(HealthNewsDigest.com) – As though coronavirus was not dangerous enough, recent studies have shown that contracting new strains of the coronavirus can lead to the diagnosis of diabetes as well. Although we are still in the earliest phases of research and experts still don’t have any clear answers, the studies are beginning to show that new strains of the coronavirus are leading to diabetes.
Diabetes and COVID-19
Ever since COVID-19 was first being reported, the link between the virus and diabetes was clear. People who suffer from diabetes are much more likely to have severe complications from the virus. In fact, nearly 40% of patients who died from coronavirus had diabetes.
A new strain of coronavirus has only made the connection between COVID-19 and diabetes stronger. Of the patients who have been hospitalized due to the new strain of the coronavirus, as much as 14% of them have newly diagnosed diabetes. This percentage is based off of eight different studies, which involves over 3700 patients throughout the countries of Italy, China, and the United States.
To date, nearly 400 doctors from all around the globe have started talking about the relationship between COVID-19 and diabetes. This has caused a global registry. Ever since the first case was reported in August of 2020, at least 160 cases to date have been fully documented. This includes researchers preparing and analyzing the cases.
Obviously, the majority of patients who contract new strains of the coronavirus do not receive a diabetes diagnosis. Still, the minority of people who do contract the diagnosis in addition to the coronavirus warrants a lot of concern, especially due to how rapidly the coronavirus is spreading throughout the world.
Frustrations are mounting for those who live with type 1 diabetes. Matt Schmidt of Diabetes Life Solutions notes “CDC recently released their guidelines, indicating that a person with type 2 is at greater risk from Covid-19. However, many professional disagree and feel that a person with type 1 diabetes in the same amount of danger from this virus. Obviously, this is frustrating to anyone living with type 1 diabetes.”
The severity of the COVID-19 case does not predict if it will lead to diabetes, either. Some studies have shown that even asymptomatic sufferers can get diabetes as a result.
One of the first questions someone might ask is if patients who get a diabetes diagnosis after contracting the coronavirus already had symptoms or connections with diabetes. According to leading doctors charting the relationship between the two illnesses, most people were not showing any signs of developing diabetes beforehand.
Says Melissa Thompson of Diabetes 365 “Many people of the Diabetes community have not been able to complete face to face Doctor appointments. Thus, the use of tele-medicine and using Zoom have become popular ways for patients to communicate with their medical professionals.”
Experts Hypothesize About The Link
Even though research concerning the link between COVID-19 and diabetes is still in its early stages, experts hypothesize exactly why COVID-19 can lead to diabetes diagnosis down the line.
Diabetes is whenever blood sugar levels get too high. In a healthy person, blood sugar levels are controlled by insulin, which is a hormone that the pancreas makes. People with diabetes have too high blood sugar levels because their body doesn’t produce insulin, or their body doesn’t respond to it well.
Some studies are suggesting that the virus attacks insulin making cells. The new strain of coronavirus can enter cells in the pancreas, intestines, liver, and fat tissue. All these cells help to maintain sugar metabolism. If these cells and organs are compromised, people may experience too high blood sugar. As a result, they can get a diabetes diagnosis.
Even though these studies seem to imply the big connection between the new coronavirus and COVID-19, it’ll be incredibly difficult to prove that the virus is causing onset diabetes. Since a number of inflammatory states can lead to insulin resistance, it can be tough to pin down the exact cause.
Despite the difficulty of proving the connection between the two illnesses, doctors are still working tirelessly to explain the phenomenon. In the meantime, the public needs to become more aware of the potential to get diabetes, as well as symptoms of diabetes. This will help to protect the public until more answers are found.