-Dr. Rajan Verma, Medical Director, Lab operations, Oncquest Laboratories Ltd.
Coronavirus has been one of the most unprecedented and destructive pandemics known to mankind. Be it in the form of loss of a loved one, worsened health conditions, business and financial loss, or even just the mental stress of isolation, it is hard to find anyone today who has not been negatively impacted by the virus.
As time passes on, one would expect the pandemic to end as there is continuous medical research and treatment. However, the new emerging variants of the virus are baffling the scientists and adding to the panic and anxiety of the scared general public. Active research shows that the virus affects everyone differently and its impact on a certain age group cannot be perfectly predicted. However, it has been scientifically backed by evidence that those having underlying health conditions are at a higher chance to have worse complications if they get infected – one such condition being Diabetes Mellitus.
How diabetes mellitus compounds the problem
For people living with diabetes, it is more important to take precautions to avoid the Covid-19 virus if possible as they are prone to developing complications. This is because uncontrolled diabetes greatly weakens a person’s immune system, and hence, reduces the body’s ability to fight off the virus on its own.
Moreover, having heart conditions in addition to, or as a result of diabetes gravely increases the chance of a person falling seriously ill if they catch the Covid-19 virus, as more than one medical condition could make it more difficult for your body to win against the infection. Viral infections such as coronavirus can increase inflammation, or internal swelling, in those with diabetes. This can also be caused by above-target blood sugar levels in those people, and the inflammation could also contribute to more severe complications.
To make matters worse, in some countries, the restrictions imposed by the governments to tackle and reduce the spread of Covid-19 have disrupted the supply of insulin and other essential medicines for diabetes. In May 2020, the World Health Organization found that in 62% of the 155 countries surveyed, there had been various disruptions in services to treat diabetes and its complications.
It is also important to keep in mind that since people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes vary in their age group, complications they’ve developed due to diabetes, and how well they have been able to manage it, the impact of Covid-19 will not be the same for all diabetic people. Those who already have existing diabetes-related health problems are much more likely to have worse outcomes and complications if they contract Covid-19 than people with diabetes who are otherwise healthy and don’t have diabetes-induced conditions, regardless of the type of diabetes, their age, or other factors.
Hence, people suffering from diabetes are encouraged to pay more heed to precautions against the coronavirus. Apart from basic precautions like washing their hands, wearing a mask, and not socializing, they should be even more careful in their day-to-day activities and avoid stepping out of the house to avoid exposure to the deadly virus. Along with that, they should get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure safety.
Keep a check on the safety of those around you with underlying conditions and stay safe and strong. Remember, this too shall pass.