Covid update: Does a COVID-19 increase the risk of type 2 diabetes? New study weighs in

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There is growing evidence to suggest that Covid might cause diabetes in some people or make the condition worse for others. A new study sheds some light on this potential theory.

In a study reported in the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications, found a high percentage of patients with severe Covid develop diabetes while hospitalised.

Researchers studied 594 patients who showed signs of diabetes while hospitalised.

This included 78 with no previous diagnosis of diabetes.

Compared to patients with pre-existing diabetes, many of the newly diagnosed patients had less severe blood sugar issues but more serious Covid-19.

The study found that 40 percent of the newly diagnosed patients had gone back to blood sugar levels.

Researchers hypothesised that patients with severe COVID-19 who develop diabetes while hospitalised may have only a temporary form of the disease and their blood sugar levels may return to normal afterward.

“This suggests to us that newly diagnosed diabetes may be a transitory condition related to the acute stress of Covid-19 infection,” study co-author Doctor Sara Cromer of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston said in a statement.

“Our results suggest that insulin deficiency, if it occurs at all, is generally not permanent.

“These patients may only need insulin or other medications for a short time, and it’s therefore critical that physicians closely follow them to see if and when their conditions improve.”

What is the link?

Inflammation inside the body caused by Covid is known to bring about insulin resistance, , a feature of type 2 diabetes, which means the body isn’t able to make proper use of the insulin it’s producing.

A Covid infection also uses a protein found on the surface of some cells, called ACE-2, to enter and infect them.

ACE-2 is found in the pancreas and there’s some evidence that this makes it vulnerable to coronavirus infection.

Blood sugar levels in some people with Covid rise due to the stress the body is under when trying to fight the infection, or because of some of the drugs used to treat it, said Diabetes UK.

The health site continued that it was unsure if high blood sugar levels in people with Covid return to normal after they have fully recovered.

But we don’t yet know if, or when, high blood sugar levels in people with coronavirus return to normal after they have fully recovered.

According to charity: “This could be related to the effects of coronavirus on the body, or the effect of lifestyle changes due to the pandemic, speeding up a type 2 diabetes diagnosis or bringing existing type 2 to light.”

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