Just writing to you to let you know…
Yes, I have Covid 19. My whole family does. I hope I will recover soon and be back up to writing and posting at full capacity.
I just wanted to let you all know. Please stay safe out there. Covid 19 is rough on you. It makes you feel really bad. Prayers for all who have lost someone to it. Prayers for those who are fighting it.
Thank you all,
And I shall see you on this side of the rainbow 🌈.
Health data is showing that about 25% of people who go to the hospital with severe COVID-19 infections have diabetes. One reason is that high blood sugar weakens the immune system and makes it less able to fight off infections. Your risk of severe coronavirus infection is even higher if you also have another condition, like heart or lung disease.
If you do get COVID-19, the infection could also put you at greater risk for diabetes complications like diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, which happens when high levels of acids called ketones build up in your blood.
Some people who catch the new coronavirus have a dangerous body-wide response to it, called sepsis. To treat sepsis, doctors need to manage your body’s fluid and electrolyte levels. DKA causes you to lose electrolytes, which can make sepsis harder to control.
How to avoid COVID-19
The best way to avoid getting sick is to stay home as much as you can. If you have to go out, keep at least 6 feet away from other people. And every time you come back from the supermarket, pharmacy or another public place, wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
Also wash your hands before you give yourself a finger stick or insulin shot. Clean each site first with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
To protect you, everyone in your house should wash their hands often, especially before they cook for the family. Don’t share any utensils or other personal items. And if anyone in your house is sick, they should stay in their own room, as far as possible from you.
If you get sick
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a dry cough, fever or shortness of breath. If you develop any symptoms that are concerning, call your doctor about getting tested.
If you find that you have contracted COVID-19, the first level of care is to stay home and check your blood sugar more often than usual and check your ketones, too. COVID-19 can reduce your appetite and cause you to eat less, which could affect your levels. You also need more fluids than usual when you’re sick, so keep water close by and drink it often.
You should also know that many over-the-counter medicines that relieve virus symptoms like fever or cough can affect your blood sugar levels one way or the other. So before you take anything, check with your doctor.
And be aware that if you start experiencing severe shortness of breath, high levels of ketones or DKA symptoms like severe weakness, body aches, vomiting or belly pain, you need to see your doctor or get to an emergency room right away.
What to Know About Diabetes, Blood Pressure Meds and COVID-19
- The concern began after a study in The LancetTrusted Source stated that ibuprofen boosts the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which may facilitate and worsen COVID-19.
- The World Health Organization warned most patients to stick with acetaminophen. Now they say they do not advise against using ibuprofen.
- Most cardiologists advise patients to stay on their medications.
Could people on certain medications for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes be at risk for experiencing COVID-19 more severely?
The question raises more concerns about which medications may make COVID-19 worse in some people. It follows reports that ibuprofen could do more harm than good in patients with COVID-19.CORONAVIRUS UPDATESStay on top of the COVID-19 outbreak
The concern began after a study in The LancetTrusted Source stated that ibuprofen boosts the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which may facilitate and worsen COVID-19.
As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) originally warned most patients to stick with acetaminophen, which is also known as paracetamol. Now they say they do not advise against using ibuprofen.
The study explained that COVID-19 binds to ACE2 in order to target cells. Patients likely have increased ACE2 expression if they’re treated with ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II type I receptor blockers (ARBs) and thiazolidinediones. Those drugs are commonly taken by those with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Ibuprofen can also increase ACE2, the study noted.
Cardiovascular, diabetes drugs in question as well
While media reports focused on ibuprofen, many did not highlight the other drug warnings in the journal article.
“We therefore hypothesize that diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension treatment with ACE2-stimulating drugs increases the risk of developing severe and fatal COVID-19,” the authors wrote. They said patients with cardiac diseases, hypertension, or diabetes who use drugs that increase ACE2 could be at higher risk for severe COVID-19 and, therefore, should be monitored.
In a separate article, lead author Dr. Michael Roth-Chiarello, who heads up a pulmonary cell research unit at the University Hospital of Basel in Switzerland, said that there needs to be more research into the use of ACE inhibitors in those with COVID-19. He did not respond to a request for comment.
Doctors: Evidence lacking
So, are patients on some hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes drugs at risk for more severe COVID-19?
This speculation about the safety of ACE or ARB treatment in relation to COVID-19 “does not have a sound scientific basis or evidence to support it,” Jared Van Hooser, assistant professor in the department of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and a clinical pharmacist at St. Luke’s Mount Royal Medical Clinic, told Healthline.
“Should people be aware that there is a possibility COVID-19 could be more severe in those with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes? Yes, they should be aware, but the research is not definitive,” Van Hooser said.
