People with diabetes told to be prepared as COVID-19 spreads | KOB 4

People with diabetes told to be prepared as COVID-19 spreads

Joy Wang
Updated: March 21, 2020 06:50 PM
Created: March 20, 2020 05:44 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- COVID-19 can be especially dangerous to people who have a compromised immune system.

People with diabetes can fall into that category. 

“They don't have any special risk of actually getting the virus,” explained Dr. Philip Jameson who is with the American Diabetes Association. “They have the same risk that everybody else does. But that because of diabetes, they have a higher risk of complications. Complications could mean, that besides having the lung infection, they could have effects on other organs, and that's just something that has been seen. Part of it is because people with diabetes often have related heart disease or kidney disease and for those with type one diabetes that may even have other autoimmune disorders, which means their immune system is compromised.”

Dr. Jameson said diabetics should know when it's time to call a doctor. 

“They have to monitor their blood sugar a lot more closely,” explained Dr. Jameson. “Those who have type 1 diabetes particularly could have changes in their blood sugar, and they should be on the lookout for something they know about which is diabetic keto acidosis or DKA. For anyone who takes insulin, the need for insulin may go up as part of inflammation, so that's another reason to be monitoring."

Dr. Jameson said it's also important for people with diabetes to stay hydrated.

“There have been a few people with COVID who presented with a lot of diarrhea or vomiting and that can lead to dehydrate and complicate any illness,” said Dr. Jameson. “And I would recommend if those things happen, they get in touch with their provider right away.”

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