Patients with Covid-19 history adding to diabetes burden, say Experts

At least 25% of newly reported diabetes cases have a confirmed history of Covid-19, reveals data from OPD cases from past 2 years

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New Delhi: Covid-19 being a viral infection causes various inflammatory reactions. In people with a confirmed history of moderate to severe Covid-19, various recurring and new health ailments have been reported. These include, hypoxia, weakness, weight-loss, hair-loss, myocarditis, thyroid and diabetes (being reported as one of most common diseases). Various global studies have reported the increasing prevalence of newly diagnosed diabetes cases, having a history of Covid-19.
Basis this available insight, Doctors at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals too have studied this development and noted the same through an exhaustive internal OPD data from past two years.
Speaking about the same, Dr. Subhash Kumar Wangnoo, Senior Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist, Apollo Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi said, “Our data from OPDs of last 2 years have shown that in patients who had confirmed Covid-19 infection, nearly 25% were new onset diabetic patients, stress induced hyperglycemia was seen in 10% of patients who had Covid-19 infection. In patients of established diabetes (already diabetic) more than 60% of patients showed worsening of glycemic status, which persisted for more than 3 months.”
Diabetes in itself is a pro-inflammatory state posing a risk of an inflammatory response along with Covid-19 which leds to aggravation of blood sugar levels. Those who are known diabetic, Covid-19 caused abnormal values of blood surpass (above the normal range). Use of steroids, due to serious manifestations of Covid-19 in treatment, further worsened the glucose levels in the patients. Stress response due to acute infection like Covid, increases the blood surpass values through Hb1ac, which may be normal. This we term it as new onset of diabetes due to Covid-19.
Untreated high blood sugar from diabetes can have serious health manifestations and cause a damage to nerves, eyes, kidneys, and other organs. Studies have shown that Indians could develop diabetes 15 years prior to the western population. Some of the already existing factors that have been contributing towards a spike in the cases of diabetes are access to calorie dense food, erratic diet patterns and sedentary lifestyle.  Hence, for an early and better diagnosis patients who have been administered steroids owing to serious manifestations of Covid-19 are advised to keep a regular check on blood sugar levels post their recovery from the virus. Moreover, with an increasing incidence of diabetes it is highly recommended to live an active lifestyle with healthy eating patterns and take regular preventive health check-ups.