Submit a request for a checklist to help you manage your diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Are people with diabetes at increased risk of COVID-19 infection?
Based on available data, the risk of contracting the virus is no greater than that of anyone else. However, if you do become infected, your risk of complications and serious illness is higher than for someone without diabetes, especially if your blood sugar is not well controlled. This risk increases if you are of age, obese, or have high blood pressure, heart disease, or other health problems. Take steps now to lower your risk of infection and keep your blood glucose under control.
I am afraid to go out. Should I reduce the dose of my medicine or stop taking it to make it last longer?
No. You should continue to take your insulin and other medications as prescribed. Do not make any changes to your dose or stop taking any medications without consulting your doctor. Many pharmacies offer to ship the medications and other supplies you may need to your home. If this is a service that would be of benefit to you, call your pharmacy to find out if they deliver it to your home.
How should I plan my medical supplies and insulin?
Have at least a month of medicine and supplies available (90 days if your insurance allows it) and find out if your pharmacy offers to deliver what you need by shipment to your home. Refill all medications when they expire and consider configuring them for automatic refill. I will refrigerate insulin and other injectables; Insulin kept out of the refrigerator is valid for 28 days before it must be thrown away.
Should I change my diet to need less insulin?
No, don't change your diet to ration your medication. Continue to follow your regular diet and make sure you have enough medications and supplies available.
I have other health problems besides diabetes. How might they affect me if I get sick with COVID-19?
People with diabetes balance pills and other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart disease, are at increased risk of being severely affected by COVID-19, especially if their blood sugar is not well controlled or if they smoke. Check your blood glucose regularly and take all medications as prescribed. Now is also a good time to quit smoking. Ask your doctor for guidance on how to quit smoking.
How can I prevent diabetic ketoacidosis?
If you get sick, to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis, you should:
Monitor your blood glucose frequently
Increase your insulin doses as needed
Stay well hydrated
Do not stop taking your insulin, even if you are eating very little or vomiting.
Make sure you are stocked with carbohydrate-free and carbohydrate-free drinks as well as non-perishable meals at home.
Does COVID-19 affect people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes differently?
People with Type 1 diabetes are at increased risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis in the setting of severe infection; People with Type 1 diabetes should review CAD prevention and sick day rules with their diabetes healthcare team. If you have Type 2 diabetes and develop high blood sugar when you're sick, talk to your doctor about the next steps.
What should I do if I start experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 infection?
Follow the recommendations of your local health department:
If you have mild symptoms, such as low fever, body aches, and / or cough, isolate yourself in a room separate from the rest of your family. Drink fluids and rest.
If you develop a fever over 102º F or worsen symptoms, contact your primary care physician or urgent care center for a virtual tour and follow their instructions.
If you have severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, persistent chest pain, and / or confusion, seek emergency care by visiting the nearest hospital emergency room or call 9-1-1.
As a person with diabetes, should I take additional precautions regarding COVID-19?
You should follow the standard precautions recommended by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Wash your hands frequently and / or use hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Keep "social distancing" at least 6 feet away from other people.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow, or into a disposable tissue immediately.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
Stay home as much as possible, especially if you are sick.