Are diabetics immunocompromised

The entire world is suffering from COVID 19 pandemic which overwhelmed the health organizations everywhere and people are asking: Are diabetics immunocompromised?

Physicians advised people to protect themselves by sticking to the rules of hand cleaning and by improving immunity.

But they warned the patient with low immunity more; so that COVID 19 is their nightmare.

Is diabetes increase the risk of corona and other throat infections?

Is type 2 diabetes considered immunocompromised?

What is diabetes mellitus (DM)?

DM is an endocrinological disease because of absolute or relative insulin deficiency.

The pancreas secretes this insulin hormone.

Lack of insulin will hinder the utilization of glucose by the body systems.

The glucose will accumulate in the blood and body tissues leading to different complications.

Why do doctors consider diabetic patients are of low immunity? And what is the relation between diabetes and coronavirus?

Are diabetics immunocompromised?

Glucose provides nutrition to different microbes; so its high level will provide a good environment for microbial growth.

This means that whenever the patient controls his glucose level, the risk of infection is less. This is especially right in type 1 DM.

Additionally, diabetes leads to peripheral neuropathy and reduced blood supply to extremities, so the patient will not notice infections.

The most common infections are in the feet, urinary tract, surgical wounds, and teeth.

In addition, some physicians believe that diabetics have a higher risk of developing complications.

Why are diabetics immunocompromised?

  • The high blood glucose level affects the immune system negatively.
  • Disrupted natural defense mechanisms and skin protection.
  • The immune response to infection is weak.
  • The increase of glucose for a long time will lead to metabolic acidosis which impairs the immune response.

Is type 2 diabetes considered immunocompromised?

The immune response towards infection is weak in diabetics because of:

  • Abnormal production of cytokine.
  • Inhibition of white blood cell recruitment (attraction)to the infection.
  • Inhibition of the ability to recognize harmful organisms.
  • Abnormal function of the natural killer cells, neutrophils, and macrophages.
  • In addition, both peripheral neuropathy and vasculopathy facilitate infections.

Diabetes and throat infection

It is a common infection among diabetics and non-diabetics, but we are focusing on diabetes and throat infection.

Diabetics should seek medical help early to avoid flaring of infection, particularly, COVID 19.

If the patient is having one or more of these signs, he should call a doctor:

  • Fever and fatigue as well as body pains.
  • Cough (dry or productive).
  • Non-healing wounds and infections.
  • Inflammation of the nasal sinuses.
  • Abdominal complaints such as colic and vomiting.

Diabetes and corona

An important issue is a relationship between diabetes and corona. Most diabetic patients are asking: Am I at risk?

Unfortunately, diabetic patients are at high risk of catching the infection, as well as, to develop complications.

The multiple co-morbidities associating with DM, especially, type 2 have a bad effect on immunity.

Diabetics should control their blood glucose level all the time to reduce this risk.

The relationship between diabetes and corona and other infections is important because DM type 2 patients are already having other diseases.

Most probably a patient will have high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney troubles.

Methods for improving immunity and reducing the risk of infection

  • The patient should avoid stress.
  • Diabetic patients should have high self-esteem and positive thinking.
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol, and drugs.
  • Get enough vitamin C and D.
  • Sticking to a healthy lifestyle as regards food and sleep, as well as exercise.
  • They must have a good hand, teeth and urinary, as well as skin hygiene.
  • Patients should visit the physicians if having infections.

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