Medical researcher encourages people with diabetes to take extra precautions this flu season

November marks Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and this Saturday, Nov. 14, is World Diabetes Day.

Do you know anyone with diabetes?

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and this Saturday, Nov. 14, is World Diabetes Day.

That’s when University Health will be lighting up the Texas Diabetes Institute in blue to raise awareness.

Diabetes rates are high in San Antonio and in South Texas, and people with diabetes have been hit especially hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to University Health.

Carolina Solis-Herrera, a physician and diabetes researcher at the Texas Diabetes Institute and an assistant professor at UT Health, provides some insight on why it’s vital for people with diabetes to continue using proper safety measures, considering the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The cases are going up, unfortunately, in the state of Texas," Solis-Herrera said. " ... We have passed the 1 million mark for cases of COVID, and it’s expected that during this winter, the cases will continue to go up. Although it’s still unclear why, patients with diabetes are more prone to complications. We know that this is true and they can acquire complications in their lungs, respiratory distress, blood clots and even death. This is the reason why it’s extremely important that the patient and their loved ones enforce all possible measures to be safe and well during this winter and holiday season. "

For those who have diabetes, how can they protect themselves?

  • Use a face mask.
  • Social distance.
  • Keep up with hand-washing.
  • Be prepared with at least one month’s supply of medications, including insulin, syringes, glucose strips and batteries.
  • Monitor your temperature, especially if you’re feeling unwell.
  • Have your doctor’s information ready.
  • Take advantage of telemedicine services.

Solis-Herrera said the most important measure is continuing to wear a mask.

“We are all feeling some COVID fatigue, but it’s really important not to put your guard down," she said. "Continue to take all precautions.”

To learn more about diabetes with University Health, click here or watch the video above.