Can COVID-19 Trigger Diabetes? New Study Reveals The Truth

By The Captain July 6, 2020

Wellness Captain Can COVID-19 Trigger Diabetes? New Study Reveals The Truth

COVID-19 Trigger Diabetes?

We already know that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is particularly dangerous for those already diagnosed with long-term illnesses, including diabetes.

But can COVID-19 trigger diabetes? A new letter written by multiple experts claims this might be a possibility.

So what is the real connection between COVID-19 and diabetes? Today, we’ll explore the latest studies that begin to reveal the truth about the virus that sparked a pandemic.


Diabetes and COVID-19: a strong bond

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, there is a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and COVID-19.

Firstly, people already suffering from diabetes can experience severe symptoms caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The risk for complications is therefore higher, as well as the fatality rate.

However, scientists recently discovered the other possibility, of a ‘new-onset diabetes and severe metabolic complications of preexisting diabetes, including diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperosmolarity for which exceptionally high doses of insulin are warranted, have been observed in patients with COVID-19.’


Does COVID-19 trigger diabetes?

Since the publication of the letter in New England Journal of Medicine, many people panicked thinking the virus triggers type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

I will let the experts clarify that this is not the case for everyone infected with COVID-19!

Dr. David Nathan, the director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains that ‘There are several viruses that have been implicated directly with the full onset of type 1 diabetes.

There’s a seasonality to type 1 diabetes. The everyday flu is most commonly associated with the onset of type 1 diabetes, but research has shown the disease was developing long before the symptoms develop.’

Simply said, some patients who arrived at the hospital due to COVID-19 might have already had type 1 diabetes without knowing yet. For others, the new coronavirus might’ve worked as a trigger only because they were already prone to diabetes.


Think you may have diabetes? Here are 6 signs few people recognize


Debates on type 2 diabetes

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, things are even blurrier. As Dr. Nathan explains, it’s very difficult to determine how it’s linked to COVID-19 because there are so many variable factors that trigger the illness: stress, unhealthy diets, smoking, alcohol and other lifestyle choices.

For example, ‘The stress associated with COVID-19 is pretty profound and people are pretty damn sick by the time they’re being hospitalized,” said Nathan. “And then many are intubated, which means they also end up on tubed-feeding.’

This type of physical trauma can easily lead to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, hence the type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

In such cases, hyperglycemia corrects itself as the body recovers from trauma. Other patients may become one of the 7.3 million U.S. residents with undiagnosed diabetes.


What is your journey on diabetes? How are you managing this illness in these difficult times? Please let us know in the comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

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