Diabetic patients take extra precautions to protect against coronavirus


DENVER (KDVR) — Denver doctors say COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for people with underlying health conditions like diabetes, and that is why it is so important for those patients to take precautions.

Rick Davis is one of those patients. He lives with type 1 diabetes, and gives himself daily insulin injections. He says it doesn’t slow him down. “Don’t think that it’s going to stop you from living a full life,” Davis said.

COVID-19, though, has caused Davis to take extra precautions. “We’ve really cut down on our social interaction,” he said.

Davis, like so many others with underlying health conditions, is at a greater risk of severe illness if he gets COVID-19.

Dr. Sarah Bull is an endocrinologist at Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center in Denver. “I tell my patients that their risk of catching the disease or the virus isn’t necessarily higher in diabetic patients, but if you get the COVID virus, you definitely are at increased risk for death, dying, severe illness or prolonged stay in the hospital,” she said.

There is also some indication internationally, she said, that COVID-19 could be causing new cases of diabetes. “For example patients who have been well controlled and then suddenly come in a diabetic crisis, or people who are borderline diabetics who now present with new diabetes,” she said, adding that research is underway.

Dr. Bull says it’s important for diabetic patients to manage their health, stay on top of their blood sugars and take all the precautions.

Davis says he’s doing everything he can. His two sisters, his father and his mother have all had COVID. “My mother is still in the hospital with it as a matter of fact,” he said.

While he worries about his mother, he is reminded of the importance to protect himself.

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