Coronavirus: specific advice for people living with diabetes

Web Resource Last Updated: 27-04-2022

To avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus

Having Diabetes does NOT mean you are more likely to catch Coronavirus.  However, if you do catch Coronaviruses, it can cause more severe symptoms and complications in people with diabetes. More severe symptoms are also likely in older people, and those with other long-term conditions such as cancer or chronic lung disease.

Stay up to date on government & nhs Information visit the following links; 

NHS Inform has good general information on Coronavirus.

Specific information for people with diabetes can be found:

1.                   From Diabetes UK: 

You should still continue to:
·         wear a face covering if you are doing essential shopping
·         clean hands and surfaces regularly
·         stay 2m away from other people
·         self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

If your GP is closed, phone NHS 24 (111). In addition, it is now recommended that all individuals living in the same household as a symptomatic person should self-isolate for 14 days (household isolation). Information on COVID-19, including “stay at home” advice for people who are self-isolating and their households, can be found on NHS Inform.

If you have diabetes and start to feel unwell you need to follow the sick day rules for type 1 or type 2 and check your blood glucose frequently.

Other TIPS to keep safe and well

If you have type 1 diabetes

  • Ensure you have enough glucose and ketone testing equipment
  • Be aware of you sick day rules provided by your diabetes educator team
  • Make sure you have a good stock of insulin pens, needles and any other medications you are prescribed
  • Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks and eat little and often
  • If you are an insulin pump user you should have insulin pens as a backup and a good supply of insulin pump consumables
  • Make sure your diabetes technical device  (insulin pump /continuous glucose monitor/Freestyle Libre device is in good working order and if you have any concerns phone the company who supplies your device directly to troubleshoot and arrange a replacement if necessary.

If you have type 2 diabetes

  • Ensure you have enough glucose testing equipment and if appropriate ketone testing strips (this might be if you have had your diabetes for a long time or have had ketones in the past). Ketones are uncommon in type 2 but remain a risk if glucose is high for a significant time &/or during illness. 
  • Make sure you have a good stock of your medications, orals tablets &/or injectable therapies. 
  • Be aware of you sick day rules provided by your diabetes educator team
  • Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks and eat little and often 


Screening Tests:

Your screening tests for;

•             Blood Pressure

•             Kidneys

•             Cholesterol

•             Foot examination

•             Eyes

may have been delayed as a result of lockdown restrictions, but please alert your GP or hospital team if you have any immediate concerns, such as a sudden change in vision, or a foot infection or ulcer.

A combination of short days and the current coronavirus restrictions can take its toll on mental health. Here are some tips to combat anxiety, loneliness and low mood: 

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