One of the things that’s so difficult about the COVID-19 situation at the moment is that we’re all tired. It’s hard to stay vigilant for so long, and the only tools we’ve been given against a second wave are masks, sanitizer and social distancing.
But there’s one more tool to offer: a 1-minute test to help protect you from severe COVID-19.
The link between diabetes and COVID-19
What the research tells us is this:
- People with diabetes have a four times higher risk of being infected with COVID-19.
- People with diabetes are two times more likely to be hospitalized, and three times more likely to be admitted to ICU if they have COVID-19.
- People with diabetes have a three times higher case fatality rate when infected with COVID-19.
- But… Better diabetes control leads to better recovery, and more positive outcomes.
Here’s the problem:
Of the estimated 4.5 million people in South Africa with Type 2 diabetes, at least half of them are undiagnosed. So, you could have Type 2 diabetes and be at a greater risk of getting serious COVID-19 without knowing it.
What to do?
Watch this (adorable) 1-minute video of cute pets playing while you count your risk factors for Type 2 diabetes. You’ll know within 1 minute if you need to be concerned.
Risk factors for Type 2 diabetes
- 45 years old (or older) OR
- Overweight or obese AND
- Physically inactive (not much exercise)
- High blood pressure
- Family history of diabetes
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease history
- High-risk ethnic group (Asian Indian, Coloured)
- Diabetes during pregnancy or a baby over 4kg
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
If this sounds like you, it’s important to go for a diabetes screening. There are free screenings at Clicks Clinics and many independent pharmacies during November (National Diabetes Month).
It is possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes in many cases, and entirely possible to live a healthy, happy life with Type 2 diabetes. But only if you know you’re living with it.
More about the expert:
Bridget McNulty is a Type 1 diabetic and the co-founder of Sweet Life Diabetes Community, SA’s largest online diabetes community. Find out more about how to live well with diabetes at www.sweetlife.org.za
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