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Coronavirus Covid-19 and Diabetes

By Pharmacist, Zareen Mushrafi * London – UK

Today during this Covid-19 time I felt it is important to share the information I have gathered while working with diabeteic patients and I have used the information from WHO and Diabetes Uk .

I have just been qualified as a prescriber for diabetes as more and more people are affected by diabetes we have to work together to fight this condition.

Unfortunately, diabetic patients are more prone to have infections and usually it takes longer to heal the infection too .Therefore, I am going to write about how in this Covid-19 time we can help out patients to be well informed what needs to be done in order to be safe.

Please make sure that we maintain the the stay home planning which have been implemented world wide as for social distancing.

Exercise at least once a day – in your garden or on the roof top if you have that facility wherever you are in the world or even at living room:
Avoid SGL2 inhibitors during Covid-19:
The patients with type 1 diabetes who takes the medication like empaglifozin/dapaglifozin/canaglifozin (belongs to medication group SGL2 inhibitor) make sure you check with the doctor if they want you to continue at this time as they can musk the symptoms of Diabetic Ketoacidosis as diabetic ketoacisdosis may also be caused by Covid-19.

For type 2 diabetes keep taking the medication but if you are unwell then make decision to stop the medication after talking to your doctor.As if you are not well then this medication can cause the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis.

As a reminder of Covid-19 symptoms please make sure you are talking to a healthcare professional if you have the following symptoms:
High temparature.
Continous Caugh. (Means having more than 3 episodes in 24 hours)
Shortness of Breath.

Now the point is if we have already been infected by Covid-19 and we have mild symptoms please make sure that you do not go to your GP surgery , pharmacy or hospital. Make sure that you stay home for 7 days once your symptoms started and If you live with someone who has a continuous cough or a high temperature, you should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms. If you then develop symptoms, you should stay at home for 7 days from the day your symptoms start, even if it means you’re at home for longer than 14 days.

• Check your blood glucose level more often if you already check you r blood sugar level at home.

• If you do not usually check your bllod glucose level at home make sure you are aware about the signs and symptoms of hyper glycaemia which includes being very thristy, headaches, tiredness and lethargy.

• Drink plenty of unsweetened drink and eat little and often.

• If you are a type 1 diabetic patients please make sure you check you blood sugar level at lease every four hours including day and night and also check your ketone level. If you are blood sugar level is high like 15mmol/L and you are using insulin pump contact the diabetic team .

• Make sure you do not stop eating and drinking to keep energy, try to sip fruit juice, non diet cola or lemonade or suck glucose tablets or sweet like jelly beans.

• If after all this your conditions get worst after 7 days then arrange a visit of diabetic team .

Sheiding advice: To protect the extremely vulnarable peopl wo are at high risk of severe ilness and hosiptalisation from Covid-19 they need to stay at home and avoid all face to face contact for 12 weeks.
Sheilding advice is applicable to the people with severe respiratory conditions and people with certain cancers.
The good news is that people with diabetes are not automatically fall into extremely vulnarable group.It has been seen that some people with diabetes became seriously ill with Covid-19 and ended up in hospital the available evidence does not show that all people with diabetes are at a significantly increased risk solely because of their diabetes.
The people with diabetes who has to be sheilded it is based on other co-morbidities, for example , cystic fibrosis related diabetes.
Cancellation of Routine appointments for diabetics:
Annual diabetes review might not be taking place at the moment in most of the GP practice for example the routine eye screening and routine foot checks . Therefore , it would be idea if you can carry on checking your feet regularly and keep a healthy diet, if you feel that you have any issues with Eyes you can still make ann appointment for eye screening Eye screening is still going ahead in some circumstances and for some people who are at higher risk of problems, such as pregnant women with diabetes. All eye screening clinics should be using personal protective equipment (PPE).

Covid 19 -diabetes and mental health:
It is natural to feel anxious and worried about the situaion that we are going through at the moment. check you online forum for Covid-19 thread where members are sharing information and experiences so there is a possibilty you can find out many answers to your question.

Covid19 and diabetes and sick day rules:
The sick day rules for diabetic patient shoul be followed when the diabetic patient become ill from any illness.

Covid19 and type 2 diabetes remission :

As this Covid-19 is a new virus to us we are not sure yet how this can affect the people with diabetes remission, Everyone to stay safe should follow stay at home measure and social isolation.

I think this little information during this Pandemic will help us to be informed and take care of ourselves better.