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Don’t let your symptoms go unchecked during the COVID-19 crisis

Hello, I’m Dr. Ralph Abraham from the London Diabetes Centre on the consultants in diabetes and endocrinology.

We’re going to talk today about being unwell and doing something about it, and not assuming that COVID-19 is the only infection around. There was before COVID-19, and then there was after COVID-19. Before COVID-19, I used to see patients who had symptoms who had leg pains or chest pains, restlessness, swollen ankles, rashes, tiredness, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and only a few complaint of coughs and a high temperature. After COVID, it’s all changed. And now that we are in the middle of a lockdown, which has affected all our lives. And as we try to see light at the end of the tunnel, we must realize that other illness has not gone away. And in fact, maybe progressing solid thing.

Most of the conditions I look after are actually silent. If you were known previously to have kidney failure, then you may not be aware of any degeneration, it has to be monitored. If you have heart failure or coronary artery disease, it must still be managed from medication or occasional testing. Doctors are aware that at this time investigation and treatment can present increased hazards, but it horrifies me to hear stories of heart attacks or decompensated diabetes that are left untreated, because of a belief that the health service is only dealing with COVID-19. These stories are clearly way off the mark. But patients must not be led to believe that other illness is not instantly treatable if needed.

Everyone must know that if you feel unwell, you can get help. Severe abdominal pain, vomiting, chest pains, back pains all wanted consultation with your GP or a doctor, even sometimes if you are fearful that it may be COVID-19 infection. The fact is that you can have illness that is not related to COVID-19 and you can be well treated for it without necessarily incurring any extra risks of getting COVID-19 infection. Now, this is particularly true if you have diabetes. So many of the symptoms of other illnesses are broadcast large and clear to a patient by an immediate deterioration of their glucose levels, and often this is the first indication that something wrong is happening.

What a fabulous alarm system it is. Do not ignore high glucose levels. They may be telling you that something is not right and it is time to consult your doctor. The doctors and nurses at the London Diabetes Centre are available for phone or video consultations or advice whenever you need it. You can contact us during working hours are over 08000483330 for an appointment or medication. Our website is

So if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, take COVID very seriously. Follow self-isolation measures implicitly and do not take risks. Remember that diabetes levels can signal problems in other organ systems. Keep washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently throughout your day. And make sure you have adequate medication and keep regular checks on blood pressure, glucose and weight. So stay healthy, eat sensibly, try an exercise and stay cool. And thank you for listening to this video.

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