We’re all doing our best to stay healthy right now. And while following the CDC guidelines is slowly starting to become second nature (in a dysopian kind of way at least), some of us need to take extra steps to protect ourselves from COVID-19. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the elevated blood sugar levels that come with diabetes can increase risks for respiratory and other complications. This is one reason why prevention is so important, including paying close attention to prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is higher than it should be, but not high enough to diagnose diabetes. Without heathy lifestyle changes (e.g. nutrition, fitness and well-being) prediabetes can progress into type 2 diabetes.
Elevated A1C and high blood glucose levels are associated with increased inflammation. Inflammation can suppress the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infection. Inflammation can also negatively affect blood flow, which slows the delivery of nutrients throughout the body and the immune system’s ability to send infection-fighting cells where they are needed.
Viral infections of any kind can increase inflammation. This may be especially true for COVID-19. In fact, it may be a two-way street: type 2 diabetes may make the infection worse and the infection may worsen diabetes.