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COVID-19 Hits People with Diabetes Especially Hard

Two stories are in the news this month:

  • Diabetes. November is Diabetes Awareness Month when the American Diabetes Association encourages everyone to learn more about the disease.
  • COVID-19. Yes, it’s still very much in the news, especially in Fairfax County, where the infection rate is rising faster than in any other county in Virginia.

There’s a troubling relationship between these two newsworthy items. Doctors and researchers have found people with diabetes who contract SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are at a much higher risk of serious illness and death than non-diabetics. The evidence is irrefutable: COVID-19 is much more dangerous for people with diabetes.

What’s a person with diabetes to do?

As the pandemic continues, people with diabetes should do one thing: be extra-vigilant about keeping your blood sugar under control. That’s your best course of action for helping to prevent getting very sick if you do contract the virus. Keep up with your exercise. Continue to eat a healthy diet. Take good care of yourself.

Of course, keeping your blood sugar under control is something we at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center preach to our patients every day. COVID-19 is only the newest reason to watch your A1-C levels. The old reasons still apply – you want to minimize the damage that uncontrolled blood glucose does to blood vessels and nerves all over the body.

Board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM, wants to remind you that diabetes affects the feet in two significant ways:

  • Poor circulation. Lack of blood means even the smallest cut can take a very long time to heal or may not heal at all.
  • Nerve damage causes tingling, numbness, and even a total loss of feeling. People with diabetes that have peripheral neuropathy can’t feel when they’ve injured their feet.

Even in this pandemic, people with diabetes need to perform daily foot checks and to come to our Centreville podiatry office as soon as possible with any foot problems. Visit by calling (703) 996-3000 or by making an appointment online.

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