The Role High Blood Sugar Plays with (COVID) 19 for People with Diabetes
By Nadia Al-Samarrie
We are living in a time that feels more like a science fiction movie than reality. Who could have imagined, most of the working population sitting home on lockdown with a few businesses, food stores, and pharmacist staying open.
This form of martial law is in response to protecting the (COVID ) 19 from further spreading. For people with weakened immune systems, the stakes are even higher.
The good news is, no data is supporting that people with diabetes are more at risk for contracting the Coronavirus 19. Nor are they apt to heal less quickly if they maintain target blood sugar levels.
If you do contract the (COVID) 19, it’s the complications that make you more vulnerable. People with diabetes generally see a rise in their blood sugars when they are sick.
Higher blood sugars with or without COVID 19 indicates inflammation. A state when your body is unable to create the biochemical balance to stay healthy.
Not enough insulin in your body to maintain targeted blood sugars causes inflammation. Having the right balance of insulin from your insulin-producing pancreas or medication is what brings the inflammation back into balance. High blood sugars compromise your body’s ability to fight infection while targeted blood sugars support healing. Preventative care can make a difference.
Boosting Your Immune System to Guard Against (COVID) 19
Your diet plays a vital role in your health. What you eat either builds up or breaks down your immune system. Processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol, can compromise the immune system.
Research shows Vitamin C keeps the heart, immune system, and eyes healthy.
Foods rich in Vitamin C are bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, chili peppers, guava, kale, kiwis, lemons, spinach, strawberries, sweet yellow potatoes, and oranges.
The NIH reports that most people have a vitamin D deficiency, especially people who have a chronic illness and who suffer from depression.
Foods rich in Vitamin D are cow’s milk, almond milk, salmon, tuna, eggs yolks, orange juice, and fortified soy yogurt with vitamin D.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, guarding your cells against being damaged by free radicals. It helps fight infections.
Men need to be careful. Research shows taking large daily quantities of vitamin E may increase the likelihood of developing prostate cancer.
Foods rich in Vitamin E are kale, spinach, broccoli, leafy greens, nuts, some seeds. Some oils are more abundant in Vitamin E than others.
Iron helps with your immune response to pathogens. A deficiency in iron allows bacterial growth.
Foods rich in iron are almonds, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, sunflower seeds, and poultry.
Some side effects of iron supplements are constipation and nausea.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish and Flaxseed oils)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplements support cell growth, clotting of the blood, brain function, digestion, and muscle activity. It must come from the food we eat as our body cannot make it.
There is minimal evidence supporting Omega-3 Fatty Acids supplements. Eating foods with Omega-3 fatty acids has moderate research supporting its benefits.
Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids are walnuts, salmon, cod liver, and Atlantic mackerel.
Some side effects are loose stools and digestion issues.
Probiotics flood your stomach with healthy bacteria to fight disease. The science behind it is still limited.
Foods rich in probiotics are kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and tempeh, but the most common is yogurt.
Note: If you choose a probiotic supplement, look for the research that supports the particular bacteria listed on the packaging. Labels can be confusing by referencing research that supports probiotics but not necessarily the strain listed on the brand you are purchasing.
How Does the (COVID) 19 Spread Work?
The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) has outlined the precautions we need to take. Why are they so important?
1- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue, your hand or arm. It will prevent the virus from spreading. The 1995 movie Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, when one-person is coughing in the theater, will forever imprint how something so small can become so big. Warning- this is over dramatized for affects. But it does make a good point; how we catch airborne diseases.
• Social distancing prevents other people from being in contact with you. You may or may not be a virus carrier. In these uncertain times, the point of exposure is what we are minimizing when we self-quarantine.
• Washing your hands for 20 seconds is what they teach doctors to do to prevent disease in medical school. The transmission of hand diseases has research behind it.
• Wearing a mask prevents other vulnerable people from contracting COVID 19. It does not prevent the person from wearing the mask from contracting the virus. It protects the people around them from contracting the virus in case the mask wearer shows no symptoms of being ill, asymptomatic.
If you are 55 to 84 and have practiced a lifetime of exercise- a new study shows that your immune system can be just as strong as your youthful days. Contrary to the aging theory, your immune system does not have to decline with aging.
You may also be interested in reading My Antiviral Solution to the Coronavirus (COVID 19) or What to Do if You Think You Have the Flu Symptoms.
New insights into insulin: The anti-inflammatory effect and its clinical relevance