Medindia
Tips to Manage Diabetes in Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Advertisement

Tips to Manage Diabetes in Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Highlights:
  • COVID-19 infection can become severe in children with preexisting conditions like diabetes
  • Diabetes weakens the immune system, which can impair the body’s ability to heal from an infection or disease
  • Frequent washing of hands, practising social-distancing, healthy eating and exercise regimen, and monitoring the child’s blood glucose levels are some tips to manage diabetes and COVID-19 risks

COVID-19 is known to turn fatal in people with co-morbidities. Parents of children who have preexisting conditions such as diabetes worry about whether their child is at a higher risk of becoming severely ill from the virus.

Michael Yafi, MD, associate professor of pediatric endocrinology at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), shared insight into the impact COVID-19 has on children with diabetes, how uncontrolled diabetes can increase health risks, and offered tips on how to manage diabetes.
Advertisement

Tips to Manage Diabetes in Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic

"Severe impacts of COVID-19 will depend on diabetes control," said Yafi, a pediatric endocrinologist with UT Physicians. "If a child has good control of their diabetes, it does not seem as though there will be severe effects if they were to get the virus. However, children with poorly controlled diabetes are at a high risk of becoming severely ill if they were to get the virus."

Impact of Diabetes on Immune System

Diabetes occurs as a result of impaired production or utilization of the hormone, insulin. This results in improper regulation of blood glucose levels in the body.
Advertisement

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas. This results in impaired production of insulin leading to the accumulation of glucose in the blood. Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes as it occurs in children.

Type 2 diabetes occurs as a result of insulin resistance.

When left untreated, both conditions can severely weaken the immune system due to high blood sugar levels. The weakened immune system makes it harder to treat viral infections like COVID-19 and thus complicates the condition.

"The exact cause of severe outcomes in patients with diabetes and COVID-19 is not yet known, but research suggests that people who have diabetes have weakened immune systems, which can impact their ability to quickly heal from an infection or disease," Yafi said.

Tips to Manage Diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes triggers a generalized inflammatory response, which results in further damage to the immune system, making it difficult to recover from an illness.

Some tips for parents of children with diabetes are:

  • Encourage kids to wash hands more frequently
  • Stress the importance of not touching their faces constantly with their hands
  • Avoid unnecessary gatherings and practice social distancing
  • Sanitize commonly used areas around the house like door knobs, counter-tops, flush handles, and switch-boards
  • Monitor and maintain a record of the child's blood sugar levels
  • Ensure the child eats healthy and exercises daily
  • Have extra supplies of emergency medicines in case of emergency
Conclusion

It is known that in the presence of co-morbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension or any cardiac problems, COVID-19 infection can become severe and may require ICU admission and mechanical ventilation.

There are arguments about whether being infected with COVID-19 can cause people to develop diabetes, though this link has not been proved and needs further research.

"We know from the history of diabetes that there is a cross-reaction of viral infections and getting diabetes," Yafi said. "We also know that the previous SARS-COV virus might have triggered an immune response in patients, like onset diabetes. However, that is still to be determined because we do not have any global epidemiological information about the association between diabetes and previous COVID-19 infection."

Source: Medindia
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
'Hybrid Immunity' may Help Elude COVID-19 Pandemic
Stroop Effect
Plant-Based Diet may Reduce the Risk of COVID-19
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetes Diabetic Diet Diabetes - Essentials Diabetes - Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG) Insulin Delivery Devices Height and Weight-Kids Diabetes and Exercise Stress Relief Through Alternative Medicine Stress and the Gender Divide 

Recommended Reading
Type 1 Diabetes
An overview of type 1 diabetes, its contributing factors, management and adopting a healthy ......
Diabetes - Essentials
Diabetes is a metabolic disease caused by insulin deficiency that leads to high blood sugar levels ....
Latent Autoimmune Diabetes (LADA)
LADA or Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood is a form of type 1 autoimmune diabetes that can be ...
Coronavirus
Coronaviruses infect animals, humans, and birds. Human coronaviruses, such as SARS, MERS, and ......
Diabetes
A comprehensive article on diabetes - both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, including : causes, signs, sy...
Diabetes - Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG)
Self-Monitoring Of Blood Glucose (SMBG) is one of the greatest advancements in the management of Di...
Diabetes and Exercise
Regular exercise especially in type II diabetes not only helps reduce the sugar but also reduces the...
Diabetic Diet
The diabetic diet most often recommended is high in dietary fiber (especially soluble fiber) and nut...
Diabetic Retinopathy
The term ‘diabetic retinopathy’ refers to changes in the retina which often occur in people with ......
Insulin Delivery Devices
Insulin delivery devices have evolved drastically since their invention in 1922. They are all aimed ...
Stress and the Gender Divide
Stress has become entwined in the current lifestyle of a young working couple and has resulted in th...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use