Experts say the reason is still unknown.
London: A team of international medical experts warned that the novel Covid-19 that broke out in China may trigger diabetes in previously healthy patients. New cases of increased blood sugar condition are observed in Covid positive patients, upon repeated diagnosis. A group of 17 medical experts and clinicians released this news in a public newsletter. They added that the reason behind the problem of why Covid-19 virus triggers diabetes is still unknown.
Previous researches on Covid-19 virus pointed out a protein called ACE-2. The virus bind itself with the human body through this protein. Studies showed that this protein is not only present in the lungs but also in various organs of our body that involves glucose metabolism. They are organs like pancreas, kidney, liver and small intestine. Scientists believe that, although not proved, if the virus attaches to these organs, it may then cause multiple dysfunctions of glucose metabolism. In some cases, this may be the starting of diabetes. Experts say, this could be the best explanation for the Covid-19 virus that triggers diabetes problem.
The medical experts who worked on this problem published their studies in The New England Journal of Medicine. They stated in their article that they had started a project, which they called ‘CoviDiab Registry Project’. It is a global registry of new cases of Diabetes in patients with Covid positive confirmation. “We are of course trying to understand what situation is behind the observations”, said Francesco Rubino. He is a Professor of Metabolic surgery at King’s College London. He is also one of the co-authors of the paper and founder of the registry.
The situation of increased risk for patients already having diabetes who had Covid infection is already a known fact to the world. Approximately 25 per cent of the people who have died of Covid infection had also high blood sugar condition. Prof Rubino said: “Diabetes is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases and we are now realizing the consequences of the inevitable clash between two pandemics. Given the short period of human contact with this new corona virus, the exact mechanism by which the virus influences glucose metabolism is still unclear. Also, we do not know whether the acute manifestation of diabetes in these patients represents classic type-1, type-2 or possibly a new form of diabetes”, Prof Rubino added.
In the meantime, some experts insisted caution over the seeming correlation between Covid infection and Diabetes condition. Dr Riyaz Patel, Associate Professor of Cardiology at University College London Hospital, said he was wary of what was currently only an observational evidence of a link. He said: “The data may be confounded for a few reasons. For example, we know that any stress-inducing illness can cause blood sugar levels to temporarily rise and we see this for example with heart attacks.” He added: “Also, people who are more likely to get very sick with Covid may be at risk of developing diabetes anyway, perhaps because they are overweight”.
People have to wait until an official explanation of why Covid-19 virus triggers diabetes, but what it does not need to wait is caution. A healthy diet and regular exercise are two factors those can control the blood sugar level rise or eventually, a cardiac arrest in the case of Covid infection.