Kathy McFadden


The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic wants our patients with diabetes to take extra precautions during the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information call the American Diabetes Association 1 800-342-2383.

Here is why: When you have diabetes, getting COVID-19 can cause your sugar to go up too high or too low. This can make it harder for your body to fight this infection and could result in your becoming seriously ill. Let’s make sure you are prepared so that doesn’t happen. The good news is that if your diabetes is well managed, the risk of getting severely sick from COVID-19 is greatly reduced.

We’re all in this together. Don’t panic.

As we say at the Musicians’ Clinic: YOUR BODY IS AN INSTRUMENT.

Be mindful of germs:

Stay home, be safe. Practice social distancing when you leave your home. Have your food and medications delivered to lower your exposure to COVID-19; have friends or family help with shopping. Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Make sure you have a one month supply of insulin:

No need to worry, COVID-19 is NOT impacting insulin supplies. If you are struggling to pay for insulin or know someone who is, the American Diabetes Association has resources to help—visit InsulinHelp.org. Remember that you can always buy vials of NPH and regular insulin at Walmart without a prescription. If you don’t usually use NPH or regular insulin, ask about how you should adjust your dosage.

Stock up on supplies:

  • Be sure you have a thermometer.

  • Make a list of all your medicines and how much you take. Be sure to include vitamins and supplements.

  • Get extra refills on your prescriptions and diabetes supplies so you do not have to leave the house. For Type 1 diabetes this includes ketone strips and glucagon. Our NOMC team can help find a pharmacy that delivers. Call us at 415-3514.

  • Buy foods that are easy to eat or drink in case you have a poor appetite: crackers, broths, soups. Have ready both “regular” and “sugar-free”: soda, Jell-O® popsicles and sports drinks.
  • Have fast-acting carbohydrates on hand in case your blood sugar goes down too low, such as juice, honey, sugar and glucose tablets.

  • Avoid second-hand smoke from vaping, marijuana or tobacco as it compromises your lung function.


KATHY MCFADDEN, MS, RD, LD, CDE is a California-based Licensed Dietitian / Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator who has worked with individuals living with diabetes for more than 30 years. She has volunteered with the NOMC since 2010, obtaining a Louisiana license to counsel our NOMC patients and to advise our medical team on culturally-sensitive, best practices to ensure our patients thrive.