Written by Dr Miriam Stoppard OBE
Dr Miriam Stoppard has spent many years as a TV doctor including having her own show for 15 years – as well as authoring over 80 books and writing columns for the Daily Mirror. As Health and Wellbeing Advisor for Stannah, given her trusted advice we have invited her to help to answer your health-related questions during Covid-19.
In this Q&A, Dr Miriam addresses concerns around living with diabetes at this time and precautions to take. Dr Miriam has previously offered her expertise to support people with other conditions like Parkinson’s Disease and asthma.
Question: I am living with Type 1 diabetes. Am I at greater risk because of this? Does the same apply for people with Type 2 diabetes?
Answer: With type 1 diabetes you’re automatically in the vulnerable group and should be self-isolating. The reason diabetes (type 1 and type 2) makes you vulnerable to Covid-19 is because there’s the tendency for your blood sugar (glucose) to be unstable and rise above normal. It’s important to understand that a high blood sugar level indicates there’s more sugar in your body tissues than normal, which makes them vulnerable to infection at the best of times. So, in the era of Covid-19 it’s essential that you keep your blood sugar as stable as possible by testing your blood sugar with great care, adhering to your diet and taking your insulin meticulously.
If you get any kind of infection, not just the symptoms of Covid-19 (e.g. a new continuous cough, fever, loss of the sense smell or taste, shortness of breath), phone NHS 111 immediately because your insulin dose may need adjusting. With diabetes, it’s important that you are strictly adhering to the guidelines of social distancing, staying at home when at all possible, not having visitors to your house, having your food and medication delivered to your door and taking some exercise outdoors not too far from your home.