Diabetes has been flagged as a comorbidity for severe COVID-19 infection and increased risk of hospitalisation.

Type 2 diabetes has been under increased scrutiny as a lifestyle disease and while there has been increased pressure on people living with type 2 diabetes to change their lifestyles and get their blood sugar under control but, there are good news too…

READ MORE: Sophie Lichaba opens up about living with diabetes amid COVID-19 pandemic

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is when your body becomes resistant to insulin or does not produce enough insulin. Without insulin or when insulin does not work, your body cannot process glucose and it builds up in your blood triggering your pancreas to work harder and eventually wearing it down.

Other consequences of having type 2 diabetes are related to having high blood sugar which affects all the systems and organs in your body,
Although there is no hard rule determining who does and does not get type 2 diabetes, it has been linked to being overweight, an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

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You can reverse it

A study by Professor Roy Taylor at Newcastle University shows that excess fat around the liver caused problems with producing and using insulin and that if this fat was removed, it would reverse type 2 diabetes.

According to the study this can be done through a low –calorie diet and lifestyle changes over around 8 weeks.
“Many have described to me how embarking on the low-calorie diet has been the only option to prevent what they thought — or had been told — was an inevitable decline into further medication and further ill health because of their diabetes. By studying the underlying mechanisms we have been able to demonstrate the simplicity of type 2 diabetes,” says Professor Taylor.

Stabilizing your blood sugar can help reduce risk of COVID-19 complications

According to Diabetes.org, people with diabetes are more susceptible to infections of all kinds because an abnormally high blood sugar means the body and the immune systems are not functioning optimally.

Lower immunity means the body cannot fight back against infections like COVID-19 as well as it would be if the body was healthy.
When your blood sugar is normalised through medication and lifestyle changes, your risk of a severe COVID-19 infection is reduced because your blood sugar is removed as a factor.

READ MORE: 10 Ways to reduce your risk of developing type-2 diabetes

You can find out if you have diabetes almost instantly

Knowing whether you have diabetes or not is a great first step towards improving your immunity. According to Diabetes South Africa, almost half of South Africans living with type 2 diabetes don’t even know it.

This means uncontrolled blood sugar levels and increased risk of COVID-19 complications as well as other life-threatening infections.
Watch this short and cute video to find out if you are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Free blood glucose tests with immediate results are also available for non-medical aid members at selected Clicks stores during November.

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WATCH: 1-minute test to help protect you from severe COVID-19

Are you at risk of Type 2 diabetes? This 1-minute video might help

Diabetics have a 3 times higher case fatality rate when infected with COVID-19 – but the problem is that many South Africans don’t even know they have Type 2 diabetes.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.