According to the survey-cum-study on 800 people with diabetes on the BeatO platform to analyse the impact of Covid-19 on people with diabetes, in the subsequent three months following a positive Covid-19 report, blood glucose levels were found to have increased by almost 28 per cent in first month, 17 per cent in second month and 11 per cent in third month.
"Almost 62 per cent people observed a change in their weight. Roughly 37 per cent have found fluctuation in their blood pressure level," said BeatO, adding that weakness, body ache and fatigue are the top three other issues experienced during the recovery period.
Mudit Sabharwal, Consultant Diabetologist and Head of Medical Affairs, BeatO, told IANSlife about smart diabetes management during Covid-19:
How does Covid-19 affect patients with diabetes and ailing chronic diseases?
People with certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and chronic kidney disease are at higher risk from Covid-19 and its complications if their health condition is not well managed. It has been observed that people with diabetes are also at higher risk of developing severe complications such as pneumonia. One of the reasons being that diabetes affects our immune system in a way that makes it difficult for the body to fight the virus; the virus may thrive in an environment of elevated blood glucose. There is also a state of inflammation in diabetes which being persistent in Covid-19 makes recovery from the illness more difficult.
Steps to take for managing diabetes during Covid-19?
A person's diabetes may take a toss during Covid-19 infection directly or indirectly due to steroids used to treat pneumonia/lung infection. Hence, it becomes increasingly critical to manage your diabetes well. It is advised to take the following steps:
Frequent blood glucose monitoring for people who self-monitor especially if you are on insulin or medication like sulphonylureas, etc. Keep a check on your ketones if you have any symptoms of Diabetes Ketoacidosis like increased thirst, nausea, abdominal pain, extreme fatigue and fruity breath. Please reach out to your doctor immediately.
Keep yourself well hydrated as blood glucose levels rise during any infection; this may increase your need for fluids. Make sure you have a good supply of the diabetes medications you would need if you had to quarantine yourself. Try not to fast and make sure you are eating well.
Keep access to sweet candy/sweet juice, etc which you will be able to correct in case your blood glucose drops suddenly. Have a good night sleep and exercise regularly including aerobic exercises, yoga or meditation in order to boost your immunity. If your blood glucose fluctuates and gets uncontrolled or you experience hypoglycemia, contact your doctor for the needful.
Warning signs that a person has developed diabetes post-Covid?
As per some researches, Covid-19 may cause new onset diabetes or may worsen prediabetes to diabetes. One needs to look for the following symptoms of diabetes: increased urination (polyuria), increased thirst (polydipsia), increased appetite. Important to ensure one gets regular blood tests.
How can one prevent post-Covid diabetes?
In case you are a pre-diabetic or at a high risk of developing diabetes, keeping your sugar in check and weight in control is imperative as this will be crucial for the progression of the condition. Keeping oneself in healthy shape by having a high protein and balanced diet (if not contraindicated), regular physical including aerobic exercises/yoga; meditation to reduce stress and remaining well hydrated may help in reducing one's chances of developing diabetes.