Diabetes is a chronic condition that mainly affects the glucose levels in your body. It is one of the most common illnesses in the Philippines—with an estimated 5 million Filipinos affected by this debilitating disease in 2018 alone. Although COVID-19 is a novel disease and is continuously being studied, experts have shared that those who suffer from chronic illnesses like heart disease, asthma, and diabetes are part of the vulnerable population.
What are the implications of having diabetes in light of COVID-19?
Those suffering from diabetes exhibit more serious complications caused by the virus. According to the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) diabetics with viral infections can be harder to treat due to “fluctuations in blood glucose levels and the presence of diabetes complications,” and would result to a longer recovery.
Studies on the coronavirus continue to evolve, but existing information tells us that diabetics are more susceptible to developing infections in general because of their weakened immune system.
As part of the vulnerable population, diabetics have an increased risk of experiencing severe complications from COVID-19, such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, vascular complications, etc. If you’re diabetic, take control of your health and follow the necessary precautions to lower your risk levels.
What you should do
Having diabetes is manageable, but you must stay committed to caring for your health. These are some of the ways in which you can help keep your health on track:
- Keep your blood sugar in check by regularly monitoring yourself with a glucose monitor.
- Take your medications as prescribed and don’t miss out on your scheduled appointments.
- Diabetics are also prone to certain vitamin deficiencies and constipation, consider taking a dietary supplement to help manage your symptoms
- Since community quarantine measures are still in place, stock up on your maintenance medicines and other nutritional supplements to avoid repeated trips to your pharmacy, and to lower risk of exposure to others.
- Stay updated on the latest news from credible sources, as new findings on COVID-19 and related illnesses come out frequently.
- Reach out to communities within your area to develop or nurture healthy habits for your mind and body.
- Write down your thoughts and daily schedule on a journal to help keep track of your health and wellness.
- Learn more about preparing meals and snacks that are more suited to your needs.
There are specialty retailers like The Diabetes Store that offer healthy alternatives to your favorite pantry staples. Click here to order online.
Exercising is a great way to manage glucose levels
Insulin resistance can be lowered through regular and daily exercise. You can watch and try some simple aerobics classes online or walk around your yard (if possible) for a set period of time every day. Consult your physician on what kind of exercise works best for your condition to avoid a possible hypoglycemic attack. Keep your glucose checker within reach to monitor if you are within normal range before and after your workout session.
How do you prevent getting infected with COVID-19?
There are general guidelines for COVID prevention set by the WHO and the DOH. As a standard, everyone needs to do these precautions consistently to effectively prevent getting infected with COVID-19 or other transmissible diseases.
- Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands often with clean water and soap
- Sanitize your hands using a hand rub with at least 60% alcohol solution if soap and water are unavailable
- Disinfect your frequently-used objects, or objects brought in from the outside
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth most especially if you are outside or if you have touched other objects
- Maintain physical distancing of at least 2 meters from people around you
- Avoid crowds and practice proper cough etiquette
Seek help from your family and friends if you have existing health conditions so you can stay safe and protected from other illnesses. Call your physician should you exhibit any signs and symptoms of the virus. Take note that there is still no known vaccine against COVID-19, but scientists and healthcare professionals are hard at work in finding a solution to this pandemic. Check on your family members who are part of the vulnerable population and offer help if you are able to.
Your doctor will always be in the best position to give the appropriate medical advice for your condition. For suspected undesirable drug reaction, seek medical attention immediately and report to the FDA at www.fda.gov.ph and UNILAB, Inc. at UNILAB-1 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Always buy your medicine from your trusted drugstores and retailers.