Coronavirus (Covid-19) – advice for people living with diabetes

IDDT Office is open
The IDDT Office is open between 9.30am and 3.30pm with social distancing in place and some of our staff still at home. 

We are here to help by answering the telephone on 01604 622837 and of course you can email on [email protected] or you can write to IDDT at PO Box 294, Northampton NN1 4XS. If you would like to receive our booklets or we can help, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Up to date information on government changes and advice can be found at the following website:

Although some rules have changed, STAY AT HOME where possible is still what we should all aim to do, except for NHS and Social Care staff and other essential workers. IDDT would like to express our gratitude to all these people who are helping to keep us all safe and well.

Other illnesses
The Government is advising that it is important that if you have signs or symptoms of concern not associated with Covid-19 that you get these checked out by contacting your GP or A&E.

How coronavirus is spread
Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is a new illness, although more information about coronavirus spreads from person to person, it is not known exactly how this happens but similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you have had to go out for essential shopping or for essential work, always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth especially if your hands are not clean.

Self-isolation if you have coronavirus symptoms
Stay at home in isolation for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss or change in taste and/or smell.

If you live within a family unit, other members of the family must stay in isolation for 14 days.
To protect yourself and others, do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do NOT need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Use the 111 coronavirus service  Link

Advice on coronavirus for people living with diabetes
Coronaviruse can cause more severe symptoms and complications in people with underlying or pre-existing conditions such as diabetes. It can also be more severe in older people and those with other long-term conditions.

If you have diabetes and you have symptoms such as a cough, high temperature, loss of taste and smell and feeling short of breath, you need to continue taking your medication and call the NHS 111, your practice nurse or diabetes team. For those who routinely monitor their blood glucose, they should continue to do this more often.

If you have diabetes and you become unwell for any reason, it’s important that you follow ‘sick day rules’

  • Contact your GP, practice nurse or diabetes team, who will help you if you have any queries or if you are unsure about what to do. Follow their advice your medication and insulin if you feel unwell.
  • If you routinely check your blood sugar at home, you may need to do it more often. If you have Type 1 diabetes, check your blood sugar at least every four hours, including during the night, and check your ketones if your blood sugar level is high. If ketones are present, contact your diabetes team.
  • If you don’t test your blood sugar levels at home, be aware of the signs of high blood sugars (hyperglycaemia). These include passing more urine than normal, especially at night, being very thirsty, headaches, tiredness and lethargy. If you have symptoms of high blood sugars, contact your GP.
  • Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks and eat little and often.
  • Keep eating or drinking – if you can’t keep food down, try snacks or drinks with carbohydrates in to give you energy. Try to sip sugary drinks or suck on glucose tablets or sweets like jelly beans. If you’re vomiting, or not able to keep fluids down, get medical help as soon as possible.

Routine appointments
GP practices, hospitals or diabetes teams are letting people know what to do about routine appointments, many of which are being cancelled.

Stay safe and stay at home where possible

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