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Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020

Diabetes and COVID-19

Am I At Risk?

Take precautions, have a plan and remain vigilant As we focus on Diabetes Awareness Month, it is important for those living with diabetes to know what is at stake as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the community.

Did you know having Type 2 diabetes increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19? This doesn't mean you have a greater chance of getting the virus; it means if you are infected, you are more likely to become really sick.

Both the Americana Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge people to have a plan and take precautions, especially during the fall and winter flu season.

In being prepared, be sure to have at least a 30-day supply of insulin on hand and your diabetic medications. You have to eat and stay hydrated if you get sick. Go ahead and stock your pantry with easy-to-cook food, snack items, no-calorie drinks and sports drinks in case getting to the supermarket isn’t an option.

If you do get sick, it will be important to stay on top of your blood sugar level, which can be hard to manage – especially when you don’t feel like eating or drinking. Your physician may want you to test your blood sugar more often to make sure it doesn’t drop to an alarming level. Take your insulin and medications.

Know when to go to the emergency room: If you have trouble breathing, have blood sugar lower than 60 mg/dl, have a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours, can’t keep down food or drink, seem sleepy and unable think clearly, these are all symptoms that should be taken very seriously. If you are hesitant and don’t know if it is time to head to the emergency room, call your physician for guidance.

The CDC also recommends you remain vigilant and take action in protecting yourself against COVID-19:

• Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible.

• Take precautions when having to interact with others.

• Follow your health-care provider's tips if you feel sick, and be prepared to call if you have concerns about your condition.

• If you think you may have COVID-19, get in touch with your health-care provider within 24 hours.

At CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System, we want to help you learn how to manage your diabetes – not only during the pandemic, but every day. Learn more here: (https://www.christushealth.org/shreveport-bossier/services-treatments/diabetes

Joseph Tynes, M.D., is an internal medicine physician practicing in the Shreveport-Bossier area. He now serves the Bossier City community at CHRISTUS Internal Medicine - North Bossier on Beene Boulevard. Recognized as one of Louisiana’s top doctors, Dr. Tynes is dedicated has made it his mission to help patients heal physically, mentally and emotionally.

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