The Impact Of COVID-19 On Diabetes Patients

Diabetes Patients

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has caused one of the worst public health emergencies the Arizona integrative medical center has ever witnessed. Countries around the globe are facing wave after wave of this deadly virus, and scientists are still trying to learn more about it.

General statistics show that people of all ages have been affected by COVID-19, but the severity of the pandemic was critical only for less than 10-15% of the affected population. Thankfully, functional medicine doctors in Arizona tell us that more than 80% of the infected patients suffered only mild flu-like or common cold symptoms.

It was also observed that older citizens and people with comorbidities like diabetes, heart issues, asthma, etc., were more vulnerable to the severe effects of COVID-19. Since individuals with pre-existing medical conditions have a compromised immune system, it makes it hard for the body to fight the virus.

Diabetes vs. COVID-19

One thing we do know for a fact is that people with diabetes seem to develop more severe effects during the COVID infection. Although there is no data to show that people with diabetes are more prone to COVID infections, if they develop COVID, the conditions are much more severe and seem to progress quicker.

The COVID-19 data also shows that instances of acute infection seem to happen both with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, however, type 1 patients appear to do better because of their younger age.

When most people with diabetes develop a viral infection, treating it can prove problematic due to diabetic complications in the body. There can be many reasons why the severity of illness in diabetes patients are found to be critical in most cases, as follows:

  • The immune system of a diabetic patient is compromised due to high blood sugar levels and cannot fight infections as efficiently as a healthy person. The longer coronavirus stays inside a body, the more severe its effects are.
  • Patients with diabetes are also more susceptible to inflammation in the body. The COVID infection can boost the inflammatory reactions, making matters worse much more quickly.
  • People with diabetes are also prone to having circulatory problems; many patients of integrative medicine in Arizona have already gone through a bypass, stroke, or low blood flow to the limbs. Coronavirus may exaggerate the clotting and other circulatory issues to create further complications during treatment.

Most cases of COVID infection in diabetic patients have witnessed multiple complications related to the pre-existing issues and a compromised immune system where every more significant umbrella concern was nested by many minor reasons hidden underneath. The risks of severe infection stack up to get even higher in cases where the patient has additional conditions like lung disease or a heart problem to result in deadly complications like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) or septic shock.

The COVID-19 Diabetes Plan

The first step in your COVID-19 diabetes plan suggested by the practitioners of functional medicine in Arizona involves ways to avoid the coronavirus infection altogether.

  • The only foolproof way of avoiding COVID-19 infection is to get vaccinated. No disease means no severe effects and complications.
  • If you have not yet opted for vaccination, I suggest staying and working from home as much as you can.
  • I know it is almost impossible to stay cooped up inside four walls, and you will have to burst that safety bubble someday to get supplies or some other help. If you need to go out, you should ensure social distancing and use protective gear to stay safe.
  • Irrespective of whether you’re indoors or outdoors, washing your hands with soap and water or sanitizing them with alcohol-based sanitizers is essential. Most touched objects and surfaces around the home should also get daily wipe downs.
  • Many diabetic patients need regular prick tests or insulin shots to manage their symptoms efficiently. You should consider cleaning the injection site and your hands before administering the needle.
  • Lockdowns and quarantine can make it harder for anyone to make supply runs. Hence, stocking up on essential supplies like non-perishable food items with no added sugars, available medication and insulin, and other backup supplies can turn out to be a lifesaver.
  • You should also keep emergency contacts at hand and make sure you have regular virtual consultations with your physician to monitor your conditions.

The next step in your COVID-19 diabetes plan dictates the ideal course of action in case you get exposed to the coronavirus.

  • Suppose you start feeling sick or showing symptoms of infection even after following all the precautions. In that case, the first thing you should do is get isolated and order a COVID confirmation test.
  • COVID-19 can cause a loss of appetite and create an electrolyte imbalance in the body. Hence, you should try to eat at regular intervals, drink lots of fluids, and check your blood sugar levels more often than usual.
  • Diabetic patients also need to be wary of taking general OTC medicine to counteract the symptoms of infection since most fever or cough medications can meddle with your blood sugar levels. Hence, you should check in with your doctor before you take these drugs.
  • As soon as you start showing symptoms of COVID-19, you should get in touch with your doctor to discuss a viable in-home treatment plan. In case your bloodwork shows high ketone levels or if you start feeling signs of DKA or shortness of breath, getting medical help is the right call to make.

The COVID-19 Vaccination

As we have already discussed, the increased risk of severe complications due to COVID-19 in diabetic patients makes them a priority group for vaccination programs. Even the global data at our center for functional medicine, AZ, shows that vaccinated people with diabetes were saved from adverse effects and even death. Therefore getting the vaccine as soon as possible sounds like a brilliant idea for people with diabetes.


Tom Adam is a Digital Marketing Manager at Wellness 1st Integrative Medical Center, which is known for treating patients suffering from autoimmune diseases, diabetes, arthritis, chronic pain, and much more. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and likes to write blogs to reach out to people and help them as much as he can with proper treatment at the right time.