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Purdue Extension: Expert Resources for COVID-19
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FAMILY: COVID-19 Resources for Those Living with Diabetes

April 7, 2020
Person with Diabetes performs sugar test

By now, it’s hard to not have heard the warnings that senior citizens are more susceptible to COVID-19. Adults aged 60 years and older are more likely to experience more severe symptoms or death should they contract COVID-19 than younger populations.

There are two reasons for this:

One such disease is diabetes — which affects more than 10% of the U.S. population overall.

Below are some Purdue Extension recommendations on steps that those living with diabetes can take to protect themselves:

Follow the Stay-at-Home Order

If you must go out for any reason, make sure your trip is truly essential.

Manage Stress

Stress can wreak havoc on a diabetic’s blood sugar levels and, in turn, further depress the immune system.

Get Sufficient Sleep and Physical Activity

Even as our schedule is disrupted, we should maintain these routines to go hand-in-hand with stress management. (The typical adult needs at least 8 hours of sleep.)

Keep Your Medications Filled

Don’t wait until you’re running low on medications to reach out to your pharmacist.

Eat Healthy Foods

Maintaining your healthy eating habits is key to keeping your immune system strong — as overeating or undereating can be detrimental to your health.

Call Your Doctor if You Feel Ill

Remember: Those living with diabetes are already more susceptible to illness and more severe symptoms.

While there are additional precautions to take amid the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of your health, getting plenty of rest, eating a balanced diet and participating in daily physical activity can help get you the immune-system boost you need.

For additional information on managing diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Author

Tonya Short, Health & Human Sciences Educator, Purdue Extension – Knox County

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