As many of us with diabetes know all too well, diabetes is an illness that can easily slip out of control if we let our guards down. With this pandemic around, we can’t afford to let that happen.
Long-term Effects & Symptoms
The Covid-19 pandemic is proving to be the defining event of 2020, affecting almost every nation across the globe. The pandemic has dealt a brutal blow to the world that cannot be underestimated: more than a million lives lost by October 2020, businesses forced to shut, and severe travel restrictions crippling international travel and commerce.
The Covid-19 pandemic has struck fear in the hearts of governments and their people all around the world for two main reasons: it is very infectious, and it can kill. And because this is a novel virus (meaning to say, a virus the world has never encountered before), we simply cannot predict the long-term health effects that it will have on people who have contracted it and survived.
Statistics show that the majority of people who have contracted Covid-19 experience no symptoms, or mild symptoms only. The most common symptoms reported are fever, dry cough, tiredness, and headaches. In other words, for most people, the symptoms are no worse than the typical flu. This could explain why Covid-19 spreads so easily in the community, undetected – many people who are infected don’t even know that they’re infected and are hence far less likely to take additional precautions.
However, some Covid-19 patients experience more severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or loss of speech or movement. Sometimes, these symptoms are severe enough to warrant hospital admission – even admission into the intensive care unit (ICU).
The Risks of Underlying Medical Conditions
Caring for sick Covid-19 patients is no easy task. First of all, people who are confirmed to be positive for Covid-19 need to be isolated from other patients to reduce the risk of transmission.
In addition, healthcare workers need to don personal protection equipment (PPE) and maintain the strictest hygiene standards when interacting with Covid-19 patients. The burden that this virus has placed on the healthcare sector is enormous and truly unprecedented in modern times.
If the majority of Covid-19 patients only experience mild symptoms, then should you be worried? Well, preliminary studies have shown that young, healthy patients have the best chances for a positive outcome, with many making a full recovery. (However, as mentioned, this also makes them more likely to be “silent spreaders” of this virus). However, the CDC has also reported that “adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes Covid-19.”
The report continues to list certain illnesses that put people at greater risk of contracting a severe illness from Covid-19, including being in an immunocompromised state, having cancer, obesity, smoking, or having diabetes.
Diabetes Management in The Times of COVID-19
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you know that this condition requires daily monitoring. You need to take your medication as prescribed, watch your diet carefully, and make sure that you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Making sure your diabetes is well-controlled is even more important during the Covid-19 pandemic because any long-term illness that you have puts you at a greater risk of suffering serious symptoms if you contract the virus. As many of us with diabetes know all too well, diabetes is an illness that can easily slip out of control if we let our guards down.
With this pandemic around, we can’t afford to let that happen.
However, we do have some good news. In an informational article on how Covid-19 impacts people with diabetes, American Diabetes Association states,
“your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 is likely to be lower if your diabetes is well-managed.”
This means that one of the best preventive measures you can take as a diabetic patient is to do everything that you can to ensure that your diabetes is well-controlled. This involves, as we discussed earlier, taking your medications as prescribed, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and paying more attention to your diet.
One of the best ways to stay fit is to watch what you eat; ensure that you eat healthy foods that are nutritious and not too high in sugar. Remember – eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating foods that you don’t like! With some planning, you can have a healthy diet that is both tasty and flavorful.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while diabetic is entirely possible. With the Covid-19 pandemic still circulating, make sure that you take all the necessary precautions. Remember, simply ensuring your diabetes is well-controlled goes a long way to fighting this deadly virus.
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