Following many emails, countries closing their borders and health measures taken all over the world...
...we would like to write this short article to outline a number of important points regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and type 2 diabetes.
Here we discuss the most frequently asked questions we have received in recent weeks.
Frequently asked questions about type 2 diabetes and the coronavirus
In the questions below, I will spare you as much research citations and other non-important things.
Chances are you don't want to know all this. You just want to know what you can (or should) do about the coronavirus because you have type 2 diabetes.
You have more on your mind than knowing in which scientific journal a study was published and how many people participated.
#1: I have type 2 diabetes and am afraid of the coronavirus. What now?
This is a tricky question to answer. The fear of the coronavirus is real. While there appears to be no growth in China, it is in the rest of the world.
I say "seems" because at first China did everything to cover it up. I would therefore not be surprised if the current figures are tampered with.
This is a website that uses 'Chinese' data to visualize the Corona virus around the world.
I dare not say how reliable the data is, so take it with a grain of salt.
Anyway, you can see that cases are increasing worldwide.
So it is good to dwell on this virus.
One of the first studies on the coronavirus already showed that people who are somewhat older (47 years and older) and who have a chronic disease such as type 2 or cardiovascular disease, have an increased risk of death. So objectively, your fear is justified:
People with type 2 diabetes (and any other disease that weakens the body) have an increased risk of death.
This is because the body's immune system cannot run optimally because the body itself is not optimally healthy. So it is not diabetes specific:
The sicker you are, the more vulnerable you are.
People with cancer, lung problems, rheumatism and many other diseases are also likely to have an increased risk of death.
#2: Are you more likely to die if you have type 2 diabetes?
Unfortunately, there seems to be a connection here. The study found a correlation between certain diseases and coronavirus death.
Risk factors that increase the risk of death are:
Incidentally, it is not a causal link.
So it does not mean that these diseases cause death.
It is - probably - more likely that people with these diseases have a body (and immune system) that does not work optimally.
This allows the body on the one hand to fight the virus badly (causing it to increase in the body)...
...and on the other hand, the body has much more trouble keeping its normal course of action (which further deteriorates the body).
#3: My blood sugar is too high, am I extra susceptible to the corona virus now?
Unfortunately, there is evidence that the immune system functions less well when you have too high blood sugar.
This can make you extra susceptible to the coronavirus.
I say 'can' because of course it is not a guarantee.
There are also people who die without high blood sugar.
And there are also people with high blood sugar who survive it (or never get).
So too high blood sugar is a risk factor:
Too high blood sugar makes it more difficult for the body, but is certainly not a guarantee of death.
#4: What is the best thing to do to prevent the virus?
There are actually two things you can do:
Think of washing your hands thoroughly with soap (preferably 20 seconds or more).
But also things like:
- Coughing in your elbows.
- Avoid contact with people.
- Avoid busy locations.
You don't want to make it harder on your body than it already is.
By eating healthier, you can lower your blood sugar. This increases the effectiveness of your immune system and makes it easier for your body to fight the virus if you get it.
#5: What is the best thing to do - once you have it - to avoid getting seriously ill or dying?
Unfortunately, there is little you can do. You should see it as an 'ordinary' flu.
The only thing you can do is to take a rest. There is as yet no vaccine or medicine against this virus.
And there is little chance that this will happen soon.
#6: Is there anything I can eat or drink to increase my resistance?
There are no specific things you can eat or drink to increase your immune response overnight.
However, you can eat as healthy as possible (according to the guidelines of our website and method) to make and keep your body as healthy as possible.
This will - as far as possible - increase and/or maintain your immune response.
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#7: are there certain supplements I should take because of my type 2 diabetes?
Not really. Supplements complement a healthy diet ..
...and are not a substitute for something.
So make sure your overall diet is healthy before you even think about supplements.
And if you are considering something, I would stick to omega-3, vitamin D and vitamin C. The latter in particular seems to contribute positively to the flu. The coronavirus is a flu virus (influenza virus).
Under normal circumstances, we do not recommend using vitamin C because it is unnecessary.
#8: How do I recognize if you have the coronavirus?
The problem with this virus is that it has a so-called incubation time of 4-7 days.
In layman's terms:
It can take 4 to 7 days for the symptoms to manifest after you are infected. In the meantime, you may have infected other people as well. That also makes it difficult to fight the virus.
In addition, not all carriers of the virus manifest the symptoms.
This also increases the chances of spreading it.
The symptoms are:
Do you recognize these complaints? Then you don't have to sound the alarm immediately.
What to do if you suspect you have corona
Do you have a cold or a raised temperature (maximum of 38 degrees Celsius or 100 Fahrenheid)?
Stay home, wait it out and make sure you don't infect others. So keep your distance from other people. You don't have to call the doctor. Your complaints are mild.
Are your complaints getting worse?
You have a fever (over 38 degrees Celsius or 100 Fahrenheit) and you cough or breathe hard?
Then you must call the GP/doctor.
#9: What are the consequences of the coronavirus in type 2 diabetes
The symptoms are like the flu...
...and the consequences too.
Most of the people who died die from shortness of breath. This is also the case with a 'normal' flu.
Here too, the shortness of breath (and the often accompanying lung infection) causes death. This mainly happens in people with a weakened immune system.
# 10: Do I have to stock up on groceries?
No, please don't.
As a planet we have never experienced anything like the coronavirus so I understand that it is a bit of a shock. But don't be fooled.
There is no need to stock up on things. The supply chain is still up and running.
Do you have any questions? Then we would like to hear it.
P.s: Are you concerned about your type 2 diabetes and the coronavirus? What do you do to not get it? Leave a comment below