November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and while the holidays are all about getting closer to family, Mississippians with diabetes must be extra mindful of social distancing and wearing a mask.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes has been an underlying condition for approximately 4 in 10 COVID-19 patients, with the disease present in approximately half of those under 65 who have died from the disease.
This makes diabetes self-care more important than ever, said Dr. Lillian Lien, director of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s endocrinology division, adding that insulin needs can spike unexpectedly during a COVID infection.
“While good blood glucose control has always mattered, the pandemic brings extra motivation," she said. “We are seeing that patients with both diabetes and COVID-19 experience longer and more difficult hospital stays and a higher risk of death.”
That’s why the work of the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi (DFM) is especially important now, said Lien, who sits on the board of directors. “It ensures that Mississippians with diabetes can access what they need to take the best care of themselves.”
Indeed, we at the DFM want all Mississippians with diabetes, type 1 or type 2, to know that we are here to teach you to how to live with diabetes, support you in times of crisis and be an emergency resource when you don’t know where to turn. Although we may be gathering virtually or socially distanced this Thanksgiving, we can toast the fact that a vaccine seems to be in sight!
For more information, please visit msdiabetes.org or call the DFM at (601) 957-7878.
Ben Seale, MD, President
Board of Directors, Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi