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Covid-19 may trigger diabetes in some people

Date: 27 March 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Recent studies have shown that Covid-19 may trigger diabetes in some sections of people.

 

Details

  • Scientists identified that diabetes cases rose last year across the globe as Covid-19 cases surged. This was observed even in people who do not have family history of diabetes.

  • This forced them to launch a study dedicated to understand the cause of diabetes growth and see if there are links with specific conditions.

 

The study

  • The study reported both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in samples collected across the globe. In Type 1 diabetes, the body attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin whereas in Type 2 body still produces some insulin, which is not enough.

  • Scientists now think that the Covid-19 virus has a feature that can cause sugar metabolism to malfunction.

  • A study of hospitalised Covid-19 patients showed that 14% of those developing Covid-19 have diabetes. A similar study found about 4.9% patients developed diabetes.

 

Possible reasons

  • There is a theory that disease causing SARS-CoV-2  virus directly attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

  • There is another theory which says that virus may attack pancreas’ other part or blood vessels that supply it with oxygen and nutrients.

  • Some scientists also say that the virus attacks some other organs such as small intestine that reduces ability to break down glucose.

  • Several Covid-19 patients are treated with steroid medicines such as dexamethasone that increase blood sugar levels.

  • Viral infections can cause the stress hormones such as cortisol to increase, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise.

  • Among some patients diagnosed with diabetes, their diabetic symptoms eventually went away and their blood sugar returned to normal levels after the infection.