The side effects of Covid-19 are yet to be fully seen. Recent studies have concluded that the virus may cause diabetes along with many other diseases such as pneumonia and other health problems. Although most people tend to recover fully, some are likely to develop diabetes after Covid-19.
Several research studies have concluded that the virus may infect the cells that keep diabetes in control. In light of this new knowledge, health experts are trying to understand how to stop this situation from occurring.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In 2017, almost 10.5% of the population were diagnosed with the disease. The data elicited from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention proves that at least 1.5 million Americans are identified as diabetics each year.
Out of this number, almost 1.6 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that attacks pancreatic cells which ultimately reduces insulin production. According to ABC News’ chief medical advisor Dr. Jennifer Ashton, “there is a difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.”
People who have type 1 diabetes are not producing sufficient insulin, whereas others who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes produce enough insulin, but “it is not working properly,” concludes Ashton. Studies conducted earlier had implied that Covid-19 can attack human cells, Dr. Francis Collins said.
Not only this, but research also suggested that the “dangerous virus can replicate in these insulin-producing beta cells to make more copies of itself and spread to other cells,” affirmed Dr. Collins. Studies conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine have suggested that people may contract diabetes after Covid-19.
For this purpose, autopsy samples from people who died of Covid-19 were taken and they showed the virus’s potential to not only destroy pancreatic cells but also reduce the secretion of insulin. According to experts, these cells are more vulnerable as they consist of specific materials that bind Covid-19.
If people are to contract diabetes after Covid-19, it will undoubtedly cause a plethora of significant health issues. The virus will destroy the pancreas and cause diabetes in ways that may not be rectified with medication. Since pancreatic cells are being affected, patients will form an inherent dependence on diabetes medication, including insulin, which will have adverse effects in the long run.
These recent studies serve as a warning for those infected with the virus. According to Ashton, “the key is if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and have any classic signs or symptoms of type 1 diabetes, get tested for diabetes.” Additionally, even if you have recovered from the virus, be on the lookout for any potent symptoms as the likelihood of getting diabetes after Covid-19 is high.