The Council on Hypertension of the European Society of Cardiology has stated there’s a lack of any evidence supporting harmful effects of ACE and ARB with regard to COVID-19.
“[We] strongly recommend that physicians and patients should continue treatment with their usual antihypertensive therapy because there is no clinical or scientific evidence to suggest that treatment with ACEi or ARBs should be discontinued because of the COVID-19 infection,” the organization said in a statement.
Further research is needed to evaluate interactions between ACE inhibitor drugs and the virus that causes COVID-19. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has expressed support for further research in this area.
“There have been worse COVID-19 in patients on treatment for some chronic diseases like hypertension, but it’s impossible right now to separate whether this is due to the underlying disease versus the drugs being used,” explained Dr. Otto O. Yang, a professor of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, told Healthline.
Rory Remmel, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, cited the BMJ report that said patients taking lisinopril or angiotensin receptor blocking agents such as losartan could have increased ACE2 Trusted Source in the lungs. ACE2, the study authors noted, could make COVID-19 worse.
But there’s a flip side.
“Interestingly, losartan is one of the medically approved drugs that is being tested for treatment of COVID-19 on the theory that it will block viral entry,” he told Healthline. The virus binds to ACE2, but losartan blocks ACE2 from entering cells — making it a potential therapy.
Dr. James Louis Januzzi, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said people need to be careful about getting medical advice from anyone other than their own doctors.
“Don’t believe the misinformation that is going on out there,” he said. “Everyone is scared and wants to provide rapid, useful information to people.”
“Unless and until prospective randomized data are available, people should not assume anything they read is true, and they should speak to their physician if they have questions,” Januzzi added.
Stay on your meds, doctors warn
Most cardiologists — including the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and Heart Failure Society of America — advise patients to stay on their medications.
“People should not stop taking their medications unless directed by a healthcare professional,” Van Hooser said. “We want to avoid a knee-jerk reaction to something that does not have evidence or very limited evidence.”
Concerned about taking these medications and getting COVID-19? Dr. Michael Miller, a cardiologist, and professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said to stay on your medications and talk to your doctor about concerns.
“We are not recommending that our patients stop taking these medications,” he told Healthline.
The only way a doctor would recommend stopping the medication is if the patient has complications from COVID-19, Miller said.
“However, if they develop COVID-19 and have complications that result in significant hypotension, ACE inhibitors will almost invariably be temporarily discontinued,” he noted.
Stay on your medications, Januzzi echoed.
“It actually could be harmful to stop these meds abruptly,” Januzzi said. “To be explicitly clear, we have no good, prospective comparative data to suggest taking drugs like ACE inhibitors is harmful or beneficial relative to COVID-19 infection.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a seemingly endless list of tips to follow to stay safe, but there are just as many mistruths and myths about coronavirus out there. Washing one’s hands and limiting contact with as many people as possible (AKA social distancing) are still the best ways to both stay healthy and not spread the virus. But a stubborn amount of misinformation is spreading just as fast as COVID-19 itself.
To help you stay educated, the World Health Organization (WHO) and numerous other reputable medical institutions, such as Johns Hopkins Medicine, are debunking the myths surrounding COVID-19. Here are the 15 biggest ones you need to stop believing.
1Myth: There’s a coronavirus vaccine out there.
There is no vaccine for the coronavirus currently available. According to the experts at Johns Hopkins: “There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings will take many months.”
How long exactly? According to Anthony Fauci, MD, the head of National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, 12 to 18 months. Fauci said in an Instagram Live interview with NBA star Steph Curry that the first phase of vaccine testing takes three to four months and the second takes eight months, totaling a year to a year and a half.
“The first thing you’ve got to do is make sure it’s safe. When you find out it’s safe and that it induces the kind of response you want it to, then you do it in a lot of people,” Fauci said. “The first trial is, like, 45 people. Then you go into hundreds, if not thousands, of people. That’s what takes the extra eight months… If we really push, we hope that we will know by the time we get into next winter whether or not we have something that works.”
2Myth: COVID-19 was deliberately created and released by people.
As those at Johns Hopkins plainly state, this myth is 100-percent false. “Viruses can change over time,” the experts continue. “Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat, or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be.”
3Myth: If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you don’t have coronavirus.
Despite what you may have seen on social media, being able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without coughing or feeling discomfort does not mean you don’t have COVID-19 or any other lung disease.
According to WHO, “The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test. You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.”
4Myth: Ordering products from China could give you COVID-19.
COVID-19 is mainly spread through liquid droplets. So while it’s technically possible that a product ordered from China could house a virus-infected bit of liquid, the odds of that happening are almost impossible.
