Diabetics Should Be Better Protected From Viruses and Other Infections

Diabetes is a chronic disease with uncontrolled blood sugar that can cause damage to almost all organs at various levels. Stating that the incidence has increased all over the world, Academic Hospital Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Betül Uğur Altun points out that this increase is much more pronounced in our country.

Stating that mistakes in our lifestyles determine the speed of developing diabetes, Academic Hospital Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Betül Uğur Altun said, “Now we go everywhere by car or public transportation. When we get hungry, we open and consume a pack of ready-made food. Especially our young people have energy-filled drinks and packed bars. They increase the energy they cannot spend with these products. Instead of sleeping at night, they are in front of the computer or television. They're inevitable to gain weight because they constantly eat junk food, ”he says, warning about diabetes:

  • Nowadays, when we are struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic, the presence of diabetes is considered to be "worsening".
  • With diabetes, the immune system (immunity) is weakened. Diabetics are more susceptible to infectious diseases. They get sick easily and recover more difficultly.
  • The work of cells that protect against infections in diabetes is disrupted. Every stage of the fight against germs is getting more difficult. Hyperglycemia is thought to cause this condition.
  • Guard cells (leukocytes) remain weak in dealing with infections. The power of leukocytes to capture and destroy viruses, bacteria and other infectious agents is decreasing. In poor sugar control, defense cells can lose their functions and severe immunity may weaken. In diabetes, the fight against cancer cells becomes difficult for similar reasons.
  • Lung infections are more common in diabetics. Pneumonia (pneumonia) is more common and can be life-threatening. Pulmonary tuberculosis can also be more common, severe and atypical in patients with diabetes. Tuberculosis is not a rare condition in our country.
  • The infection is a stress for the body and causes stress hormones to rise. Because of these hormones, sugar rises and is more difficult to decrease. In short, infection diabetes, diabetes also worsens the infection.
  • Problems such as blood coagulation disorders, hypertension and heart failure can be experienced in diabetes.
  • The presence of diabetes extends the intensive care period regardless of the reason.

Recommendations for diabetic patients: 

A health problem caused by diabetes is recorded in millions of people around the world. Although new regulations, recommendations, guidelines and medications are presented every year, a significant and general improvement cannot be detected in diabetic patients. Diabetes is now recognized as a social disease as well as an individual. People with diabetes don't just live their own destiny. The individuals around him and the next generations also get their share from the impact of this disease. In the world, general diabetes management is planned as a social disease. But individual education never loses its importance. People with diabetes should pay special attention to the following situations.

  • The immune system of an individual with diabetes does not respond differently to vaccines than a non-diabetic one. So they can be vaccinated.
  • The beliefs that “diabetic patients should live in isolation” or “use of broad effective antibiotics are necessary in simple diseases” are wrong. Patients with diabetes should of course protect themselves. Due to the pandemic, they should prefer open air instead of crowded and closed environments. They should take care of hand hygiene and be more careful in their contact with those with infection.
  • They should pay more attention to nutrition, exercise, daily follow-up and treatment protocols.
  • People with diabetes should avoid all kinds of infections. They should be protected as much as possible, not only for Covid-19, but also for other conditions such as urinary tract infections.

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