Can Coronavirus Risk Increase In Diabetic Patient

Can Coronavirus Risk Increase In Diabetic Patient

Dr. Vijay Kumar
Diabetologist, Chennai

COVID-19 is creating havoc among nations across the world. Like other respiratory diseases, it is spread through air-droplets that are dispersed when an infected person talks, sneezes or coughs. It can spread through close contact with an infected person or by contact with air droplets in the environment and then touching the mouth or nose. 
Are diabetics more prone to get coronavirus infection? 
Generally diabetics are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with COVID-19 as well as other viruses, especially in case of uncontrolled blood glucose levels and possibly the presence of diabetes complications. 
In case of high glucose levels, immune system is compromised, immunity is weakened and the body becomes more prone to infections including coronavirus. The virus may also thrive in an environment of elevated blood glucose. 
Caring for a diabetes patient 
  • It is important to take precautions to avoid the virus. 
  • Increase frequency of monitoring 
  • Adjust the medications
  • Instruct diabetes patients about 
  • Isolation
  • Staying hydrated
  • Eating healthy food
If the patient is on insulin, there may be a change in insulin doses and those whoare not on insulin may require insulin
Good diabetes control is important for prevention and treatment
Susceptibility to coronavirus infection in ACE inhibitors/ARBs patients 
There have been earlier studies which showed that ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) lead to an increased formation of ACE2 protein. The SARS-CoV-2 binds to this protein and uses it to enter the cells. Hence, the suspicion about susceptibility was raised. 
However, currently, there is no evidence that ACE inhibitors or ARBs use increase the susceptibility towards coronavirus infections and research is warranted to assess the use of these drugs in COVID-19 patients.  
Azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 treatment 
In a small sample size, it has been shown that hydroxychloroquine treatment is linked with viral load reduction or disappearance in COVID-19 patients and is reinforced by azithromycin. However, currently, there are no clinical guidelines or clinical evidence available to recommend the use of these drugs in management of COVID-19 infection.    
Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy!

Dr. G. Vijaya Kumar

Dr. G. Vijayakumar is a Diabetologist and Ex Editor of our AJD.


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