“I don’t think we need to get completely obsessed about packages that come in, because those types of surfaces… the virus might live there for a very short time,” Fauci told Trevor Noah on the Mar. 26 episode of Noah’s at-home The Daily Show. “But people say, ‘Should I get a package from a grocery store that says, “Made in China”?’ I wouldn’t worry about that. That’s not the issue.”
5Myth: A change in temperature can kill coronavirus.
According to WHO, “There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases.” And they also note, “you can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is.”
“The virology of COVID-19 does not diminish in warm temperatures,” Rocio Salas-Whalen, MD, of New York Endocrinology previously told Best Life. “Although the virus may have a seasonal cycle, it is not reasonable to expect a huge decline in transmission due to warmer weather alone. We see the largest decrease in infections when people refrain from being in locations with poor ventilation and/or large crowds.”
6Myth: Taking a hot bath will protect you against coronavirus.
There may be relaxing benefits to a hot bath, but it won’t keep you from contracting coronavirus. “Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19,” WHO asserts. “Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower.”
7Myth: Mosquitoes can pass coronavirus from person to person.
There is no evidence to suggest that coronavirus can spread via mosquitoes, according to WHO. “The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose,” the experts note.
8Myth: Bleach, silver solution, and garlic can protect you from coronavirus.
There are a ton of scams that have arisen in the past few weeks, leading to a flurry of complaints from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There have been false claims that drinkable silver, gargling with bleach, and garlic soup can help you avoid COVID-19. Long story short, if something sounds too good to be true, then it almost certainly is. Washing your hands and limiting contact with others are still the best ways to avoid getting sick.
9Myth: Drinking alcohol can prevent you from contracting COVID-19.
Some people believe that drinking alcohol will prevent them from contracting coronavirus—so many, in fact, that WHO had to address it and debunk the myth.
It turns out, the opposite is actually true. Paul Sasha Nestadt, MD, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Anxiety Disorders Clinic, told Global Health Now, “There are risk factors with isolation, the lack of a schedule, and if alcohol is just there in the house with you. People with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are also at higher risk when stressed.”
10Myth: Aiming a blow dryer up your nose can cure you of coronavirus.
There are some people who believe that aiming a hairdryer up your nose will cure you from COVID-19. In fact, Florida politician Bryant Culpepper went so far as to brag about his background as a paramedic as he publicly promoted this “cure” that he saw “one of the foremost doctors who has studied the coronavirus” reveal on cable TV. The belief is that the hot air travels up into your nostrils and kills the contagion. But, as you likely already assumed, this “cure” is just a bunch of hot hair. Hairdryers are good for drying hair, not curing or preventing coronavirus.
11Myth: Hand dryers kill COVID-19.
Just like hairdryers don’t kill COVID-19, hand dryers don’t either. WHO plainly states: “Hand dryers are not effective in killing the 2019-nCoV.” Washing your hands regularly, however, is a definite must. And if you want to know how to wash your hands effectively, check out The Best Way to Wash Your Hands to Prevent Getting Sick.
12Myth: Drinking lots of water will help you avoid COVID-19.
Drinking lots of water through the course of the day is good for you, but will it help you avoid coronavirus? Nope. A frequently shared meme on Facebook, Twitter, and on text cites an unnamed Japanese doctor who claims drinking water every 15 minutes washes any virus down the esophagus so it can’t get into your lungs. Turns out, this isn’t true at all. Sure, it’s good to hydrate, but it won’t keep the COVID-19 contagion away.
13Myth: Essential oils and herbal supplements are effective ways to fight coronavirus.
Nope, essential oils do not prevent coronavirus either. But that hasn’t stopped a few companies from trying to sell their products as such. The FDA called out Idaho-based company Herbal Amy for selling “unapproved and misbranded products related to coronavirus disease.” Whether it’s traditional Chinese herbs or CBD/hemp related supplements, there is currently zero evidence that herb consumption will do anything to fight or cure COVID-19
14Myth: UV disinfection lamps can kill coronavirus.
Again, WHO warns, this is yet another coronavirus myth. “UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation,” they note.
15Myth: Malaria drugs can cure COVID-19.
“To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus,” WHO says plainly. Sadly, a man in his 60s in Arizona died after self-medicating with chloroquine phosphate in an apparent attempt to cure himself from the novel coronavirus. He and his wife reportedly ingested the household chemical, which is commonly used to clean fish tanks, in late March amid reports that hydroxychloroquine—which is approved by the FDA for treating malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis—can cure coronavirus.
Responding to the incident, Daniel Brooks, MD, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director, said in a statement, “We understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus. But self-medicating is not the way to do so.”
Similarly, Fauci told Noah that “there is no proven, safe, and effective direct therapy for coronavirus disease.” And though some clinical trials are underway, it’ll be months before anything is proven.
Additional reporting by Alex Daniel.