Diabetes During Coronavirus

People living with diabetes are at increased risk from Coronavirus, in the same way as they are at increased risk of pneumonia each winter. This risk is further increased if you are obese and if you have higher blood sugar levels.

Please don’t neglect your diabetes, whilst the NHS and Bourn surgery have changed how they are working due to the risks of Coronavirus, we are still here for you. You can book a telephone or a video consultation with your GP or our Nurse Practitioner Hedda.

People with diabetes are advised:

  • Continue to follow the advice around diet and exercise. Keep alcohol consumption to sensible levels and consider purchasing a home blood pressure monitor to monitor blood pressure.
  • Please attend any specialist appointments, such as eye clinic or diabetic foot clinic. We need to avoid these problems getting worse. Clinics are taking extra protective measures to keep people safe.
  • Keep checking your feet – if you see a cut or blister please contact the practice urgently for advice.
  • The 4Ts – toilet, thirst, tired and thinner – are signs of life-threatening diabetic emergency, diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA. If you develop these please seek urgent medical advice via the practice, 111 or 999.
  • Continue checking your sugars at home if you have been trained to do so. You can contact the practice if they are increasing or if you are having low readings “hypos”.

Lots of information is available via Diabetes UK at https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus

NHS Diabetes Advice helpline

NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a new helpline in response to disruption to normal diabetes services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.

The service is for adults living with diabetes who use insulin to manage their condition and require immediate clinical advice.

Whether you or a member of your household have caught the virus, or routine care has been disrupted, the helpline is available for immediate clinical advice to help you understand how to effectively manage their diabetes.

You can access NHS Diabetes Advice via Diabetes UK’s support line on 0345 123 2399 Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm.

SGLT2i medications: dapagliflozin, empagliflozin, canagliflozin

If you become unwell with Coronavirus or any other infection, you should stop taking these medications until you are recovered. If you keep taking them whilst unwell they can increase your risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

The symptoms of DKA are: feeling sick, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, thirst, difficulty breathing, feeling confused, tiredness and sleepiness.