away from other people when in public.
  • Cover your mouth with a towel or handkerchief when you sneeze or cough.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick, especially someone with a fever or cold.
  • Get at least 8 hours of sleep daily.
  • Manage your stress levels as much as you can through relaxation routines.
  • Observe a balanced diet and drink lots of water.

What to Do If You Have COVID As A Diabetic Patient

It is always the best strategy to plan ahead of things, including getting infected. If you have COVID symptoms, reach out to your medical care provider and local healthcare department for the next steps. You also need to stock up on your medications for diabetes and blood glucose monitoring, in preparation for the isolation protocols. 

Observe some sick day rules to help monitor your condition as you enter the 14-days isolation protocol. Check out the list below for proper monitoring of your condition. 

Sick Day Rules

  • Monitor your blood glucose levels for spikes.
  • Check your temperature every hour.
  • Monitor your ketones if you are on insulin.
  • Keep hydrating because you would be losing liquids and electrolytes from the fever.
  • If you start having difficulty breathing, go to the nearest emergency room in your local community.

Manage Your Diabetes With Metrolina Medical Associates

Although you may be at risk of developing more serious symptoms or complications from COVID-19 infection, you can reduce your risk by ensuring that you maintain your ideal blood sugar levels. It is also crucial that you keep in touch with your physician for proper maintenance and management of your diabetes. 

Schedule an appointment today and let us help you beat diabetes and the threat of COVID-19 infection. 


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