Research shows that acute COVID-19 cases can lead to diabetes
Two recent studies supported by the National Institutes of Health provided new insights into the link between COVID-19 and diabetes.
A research team from Stanford University and Cornell University found that the coronavirus affects the body’s insulin-producing cells, thereby increasing blood sugar levels-a sign of diabetes.
The pancreas produces insulin, which helps sugar enter the body’s cells for energy.But with Type 1 diabetes, The body will not produce any insulin, and glucose will stay in the blood, causing health problems. With type 2 diabetes, the body produces some-but not enough-insulin.
One of the studies, published in Journal of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Found that 14.4% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients developed diabetes, but did not distinguish between type 1 and type 2. The study involved more than 3,700 people.
Previous data has shown that people are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes after suffering from acute diseases such as influenza or gastroenteritis, because they cause the body’s immune system to increase the number of antibodies.
This immune system response causes the sudden loss of insulin-producing cells, leading to an increase in blood sugar, according to Ohio State University.
Early laboratory research also pointed out that COVID-19 infects beta cells, causing them to replicate and produce excessive amounts of insulin. These cells also contain virus-bound proteins to spread throughout the body.
Studies have confirmed that the virus infects insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Researchers have found that pancreatic tissue is also affected by COVID-19. The tissue containing beta cells, called pancreatic islets, is altered by the virus and eventually produces less insulin.
“The consequences of this beta cell transdifferentiation are unclear, but it is expected to exacerbate insulin deficiency and increase blood sugar levels,” According to research.
Researchers say that more work needs to be done to figure out how and why the virus enters the pancreas.
“Most importantly, this work reminds you again of the importance of protecting yourself, your family and your community from COVID-19 if you have not yet been vaccinated-and encourage your loved ones to do the same, “The study reads.
Other health complications, such as pneumonia and blood clots, are also caused by acute COVID-19 disease.
Warning signs of diabetes:
• Frequent urination
• Increased thirst when vision is blurred
• IInability to gain weight during illness
• Slow wound healing