Don’t Fall into the Diabetic COVID-19 Vacuity Repletion Trap

By Andrea Ramey MT, MD

Diabetes is a condition caused by too much sugar in the bloodstream. The major types of diabetes are:

  • Type 1, in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.
  • Type 2, which is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. Obesity is a common factor that leads to an insufficient production or absorption of insulin, which impedes transportation of glucose into all of the body’s cells.
  • Gestational, which generally begins during pregnancy and may or may not resolve after the mother has given birth. The added weight gain in pregnancy leads to inadequate insulin production by the pancreas, which leads to high blood sugar levels; also referred to as hyperglycemia.

COVID-19 Related Medical Conditions

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes a respiratory distress syndrome that presents with a variety of symptoms depending on the health of the individual. Symptoms may range from runny nose and sneezing to a severe cough and headache. Common medical conditions exacerbated by COVID-19 include, but are not limited to anxiety, asthma, multiple types of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Comorbid COVID-19 medical conditions present a risk and are generally managed by a variety of treatment and management plans offered by a healthcare provider.

The Links Between COVID-19 and Diabetes

Based on findings from the American Diabetes Association, those with gestational and type 1 diabetes are more likely to contract mild to moderate respiratory distress syndrome in response to infection with COVID-19. Research has shown that individuals with type 2 diabetes, however, are likely to develop moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 due to other associated medical condition, and indicate that the associated heart disease, obesity, and chronic renal failure frequently leads to a downward spiral.

‘The Diabetic COVID-19 Vacuity Repletion Trap’

The development of a respiratory disease like COVID-19, combined with the insulin deficiency related to type 2 diabetes, leads to a ‘vacuity repletion trap’ in individuals with poor lifestyle and dietary habits. Overindulgence in unwholesome foods and exhaustion causes energy imbalances and exacerbation of preexisting diseases.

Vacuity Pattern: Weakness, Excess sweating, Pale complexion, Anemia ↓ Repletion Pattern: Productive cough, Lung Congestion, High blood pressure, Dark circles around the eyes ↓ Over indulging in unwholesome foods and exhaustion cause energy imbalances and exacerbation of preexisting diseases. ↓ Vacuity Repletion Trap

Diabetes, COVID-19, and Festivities: What You Need to Know to Avoid Falling into the Trap

Have a Meal Plan

Eat regularly scheduled, balanced meals at the normal time. Eating outside of the meal plan designed by a healthcare practitioner may lead to the development of high blood sugar levels. Avoid carbohydrate rich snacks by replacing them with nuts and grains. Bring a healthy dish to dinner parties to make sure there is a completely prepared well-balanced dish.

Beware of the Buffet

Approach the buffet with caution. Avoid or limit alcohol consumption; especially before going to the buffet. Try using a dessert size plate to ensure a small portion of food, and only make one trip to the buffet to ward off over indulging in deliciously unhealthy foods. Eat slowly and take small bites; the same plate of food will last longer.

Taper Temptations

Create a reward system with a favorite treat that fits into your meal plan. Try to avoid carbohydrate rich foods. Fruit-, nut-, and grain-based sweets that are low sugar and gluten free, are a wonderful delight.

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

Consider exercise one of the keys to success. Increase normal activity by incorporating exercise into a routine that is beneficial and well balanced. Some effective ways to reduce stress and keep the waistline down are: try parking at the back of the parking lot; take the stairs, with caution, and start slow if necessary; and a walk after dinner is a wonderful way to reduce stress and avoid unhealthy weight gain.

A Satisfying Slumber Keeps the Mind and Body Synchronized

Maintain your sleep schedule. A healthy sleep keeps the mind and body in harmony. Seven to eight hours of sleep a night are beneficial and lead to a productive day. Sleep that is disrupted, or having trouble falling asleep, may indicate signs of a deeper problem. A good night’s sleep has been proven to reduce stress and create balance throughout the day.

Make a Low Carb, Heart-Healthy Plate to Keep the Spirits Bright

Plan to make a healthy plate for social engagements. A night out on the town does not have to lead to high blood sugar levels the next morning. Try following these healthy eating tips proposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Use a small dinner plate or a dessert size plate to prevent overeating.
  • Half of the plate should have vegetables such as leafy green lettuces, kale, collards, mustard greens, and spinach. Try to also include colorful vegetables such as bell peppers and carrots.
  • One fourth of the plate should have proteins in the form of beans, meats, and soy. Black and white beans are very nutritious; fish, beef and chicken are hearty meats; and tofu is easily prepared in a variety of ways.
  • One fourth of the plate should have healthy carbohydrates. Rice, pasta, potatoes, and yogurt, for example, are savory complements to a meal. Try to avoid pastries and keep sweets to a minimum.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2022, Diabetes and COVID19
  2. American Diabetes Association, How COVID19 Impacts People with Diabetes
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 14, 2020, 5 Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 11, 2021, Diabetes Meal Plan
  5. GOV, January 27, 2022, COVID19 and Diabetes, Singh, A.K.; Khunti, K., August 11, 2021, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 17, 2021, COVID19 and Chronic Disease-The Impact New and in the Future; Hacker, K., Briss, P., Richardson, L., Wright J., Peterson R.; The Problem of COVID19 and Chronic Disease-Preventing Chronic Disease, Part of the Advancing Health Equity, Eliminating, Health Disparities and Improving Population; Health Collection
  7. WebMD, Common Diabetic Meds Tied to COVID19 Complications, Thompson, Dennis

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Andrea Ramey

Andrea Ramey is an educator and healthcare provider with more than twenty years of experience. She enjoys providing students with the necessary skills for success. Her interests in noninvasive healthcare, minimally invasive medical procedures, and integrative therapies have inspired her to study acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and massage therapy. She is passionate about passing on the practical as well as intellectual knowledge she has gained over her lifetime. She believes a healthy body means a healthy mind.

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