The COVID-19 pandemic have devastated lives around the world, affecting many families and hundreds of thousands who have lost their lives.
Pandemic information from around the world has shown that diabetes and prediabetes, among others, are the leading pre-existing, underlying conditions that have experienced severe to mortality reactions from the COVID-19 virus.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition which causes high blood sugar levels. In general, infectious diseases such as COVID-19 are more series for people with diabetes.
Pandemic information from around the world has shown that diabetes and prediabetes, among others, are the leading pre-existing, underlying conditions that have experienced severe to mortality reactions from the COVID-19 virus.”
When diabetics develop a viral infection, it is more difficult to treat due to fluctuating blood glucose levels. According to the International Diabetes Federation: “There appears to be two reasons for this:
“Firstly, the immune system is compromised, making it harder to fight the virus (COVID-19) and likely leading to a longer recovery period. Secondly, the virus may thrive in an environment of elevated blood glucose.”
Latest statistics reveals that 463 million people suffer from diabetes and half are unaware of their condition.
Although the onset on diabetes is increasingly affecting younger age groups, the majority of type-2 diabetics are among individuals aged 45 and older.
About 80% of people with diabetes are unable or not managing their diabetes properly, according to Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.
Dr Larry Deeb, an endocrinologist, a Past-President of the American Diabetes Association and a member of the Rotary Action Group for Diabetes, said: “People with diabetes need to be especially vigilant and work very hard not to contract the disease.”
Rotary Action Group for Diabetes echoes Dr Deeb’s recommendation and urges everyone with diabetes to protect themselves from COVID-19.
In addressing those 50% diabetics who are unaware of their condition, Dr Deeb added: “For many people admitted for open heart surgery, only then is the diabetes discovered that has likely been present for years.
“Had the diabetes been discovered years earlier, the heart disease risk would also have been known and, very likely, treatment directed at both could have prevented the heart attack.
“Far too many people with diabetes do not know they have the disease. Many may not consider themselves at high risk and not take the extra precautions to prevent contracting the COVID-19 virus.”.
What does this have to do with Rotarians?
Rotarians are in the age group majority that have diabetes which places us in high risk from COVID-19. During this pandemic, and through easing back into our normal lives soon, Rotarians need to know their health status to take added precautions against COVID-19.
Rotary Action Group for Diabetes recommends Rotarians and their families to be tested for diabetes. There are simple blood tests that are available. Your family physician can guide you on how you can be tested.
Also, at minimum, you can assess your risk of diabetes by taking Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s diabetes risk test or the Finnish Diabetes Risk Assessment.
If you have diabetes, it must be treated and managed properly. Take extra care in keeping your blood glucose level within healthy range. Higher blood glucose level compromise immune response.
Eat healthy meals and understand what food makes your blood sugar spike and minimize or avoid them. Do not miss any medication.
During disaster emergencies, make sure you have ample amount of prescribed medicine. Consult your physician for knowledge with regards to your condition and heed their advice.
Exercise have been proven to help boost insulin efficiency whether produced naturally or injected. Find time to engage in physical activity. The CDC recommends minimum total of 30 minutes’ exercise daily.
Your knowledge of your health condition could prove to be life-saving for you and your love ones.
The world needs Rotarians. We do many good things in the world and positively affect people’s lives. We need to stay healthy so we can continue to help humanity, especially these days.
Learn more about diabetes and Rotary Action Group for Diabetes at https://rag-diabetes.org