Diabetes and coronavirus – what should you know?

Diabetes and coronavirus. What should you know?

The link between coronavirus and diabetes has been talked about practically since the beginning of the pandemic. There has been a lot of concern about it. Some of them are justified, while others have been debunked by scientific health institutions. Check what the current state of knowledge is!

Abnormal sugar levels and coronavirus

Since the beginning of the pandemic, doctors have stressed that coronavirus is particularly dangerous for people with serious or chronic health problems. Diabetes is one of the diseases that can exacerbate the course of COVID-19. It is noteworthy that patients with unstable diabetes and glycemic fluctuations are primarily at risk of complications from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Such people often have weakened bodies and damaged internal organs.

Interestingly, research on the link between diabetes and infections caused by different varieties of coronaviruses began 20 years ago. Even then, it was found that people who died as a result of coronavirus infection had elevated sugar levels. Studies of mortality among SARS patients have shown that an average of 20% of diabetics survive the disease, while the rate rises to 50% in those with low or normal sugar levels.

Coronavirus course and diabetes

There has been a lot of doubt surrounding the relationship between COVID-19 and diabetes. If you are diabetic or have someone with diabetes in your circle, check the answers to the following questions!

Can diabetes cause COVID-19?

The Association of Diabetics dementes: diabetics are no more likely to get the disease than the general population. The link between diabetes and coronavirus concerns only the course of the infection, possible complications and the number of deaths, which is unfortunately higher in diabetics.

At the same time, it should be emphasized that the response of a given organism to COVID-19 depends on the individual’s health status, the correctness of the treatment used and the presence of other serious medical conditions.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus in diabetics?

According to a publication of the Diabetes Association, if diabetes is properly controlled, the risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19 is comparable to that observed in the general population. Infection in diabetics is indicated by the same symptoms that appear in people with normal sugar levels:fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell.

However, diabetics should keep a close eye on their health and react if they notice symptoms in themselves that require urgent medical intervention, such as:

  • difficulty breathing, increasing shortness of breath;
  • pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest that persists for a long time;
  • so-called mental confusion or difficulty waking up;
  • bruising of the lips or face.

Are diabetics at higher risk for complications after COVID-19?

People with diabetes are at greater risk of developing complications from viral infections, including COVID-19. This is especially true for those whose disease is treated and controlled in an abnormal manner, causing frequent fluctuations in sugar levels. In such patients, the body’s ability to fight the infection is impaired.

Importantly, complications after COVID-19 involve more than just the long-term effects of coronavirus infection. SARS-CoV-2 can contribute to the development of diabetic complications. Acute inflammation, leading to a sharp rise in glucose levels, sometimes leads to diabetic ketoacidosis, an immediate threat to the health and life of the diabetic.

Does the type of diabetes (1 or 2) affect COVID-19 infection?

There are no studies that confirm the relationship between the type of diabetes and COVID-19 infection or course. According to the Diabetes Association, it is much more important whether the patient has other serious health problems (such as heart disease) in addition to diabetes.

Do diabetes medications exacerbate COVID-19 symptoms?

In the media, one may come across information that may raise concerns about the use of ACE-inhibitors and sartans in diabetics in the era of the pandemic. The position of health institutions (the Diabetes Association, the European Society of Cardiology) on this issue is as follows: in light of currently available information, there is no basis for modifying therapy and abandoning treatment with ACE-inhibitors or sartans.


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