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People with Type 2 diabetes at risk of severe COVID-19 complications if infected: HMC
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People with Type 2 diabetes at risk of severe COVID-19 complications if infected: HMC

Catherine W Gichuki
Even though people with Type 2 diabetes are not necessarily at increased risk of contracting coronavirus disease (COVID-19), they are at risk of severe complications if they get infected with the disease, according to a Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) consultant.
HMC Consultant of Endocrine/Diabetes Dr Zeinab Dabbous said due to the risk of severe complications, people living with Type 2 diabetes need to control their blood sugar. 
“If you are on oral medication, take your tablets daily on time. Do not stop any medicine by yourself without doctor’s advice and make sure you have enough stock at home. If you are on insulin, take your injections regularly as prescribed by your doctor. You need to monitor your blood sugar regularly, especially if you are on insulin,” she said.
She said fasting blood sugar should be 80-130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). 
“Your blood sugar two hours after a meal should be between 90 to 180 mg/dl. If you have a persistently low blood sugar less than 70 mg/dl or high blood sugar more than 280 mg/dl, you should call 16099 extension 4 for help,” Dr Dabbous advised.
Advising about measures that one can take to stay healthy while staying at home, Dr Dabbous said one should sleep well for about seven to eight hours in a day.  
“You should also keep yourself well hydrated by drinking about eight cups of water in a day,” she said.
According to her, eating a healthy diet is important to keep blood sugar controlled as well as to get necessary vitamins. 
She said, “Stay away from sweets and eat a lot of vegetables. Eat fewer carbohydrates like rice, bread and pasta, and eat two portions of fruits a day, especially fruits that are rich in Vitamin C like oranges.”
Dr Dabbous urged people to also stay physically active by walking around the house or just doing simple exercises at home with the aim to achieve 30 minutes' exercise in a day for days in a week.
She added that Vitamin D supplement is also important for the body’s immunity, especially now that people are not getting exposed to the sun since they spend time indoors. 
Dr Dabbous, however, advised people to go out only when necessary and they should wear a mask and keep a safe distance from other people when outside.            
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