Even before anyone had heard of COVID-19, those living with diabetes faced elevated health risks and challenges managing their condition. Those who can’t or don’t have a good handle on their diabetes put themselves at risk for severe and tragic consequences.

Diabetes leaves the body vulnerable to a host of other serious health issues, and the consequences of COVID-19 are among them. A recent study suggests that diabetes is a leading risk factor for more severe COVID-19 complications, including death.

Published in the journal Diabetologia, the study involved over 1,300 French patients with both diabetes and COVID-19. Researchers reported that 29 percent of those patients needed intubation for assisted mechanical ventilation and/or died within seven days of hospitalization.

The increased chance of a negative outcome or serious complications from coronavirus for diabetes patients is unsurprising.  Other studies have also concluded that patients with COVID-19 and diabetes have a worse prognosis, most probably because of the concurring effect of multiple factors such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

These increased risks serve to emphasize the importance of staying healthy and minimizing other factors that can leave people with diabetes more vulnerable to contracting and dying from the virus.

Quite simply, effectively and vigilantly managing your diabetes is likely to lower your risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19.  When people with diabetes do not control their diabetes and experience fluctuating blood sugars, they are generally at higher risk for several diabetes-related complications. Having heart disease or other conditions in addition to diabetes could worsen the chance of getting seriously sick from COVID-19, just as is the case with other viral infections, because your body’s ability to fight off an infection is diminished.

Viral infections can also increase inflammation, or internal swelling, in individuals with diabetes. When that inflammation occurs in the feet and lower extremities, it can be even more problematic.

That is because the nerve damage that diabetes often causes can lead to the inability to feel pain, which is how our bodies typically alert us to problems. In turn, this may keep a person with diabetes from realizing they have developed a foot ulcer, infection, fungus, or other issues. As such, if someone with diabetes has a foot condition that needs immediate medical attention, they may not realize it or seek treatment until well after it becomes severe.

The number one thing you can do to prevent diabetic foot problems is to carefully inspect your feet every single day. Look closely at the top and bottom of each foot, and check between your toes using a magnifying glass or mirror if you need to. Keep your eyes peeled for crack, cuts, blisters, redness, nail discoloration, or swelling. If you see any such problems, set up an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as you can.

JAWSpodiatry: Committed To Your Foot and Ankle Health During Uncertain Times

These are unprecedented times for all of us. The experienced and skilled podiatrists at JAWSpodiatry in Hollywood, Florida remain committed to keeping our patients safe and healthy and providing them with the finest care for their foot and ankle problems.   Our exceptional foot and ankle specialists and friendly staff welcome the opportunity to serve you in our offices, which comply with or exceed all CDC, state, and local health and safety guidelines. Please contact us today at (954) 922-7333 to schedule a consultation.