Diabetes and COVID-19
Last updated: February 10, 2022
If you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing more serious illness from COVID-19.
Your physician or advanced practice provider can review your medical record to help you understand your personal risk. More information about diabetes and COVID-19 is available from the American Diabetes Association.
Here are answers to some common questions you may have. This information might change as we learn more about COVID-19. If you have other questions, talk to your physician.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I more likely to get COVID-19 because I have diabetes?
- What can I do to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What should I do if I have diabetes and symptoms of COVID-19?
- If I have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, what should I do?
If you have diabetes, you are not more likely to get COVID-19. However, you are more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19.
The virus causes intense infection and inflammation in the body. This can place more stress on the body for people who have diabetes if their blood sugar level changes often or if it is higher than normal for a long time. If your blood sugar level is not controlled, you are at higher risk for heart disease and other complications that make it harder for you to fight an infection like COVID-19.
People with Type 1 diabetes are also at higher risk of diabetic ketoacidosis during COVID-19 infection. That is because the virus can make it more difficult to stay hydrated, manage electrolyte levels and control blood sugar.
Everyone should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. We urge you to:
- Get vaccinated.
- Wear a mask.
- Physically distance.
- Eat well.
- Reduce stress.
- Get plenty of sleep.
It is always important for people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels. Keep at least a 2-week supply of your medications. If you need a refill, call your physician or send a request through MyNM. While refilling your prescription, you can limit exposure to COVID-19 by using a mail-order service or drive-thru pharmacy. Or, have a caregiver pick up your medication.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, you should be tested for COVID-19. Learn about your testing options in the COVID-19 Resource Center at nm.org/covid19.
The answer depends on many factors. Follow guidelines from the CDC.