How Covid affects people with diabetes

Chennai: Diabetes has slowly slithered into many households in India and has infamously earned the title of a silent killer. The chronic lifestyle disorder has been known to deteriorate the ability of the body to fight infection.

India has been severely affected by the second wave of the contagious coronavirus which houses around 65 million people with diabetes who are at an elevated risk to become severely ill or die of Covid-19.

People with diabetes must take precautions to avoid infection as underlying conditions associated with diabetes can be additive risk factors and call for specific attention.

According to Dr Geetha Lakshmi, consultant endocrinologist, Dr Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai, “Increased blood sugar levels do not make you more prone to coronavirus infection, but it increases your risk of developing complications. People with diabetes have a weak immune system that is not very efficient in fighting the virus. Also, the coronavirus causes the outpouring of cytokines (cytokine is a protein produced by white blood cells as a response to a stimulus) into the blood, causing cytokine storm which is more common in people with diabetes. These cytokines, when released in excess, can damage vital organs┬áleading to death. Thus, people with diabetes need to control their blood sugar levels well, even when they are mostly staying home during this pandemic.”

She added: “Lockdown is a good time to start including healthy habits in your daily life. People with diabetes must check their blood glucose levels by regularly monitoring it at home with a glucometer.”

 

NT Bureau