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Any diabetics worried about COVID19?

127 replies

Redrover87 · 11/03/2020 15:59

I’m 32 and have been type 1 since I was 9. I would say I control it well and this reflects in my notes eg HBa1c test

I’ve read that the mortality rate for diabetics is 9.6% which is scary and it’s also the second most high risk group under cardiovascular illnesses.

My question is, does it matter how well controlled I am? As I always thought I’d live a long and healthy life just the same as anybody else as long as I kept my levels stable. Or am I basically fucked because I’m diabetic?

Should I self isolate now or be thinking about it in the coming weeks?

For background, I rarely get ill and when I do it’s only for a couple of days (never been hospitalised) so I would say this is a sign of a good immune system. Could anybody shed some light on how dangerous this is for me?

I’d also love to hear from any other diabetics (type1 or 2) on how they’re feeling about all of this.

Sorry for my rambling, I’m just freaking myself out a bit especially after reading about the 56 year old woman with diabetes who died today on Bali from COVID19.
I’m also a single mother to a 2 year old so I’m worried about leaving her if it gets serious and I have to be hospitalised or worse.

Thanks for reading my ramblings !Grin

OP posts:
Batqueen · 11/03/2020 16:03

Isn’t it 9.6% for uncontrolled diabetes? That’s the last I read. Generally I’m in a similar situation to you (32, T1, well-controlledish) and I’m going about living my life but trying to follow good hygiene practices and not take unnecessary risks.

Redrover87 · 11/03/2020 16:06


I’m really hoping that’s the case! I’d have thought the closer control you have to normal, the lower the mortality rate.
I got my stats from the world o meter and it just says “diabetes 9.6%” no sub categories.

Good to hear you’re not panicking though, maybe I should chill a bit more

OP posts:
JellyBabiesSaveLives · 11/03/2020 16:06

The WHO report with the 9.2% statistic talks about “uncontrolled” diabetes. Which you don’t have, so you’re ok!

I’m a lot more worried for my dh (heart disease) than for my ds (Type 1 diabetes).

JellyBabiesSaveLives · 11/03/2020 16:07

I hate the way they write “diabetes” like that’s some neat homogenous thing.

Batqueen · 11/03/2020 16:08

I guess I didn’t really answer your question there. I’m taking the 9.6% with a pinch of salt because uncontrolled diabetes completely destroys your body and puts you at risk of so many thing eg blindness, amputation, heart disease so I feel that it’s hard to gauge the actual risk but I feel that as (like you) I generally don’t seem to get other illnesses more than other people, the main risk is just controlling and monitoring blood sugars etc if I get sick to avoid dka so I’m cautious rather than super worried.

Tartyflette · 11/03/2020 16:10

The unfortunate lady who died in Bali might not have had access to good care, or couldn't afford it, or had linked or other conditions. We don't know.
I'm a type 2, diet\medication controlled and in quite good health otherwise, exercise regularly (but could do with losing a couple ofstone) .
At the moment i'm not unduly worried.

Batqueen · 11/03/2020 16:14

Cross post, I can understand why you are freaked as there are no stats for well controlled diabetes but what might help is to focus on the proactive things you can do. E.g to ensure your control remains good, up number of bs tests per day. Ensure you have Keto testing kit to prepare in case you get it. If you do get it, make sure family know you should be testing every 4 hours min to avoid going high. Review your sick day rules. Preparation helps if you are feeling anxious.

Batqueen · 11/03/2020 16:15


WreckTangled · 11/03/2020 16:17

I too am 32 with type 1 Grin

I've been taking the figures with a pinch of salt. 90% of diabetics are type 2. The people sadly dying are older and usually have multiple underlying health problems so I expect they're poorly controlled too.

Being type one does not make us any more susceptible to catching it in the first place and providing you can manage to keep your levels in check whilst ill (easier said than done) there's no reason why it should hit us harder than anyone else 🤞🏼

maa1992 · 11/03/2020 16:18

My mum is type 1 diabetic with ischaemic heart disease and angina, I'm terrified for her.

My sister is also type 1 diabetic and is poorly controlled.

I hope they don't catch it

Redrover87 · 11/03/2020 16:25

Wow what’s with all the 32 year old type 1s Grin I feel a lot better after reading your replies.

I think the problem is that there isn’t really any information on the internet about diabetes and Coronavirus. It just says to check your blood more often but no information on how it can affect each type or whether control matters etc.

I think my anxiety about it is mainly because of the lack of information, fear of the unknown.

It’s nice to talk to people who understand too!

