What you should know about diabetes and COVID-19
As of now, there isn’t enough data to tell us whether people living with diabetes are more likely to be infected with COVID-19. However, we do know that people living with diabetes are generally more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications from the virus. If you’re living with diabetes, or are a caregiver for someone with diabetes, it’s important to know what precautions to take and the resources that are available to you.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), someone with diabetes has a lower risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 if their diabetes is well-managed.1 When people with diabetes do not manage their diabetes well, they may experience fluctuating blood sugar levels increasing the risk of diabetes-related complications such as heart disease. These complications, in addition to diabetes can worsen chance of serious illness from COVID-19. Alongside the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for what to do when you’re sick, the ADA has advice about what people living with diabetes who may have COVID-19 can do to manage high or low blood sugar levels, dehydration, and hygiene for cleaning injection sites.
Many people with diabetes are concerned about not having access to insulin and other medications and supplies they need to manage their illness. At this point, leading insulin manufacturers are reporting that COVID-19 is not impacting their manufacturing and distribution capabilities.1 However, if you or someone you know is unable to access diabetes medications or is struggling to pay for insulin, the ADA has resources to help at insulinhelp.org.
It’s also important to know that people living with diabetes have legal rights that do not go away during a health crisis. The ADA has prepared and collected information and resources to assist people with diabetes as they navigate their legal rights during this pandemic.
For more resources and information, visit the ADA’s education hub for diabetes and COVID-19.
1COVID-19 FAQ. American Diabetes Association.