THD Helpdesk, New York: According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine,
“Diabetes is an independent risk factor for the prognosis of COVID-19. So, patients with Diabetes should be closely monitored for blood sugar levels during COVID treatment, in particular those who require Insulin therapy.”
The report is labeled, “COVID-19 in people with diabetes: understanding the reasons for worse outcomes”
The study describes Diabetes Mellitus (DM or simply, Diabetes) as an autoimmune disease that occurs due to our pancreas either malfunctioning or completely stops working. There has been an increase in sales of vitamin and mineral supplements with some states, like Telangana, already facing a multivitamin tablets’ scarcity.
With most people spending their days in quarantine, attention to at-home healthcare has become of prominent importance, especially keeping mind the fact that COVID-19 can prove to be fatal for people who have underlying chronic conditions, such as Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 as well as Type 2.
It is of the opinion, according to the Current Diabetes Review that hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) may escalate abnormality in immune response, causing failure to control the invasion of pathogens in a diabetic patient, which makes diabetics more prone to immune infections such as COVID-19. This makes sense when we see the number of people who have succumbed to COVID: about 8% of the 433 people infected who died due to COVID by August 2nd, had Diabetes.
India, with 77 million people who are suffering from Diabetes, is second in numbers after China.
In an interview with the Head of the pulmonary and critical care medicine at PGIMS, Rohtak, professor Dhruva Chaudhary, said “he gets extremely worried if a coronavirus infected person is pre-diabetic or diabetic.”
“Our experience is that a number of coronavirus infected patients admitted to hospitals have quite high levels of blood sugar. This is because either they have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Also, the stress of the Covid-19 infection in a patient can result in an adrenaline surge, thus increasing the blood sugar levels. The infection can also lead to a fall in insulin level due to the steroids given to patients,” said Dr. Chaudhary, who is also the nodal officer for Covid-19 in Haryana.
- In comparison to non-diabetic patients, diabetic patients had lower levels of lymphocytes (white blood cells) and albumin(the protein responsible for the movement of vitamins and minerals in the bloodstream).
- More diabetic patients suffered from bilateral pneumonia (86.9%). The occurrence of respiratory failure (36.9% vs. 24.2%), acute cardiac injury (47.4% vs. 21.2%) and death (20.2% vs. 8.0%) in the diabetes group was much higher than the non- diabetic group.
According to Keplan Meier survival curve, the chances of survival of diabetics were significantly decreased.
Diabetic patients that depended on Insulin (Type 1 Diabetics and advanced stage Type 2 Diabetics) had lesser chances of survival and after- COVID health recovery than non- insulin-dependent diabetics.
Furthermore, Diabetics with really high levels of blood sugar are at double the risk of COVID- related deaths than those with controlled sugar levels.
“A fasting blood sugar level of 7.0 mmol/l or higher at admission to be an independent predictor for 28-day mortality in patients with COVID-19 without a previous diagnosis of diabetes,” said the same study.
The best way for a diabetic to survive and live a healthy life during the COVID pandemic is to
- Practice social distancing
- Keep their sugar levels in check
- Maintain a healthy diet plan
- Exercise daily
- Get regular check-ups of blood sugar levels along with a Hb1AC checkup every three months