• Marcus Morris PT

The Corona Virus and Diabetes.

Updated: Jun 3

The Corona Virus originated in Wuhan, China. It has spread all over the globe and a mass hysteria has been created about the virus. It is believed that the virus attacks the respiratory system. New research has shown that there are certain things you should be doing to make yourself stronger to fight Corona and that is what I will discuss in this article. All of the statements made will be backed up by scientists. I will create a references list at the bottom and also create a link to each of the studies.


It has been highlighted that people who are already obese and or have diabetes will suffer more due to The Corona Virus (Drucker, 2020). The disease attacks the respiratory airways and makes it hard for the person to breathe (Caurso et al, 2020). Of the deceased patients examined 64.9% had diabetes, high blood pressure, Lung Problems and or Heart Problems (Jin et al, 2020). Furthemore, Jin et al, 2020 was able to show that age was a factor in cases that did not survive Covid-19, age range of people who survived was 35-57 years of age, those who didn't 65-81 years of age. Men and women have similar prevelance to Covid, men were more likely to die or have worse health outcomes as a result (Jin et al, 2020).



Graph from Jin et al, 2020.


It can be especially dangerous for people with diabetes because it has a high chance of causing ketoacidosis. This is when the blood becomes too acidic and the person can become severely ill Diabetes UK (Diabetic Ketoacidosis).


  1. Become ill, catch a cold.

  2. Sugars deplete because your body is using all of it's energy fighting the illness.

  3. The body tries to restore your energy by using natural stored sugars already in the body.

  4. The body then produces insulin and releases that into the blood stream so that the sugar can get to where it needs to be.

  5. Unfortunately too much insulin is released and starts to build up within the blood.

  6. We are now left with an acidic environment which can make the person really ill.


The above graph was taken from a study that was mentioned on the Diabetes UK website (Corona Virus Statistics).


The study collated data from 23,804 deaths from Corona Virus only 1.5% had Type 1 diabetes, almost a third had Type 2 and 0.3% had another form of diabetes such as gestational or Type 3c diabetes.


A possible reason that people who have Type 2 Diabetes have a weaker immune system is that when poorly managed it has been linked to increased levels of inflammation, this hampers the immune system and then leads to fat cells becoming unresponsive to insulin (Diabetes.co.uk).


Supplements

To be honest you'll get more immunity from doing the hard stuff like starting to exercise and eat better. Supplements can be really expensive, especially when people buy the supplements to shed body fat because some celebrity was endorsing them, and then still living off Mc Donald's every day.


Nutrition

I would imagine that a diabetic person's main aim is to keep their blood sugars at the right levels. With that in mind here are a few tips that I would advise people to follow.

  • Stay away from sugary foods unless you go 'hypo'.

  • Steer clear of processed foods.

  • Have protein with every meal (e.g. eggs, fish and meat).

  • Eat plenty of fibre (e.g. celery, brocolli and cauliflower).

  • Have good fats regularly (e.g. avocados, salmon and nuts).

  • Make sure you stay hydrated, aim for 2 litres of water a day .

  • Opt for veg over fruit unless you go 'hypo'.

These are the bare basics of what I would say to all of my clients. If you feel like you could benefit from more guidance, sign up to my email list and get your free starter pack, it could be your first step to making a change.


Conclusion

In conclusion the best way for a person with Diabetes, not just Types 1 or 2 would easily be to manage their sugars as best as possible without relying on insulin. This could be done by exercising and making small but sustainable dietary modifications. When we exercise our bodies burn off energy and require even more to recover. This means we become really sensitive insulin which plays a massive role in diabetes and is one of the main reasons diabetics can be so vulnerable to Corona.


I would recommend that a person undertake a slow and steady approach to adopting a new lifestyle. When you exercise your immune system plays a huge role in the recovery process, if you overdo the exercise part then it will hamper your immune system and make you more vulnerable. Take it slow and steady, you'll improve your health and build up a strong defense against corona.


There isn't much point in dieting for a week and then completely fall off the wagon for not much progress would be made in just one week. Instead gradual dietary changes need to happen and, if sustained then within 6 months that is when true progress will have been made. Try a healthy alternative to a food or try making that food a little different to cut down on calories. Cutting down on calories will bring about weight loss and make you more sensitive to insulin.


Another important consideration is a person's mental state. A large majority of the country or at least a huge portion of the clients I have worked with over the years comfort eat as a way to cope with stress. As well as trying to lose weight or improve diabetic markers everyone should be trying to find ways of coping with stress without over eating, alcoholism or any other form of disordered eating. At this moment in time Burnley and the rest of England has been in lockdown for 2 months and levels of mental health issues are expected to rise. Check this for 7 tips on coping with the lockdown.


Like I have already said take it slowly, steadily and make sure it's sustainable. Start off exercising a little bit and maybe just drinking a bit more water. For tips on how to get started have a read of this one I wrote earlier.


If all of this sounds a bit much and you need a bit more guidance or maybe you have question, get in touch here.


Reference List

Caruso, P. et al. (2020) Type 1 Diabetes triggered by Covid-19: a potential outbreak?

Diabetes.co.uk (Immune System).

Diabetes UK. Corona Virus Statistics.

Diabetes UK. (Diabetic Ketoacidosis).

Daniel J Drucker, Coronavirus Infections and Type 2 Diabetes—Shared Pathways with Therapeutic Implications June 2020

Jian- Min Jin et al. (2020) Gender Differences In Patients With Covid-19: Focus On Severity And Mortality.


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©2020 by Marcus Morris Personal Training.