OP posts:
WreckTangled · 11/03/2020 16:30

I've been stress eating which really isn't helpful Grin we are low risk in other ways ie female and in a low risk age group. I've never even had a chest infection so hoping I'll be ok. I'm more worried about the NHS being unable to cope if something were to go wrong than me not being able to fight the virus

AbsentmindedWoman · 11/03/2020 16:39

I’m worried, yes. My a1c is about 5.5% so that isn’t the concern.

We have a dysregulated immune response as type 1 diabetics. An overly aggressive immune response isn’t always a good thing - in 1918 Spanish flu this led to cytokine storms in young healthy people who died.

However watching this so far it doesn’t seem like those with an aggressive immune response are faring worst. It is hitting older people hardest which may indicate it is more dangerous if you have a weaker immune response. Obviously this is not ok all but a different problem to ours from an autoimmune point of view.

But. The other worry is how a bad infection can totally fuck up blood sugars - so then if glucose goes crazy, that will reduce your immune system functioning and potentially allow the infection to get the upper hand.

Basically it’s a clusterfuck of a gamble and we should try to avoid finding out exactly how we cope with it, for as long as possible.

planningaheadtoday · 11/03/2020 16:48

My husband is diabetic and I quizzed my GP when I saw him last week as I'm worried.

He said the risk of Covid-19 is higher for people with diabetes, but it's the people with uncontrolled diabetes that's really the issue.

Normal blood sugars tightly controlled with medication/ insulin are a higher risk than not having diabetes, but uncontrolled diabetes is a much bigger risk.

AbsentmindedWoman · 11/03/2020 16:53

Definitions of tight control are important here though.

One paper I read on diabetes and SARS or MERS (can’t remember now) advises spending as much time below 7.8 as possible to get better outcomes.

Uncontrolled can be used to mean anyone with an a1c over 7 or 8.

WreckTangled · 11/03/2020 16:58

Good point. Also we all know that lots of hypos can make an hba1c look better than it really is.

NervousInYorkshire · 11/03/2020 17:04

Agh. t2 here.
I had an hba1c of 7 in November, after about 7 years of it being about 13. I started on insulin early last year, and started getting hypos in August - I assumed they contributed to the lower hba1c.

I'm really trying not to stress eat or stress out :/

FestiveBake · 11/03/2020 17:08

My mum is 83, T1 poorly controlled diabetic, COPD, cardiovascular disease. I’d think her outlook isn’t good if she got the Coronavirus.

AbsentmindedWoman · 11/03/2020 17:13

Absolutely re lows. Time in range is key, I can only manage as well as I do because I have Dexcom. I wish the NHS provided it for the years I really struggled through my twenties and couldn’t afford to self fund.

Currently sweating bricks waiting for my next three month supply of Dexcom to be delivered and hoping it doesn’t get fucked up.

GinandGingerBeer · 11/03/2020 17:25

Hello fellow T1 D here, alas I'm 49 not 32!Grin
I only became T1 aged 44 and fortunately I've never been ill with anything significant since diagnosis.
My worry is, if I get it my BG is going to go ⬆️ due to illness & if I'm really poorly I might not manage it as well as I do normally & struggle with sick day rules etc Therefore running higher BG..... develop ketones and the organs just can't cope Sad
I'm bloody terrified actually.
Nice to have a thread but I promise I'm usually rational, just today it's really got to me.

WreckTangled · 11/03/2020 17:33

I recently had ketones because my pump failed overnight. I quickly corrected and was fine. As long as you keep on top of it you should be ok. (My sugar level was 17 Shock and it made me vomit! Scary how quickly it happened but they were down within an hour).

AbsentmindedWoman · 11/03/2020 17:36

@GinandGingerBeer I’m worried about the same thing, what will happen if I’m really ill and can’t manage the diabetes stuff like I normally do.

AbsentmindedWoman · 11/03/2020 17:41

@WreckTangled on the bright side, since you felt so bad at 17 that sounds like you must be generally in range and steady normally Smile

I’ve been on the wrong side of 20 for more time than I care to think about years ago when young and struggling and before getting my pump.

WreckTangled · 11/03/2020 17:44

Yes same here. I dread to think of the damage I did to my body when I was younger. Tbh it's only in the last couple of years I've been trying really hard. I've got the libre and miao miao which has made such a difference. I try to low carb but right now all I want is chocolate and biscuits!

ch3rrycola · 11/03/2020 17:44

I'm 36, type 1 for 19 years. Not the best control despite trying. I work as a cleaner at a train station, busy one, lots of germs. So far still alive Grin

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