Diabetes and hypertension often go hand in hand. But what happens to people with diabetes, high blood pressure and Covid-19?
We are all well aware of the havoc Covid-19 has created worldwide, and India is no exception to it! However, with the vaccination drive on in full swing, coronavirus cases have started decreasing by the day. But it is important to note that certain health conditions like diabetes and hypertension may make a person more likely to develop severe complications of Covid-19.
Therefore, it is an added responsibility for those with diabetes and hypertension to be extra cautious, and take utmost care to avoid getting infected with this deadly virus.
The connection between hypertension, diabetes and COVID-19
Diseases like hypertension may have long-term repercussions, and can weaken the immune function in the affected people. Those with a weak immune system may be more likely to get infected with coronavirus, as their bodies cannot fight infections.
People with diabetes may be more prone to develop complications and experience severe symptoms, when infected with the virus. There is no evidence that people with diabetes are more prone to Covid-19, but if they are impacted by the virus, the infection tends to be severe.
In people with diabetes, there is more inflammation in the body. When they get infected with Covid-19, the inflammatory markers may worsen; this could be one reason that the infection is more severe in people with diabetes.
People with diabetes and hypertension need to practice the following measures to avoid complications:
They must ensure to:
- Follow a healthy diet and restrict salt, as advised by the doctor
- Take medicines regularly
- Maintain an optimal and a healthy weight
- Monitor blood glucose levels and blood pressure regularly
- Periodically follow up with the doctor at their clinic or via teleconsultation
- Avoid packaged, processed and carbohydrate-rich food
- Avoid consumption of alcohol
- Avoid smoking
- Stay active and exercise regularly
- Avoid any stress by practicing breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, etc.
- Include protein-rich food, green vegetables and fiber in the diet
Besides ensuring these practices, people with diabetes and hypertension must also follow Covid safety protocols:
- Avoid stepping out to decrease the chances of getting infected
- Ensure to wear two masks to lower the risk of getting infected with the Covid-19 virus, when outdoors
- Ensure to follow social distancing and proper hand hygiene
- Make sure to wash hands frequently with soap and water or with a hand sanitiser
What are the complications that can arise?
People with diabetes and hypertension often have underlying complications. But the trio of diabetes, hypertension, and Covid-19 can be problematic. The difficulties faced by people with hypertension and diabetes are:
- Increased risk of developing neurological complications, such as bleeding in the brain and stroke
- Higher risk of developing the black fungus or mucormycosis
- Increased risk of developing respiratory complications like pneumonia or other acute respiratory infections
The key to defeating coronavirus is by staying strong and positive. It is everyone’s responsibility to avoid crowded places, ensure social distancing, maintain good hand hygiene and get vaccinated to prevent the spread of this deadly virus!