Some people diagnosed with severe COVID-19 might develop diabetes, but there is not yet clear data on how common this is.
In August 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine released a study that stated COVID-19 has a bidirectional relationship with diabetes, which means diabetic people are at risk of developing COVID-19. People diagnosed with COVID-19n are also reporting new-onset diabetes.
The National Geographic reported that a global 2020 analysis led by population health researcher Thirunavukkarasu Sathish at McMaster University in Canada, found that nearly 15 percent of severe COVID-19 patients also developed diabetes. But, he admitted that “this figure is likely to be higher among high-risk individuals, prediabetes for example.”
On September 2, 2020, Nature Metabolism published a journal that stated COVID-19 patients have sudden-onset diabetes as the beta cells present in the pancreas contain a significant number of ACE2 receptors to attract the COVID-19 virus. In addition, insulin maintains blood sugar levels in the body, and its absence, causes blood sugar levels to rise at an alarming level. Thus, the infection results in reduced insulin production and increased blood sugar levels by damaging beta cells.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH), in an NIH director's blog post, confirmed that COVID-19 could attack the insulin-producing beta cells. He cited two NIH-funded independent studies that showed COVID-19 infection in the pancreatic beta cells in the autopsy samples from people who died of COVID-19. When the pancreatic beta cells are infected, insulin production decreases, resulting in a huge spike in blood sugars. This results in the individual becoming diabetic.
Some scientists state that COVID-associated diabetes could be a new form of diabetes, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes characteristics. However, scientists are unsure if these increased blood sugar levels are transient or permanent.
Thus, it can be concluded that some COVID-19 infected patients can develop diabetes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.