HYDERABAD : If a diabetic is affected with Covid-19, chances of DKA (Diabetic Keto Acidosis) is high. High levels of acids called ketones increases the chance of sepsis as severe electrolyte loss happens. More on how ‘sugar patients’ can handle it better
The risk of Coronavirus among people with diabetes is up to 50 per cent higher, and they are more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications when diagnosed with Covid-19. A recent study (Ravi Babu et al., 2019) showed that 17.6 per cent of the population of Hyderabad could have diabetes and the average level of HbA1C was as high as 8.49 per cent during January to March 2020 according to a report by India Diabetes Care Index. These findings clearly indicate that people with diabetes should be more vigilant about their glucose level and take proper medication to manage their condition.
Talking about the proper medication and need for effective management of diabetes, Dr V Mohan, chairman and chief diabetologist, Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre said: “To minimise the impact of Covid-19, people with diabetes should be more careful and take their prescribed medicines regularly. To manage diabetes effectively, insulins are a safe choice that help to maintain good metabolic control. It remains the sole therapy for people with Type-1 diabetes, and is a superior alternative in people with Type-2 diabetes, especially if control is poor. It is a welcome move that in order to make insulin more accessible and affordable during this time, Novo Nordisk India has reduced the price of Ryzodeg, a coformulation insulin analogue in India by 30 per cent to help people with diabetes. People with diabetes who have good metabolic control are less likely to get complications due to Covid-19.”
Dr Saji Dsouza, MD (Alternate Medicine), MS (Ayurveda), CMD, KSAC Group of Hospitals says, “If a diabetic is affected with Covid -19, chances of DKA (Diabetic Keto Acidosis) is high. High levels of acids called ketones are raised in the blood, which increases the chance of sepsis as severe electrolyte loss happens.” He suggests constant monitoring of sugar levels and sterilising the needle and surface of injection before and after every insulin shot. Dr Saji adds, “Eat three freshly cooked meals that include low carb food and leafy vegetables and drink a hot decoction made of turmeric, ginger, garlic, tulsi, black pepper and honey, sipping 10 ml every 10-15 minutes.”
Dr Pradeep Bingi, MD (HOMEO) and assistant professor Hamsa Homeopathy Medical College stresses on physical distancing and maintaining personal hygiene. He says, “It is purely immunity-based -- if they have good immunity, they’ll survive. Good diet and proper exercise is a must. In addition. homeopathic tab Arsenicum Album 30 is a good preventive medicine for Coronavirus. One dose (six pills) for three consecutive days should be taken.”
In a study conducted by Bansal et al.,2020, the risk of severe disease or ICU admissions increased by two-folds in people with diabetes and three-folds in patients with underlying disorders related to heart and brain vasculature. The association between diabetes and heart diseases has been well-researched and documented even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. People with diabetes are at an increased risk of dying with heart diseases.
In addition to the medication, people with diabetes should focus on healthy diet and monitor their glucose level at regular intervals. Elderly people with diabetes and heart-related conditions are more vulnerable. Such patients should take appropriate precautions and limit their movement. There are many indoor exercises that can be followed by the patients that can help them manage their diabetes effectively. Dr Saji recommends, “Maintaining a high mental, spiritual and emotional equilibrium.”
However, diabetes who have good metabolic control are less likely to get complications due to Covid-19