Diabetes and the risk of COVID-19
Researchers aren’t sure why persons with diabetes are at a higher risk of COVID-19-related complications and death, or if there is one at all.
For example, research published in the journal JAMA of more than 72,000 cases of COVID-19 in mainland China indicated that persons with diabetes had more than treble the fatality risk of those without diabetes around 7% compared to roughly 2%.
While additional studies have backed up this one, there are still others that have not. Because COVID-19 is still a relatively novel condition, the body of knowledge is limited and evolving.
The apparent risk to patients with type 1 diabetes and those with type 2 diabetes who consider taking ACE inhibitors as part of their physician’s prescription is particularly noteworthy.
How to prepare for Covid 19 if you have diabetes
Apart from insulin, diabetics should prepare for COVID-19 in the same manner that everyone else does: properly cleaning hands, disinfecting surfaces, exercising social distancing, and self-isolating as much as possible.
In addition, clinicians writing in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews advocate the following specific anti-infection recommended practices for patients with diabetes:
- Maintain a healthy glycaemic level– This may reduce the chance of infection as well as the severity of the sickness. Using a self-monitoring blood glucose device, check blood glucose levels frequently.
- Eat a balanced diet– It’s critical to pay attention to nutrition and get enough protein, as well as avoid mineral and vitamin deficits.
- Exercise– Exercise can help boost immunity, but only if done responsibly, such as running outside. Avoid going to the gym or participating in other group activities.
- Vaccinate yourself against the flu and pneumonia– The latter may reduce the risk of subsequent bacterial pneumonia following a respiratory virus illness (though the researchers note that data on the present viral epidemic is not available).
Finally, the AACE is providing a free Diabetes Emergency Plan that can be used as a checklist and resource center to help people deal with COVID-19.
The potential risk to persons with type 1 diabetes, as well as the risk to patients with type 2 diabetes, is particularly noteworthy.
People with diabetes are confronting more uncertainty and anxiety in these bizarre times of coping with a worldwide epidemic, from fears of getting the coronavirus to concerns about accessing vital supplies to what kind of diabetes care they could receive if hospitalized. It’s a substantial amount.
Getting to the doctor’s office if you have diabetes may be difficult during the coronavirus epidemic. Diabetes can wreak havoc on your immune system. If you get sick from infections like COVID-19, this can make catastrophic problems more likely. Telemedicine is a terrific method to stay up with your health care while limiting your risk.
What Is Telemedicine and How Does It Work?
Telemedicine, often known as telehealth or e-health, allows patients to communicate with their medical teams through computers, tablets, or smartphones.
Just like an appointment, you can meet with your health care team by video chat or phone. You can discuss topics such as:
- Your blood sugar levels are high.
- Any alterations in your symptoms
- Any medication-related queries
You can use online patient portals to do the following:
- Make appointments.
- Examine the outcomes of the tests.
- Refills can be requested.
- Send an email to your doctor.
You can also keep track of your blood sugar levels on your phone or tablet and then submit the information to your doctor. These gadgets can also be used to:
- Keep track of your food and exercise, then use an app to calculate how much insulin you require.
- When you have appointments or need to replenish meds, send you an email or text reminder.
How to Get Ready for Your Consultation
Make sure it is okay to have a telemedicine visit when you call your doctor’s office or use their website to schedule an appointment. For follow-up appointments, many doctors use telemedicine. In some circumstances, and for the most part, new persons, appointments must be made in person.
If you decide that telemedicine is the best option for you, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your virtual visit:
Know what technology you’re dealing with. Make sure you can see and hear people and that the person you’re meeting with can see and hear you by checking the camera and sound on your computer, phone, or tablet. You can use a friend as a tester. Also:
- Check to see if you have access to the program your doctor recommends for the call. This is something that your doctor’s office can assist you with.
- Make sure your gadget is charged or plugged in, and choose a calm, well-lit location for your visit.
- Request that family members refrain from interrupting you.
Use the location in your home where your Wi-Fi is the strongest or where your cell phone coverage is the finest. This will ensure that your audio and video are of the highest possible quality.
To see whether telemedicine is covered by your insurance, call your provider. If that’s the case, find out if your co-pay will remain the same. If it isn’t, inquire with your doctor about the cost.
Prepare for your virtual visit the same way you would for a real-life doctor’s appointment. Make a list of any symptoms or queries you have. Before you begin, make sure you have all of your medications on hand and that you have uploaded your glucose values or any other data.
During and After Your Consultation
There are a few crucial things you should do before, during, and after your session is over.
Make a mental note of everything. After your consultation, you will not receive a hard copy of the guidelines or a physical prescription. However, you might be capable of printing these. This is dependent on your doctor’s telemedicine program. You should also note down any instructions given by your doctor so that you don’t forget them. If you have any additional questions later, you can use the patient portal to send them an email.
Also, with their telemedicine option, your doctor can email your prescriptions straight to your pharmacist.
Please provide comments. You may receive a follow-up call asking how your appointment went. Let your team understand how things went and if there’s anything they can do to make future visits go more smoothly.
When Telemedicine Is Not a Good Option for you:
Your doctor may wish to see you at the office at times. Perhaps you require blood testing, or this is your first appointment at the doctor’s office. If you have specific symptoms or if your doctor feels they have to check you in person, your doctor may wish to visit you.
Take extra measures in those situations. When you arrive at your doctor’s office, you will undoubtedly notice that the chairs are further apart, that you will be asked to wear a cotton mask, and that your temperature will be taken. When you are there, try not to touch anything and put your hands away from your mouth, eyes, and nose. As soon as you leave the office, wash your hands or apply hand sanitizer.
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