Medical Advisors with Diabetes App, Klinio, Discuss New Research that Finds People who got COVID Infection Have Increased Risk for Diabetes within a Year

April 14 22:51 2022
Medical advisors with the diabetes management app, Klinio, are warning consumers of new research that found people who were infected with the COVID virus have an increased risk for getting diabetes within a year.  

The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, looked at more than 180,000 patients in the VA-health system who tested positive for COVID-19. Researchers found those who had COVID-19 were 40 percent more likely to develop diabetes, months after infection. Nearly all cases detected were for Type 2 diabetes where the body becomes more resistant or doesn’t produce enough insulin.

Dr. Braden Barnett, Medical Advisor to Klinio and practicing endocrinologist, said the research found the chances of developing diabetes rose with the severity of COVID symptoms. People who were hospitalized or admitted to intensive care had roughly triple the risk compared with control individuals who did not have COVID-19, according to the study.

“When we think of long-term COVID health effects, we think of brain fog or shortness of breath,” said Barnett. “This new research is one of the many growing studies that have shown COVID can increase a person’s risk of developing chronic conditions, such as Type-2 diabetes. This research also reinforces the expected rise of chronic conditions in the upcoming years since we already know diabetes can lead to higher blood pressure, kidney problems, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke for individuals.” 

Barnett said people with a high body-mass index, a measure of obesity — and a considerable risk factor for type 2 diabetes — had more than double the risk of developing diabetes after a SARS-CoV-2 infection, according to the research.

One in 3 Americans have prediabetes, and one in 5 Americans will have full-on diabetes by 2025, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Barnett said this new research suggests the percentage of people who will develop diabetes may be higher than originally predicted.

“If you are at risk of developing diabetes, it’s important to take action now. You should be checking your glucose and blood sugar levels now if you haven’t in the past,” said Barnett. “It is possible to manage your diabetes and if you’re in the early stages of diabetes, you can bring it under control and reverse it with diabetes management apps.”

Warning Signs of Diabetes Following COVID Virus Infection

For those who had the virus, Barnett described a few warning signs of prediabetes and diabetes.

  • Frequent Urination. One of the earliest signs of diabetes is frequent urination. When blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys release excess sugar into the blood, forcing patients to urinate more frequently – and often in larger amounts. 

  • Increased Thirst. Frequent urination from diabetes can cause the body to become more dehydrated, making people feel more thirsty.

  • Increased Hunger. People with Type 2 diabetes frequently don’t convert their food into energy, making them hungry regardless of how often they eat. This can also make people with diabetes more tired or exhausted.

  • Fatigue. A common sign of type 2 diabetes is feeling very tired. Fatigue is a result of insufficient sugar moving from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. 

  • Tingling sensation in the hands or feet. High blood sugar level affects blood circulation and people with type 2 diabetes may feel tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet. If you have felt this symptom, please contact your physician. This condition can worsen over time if a person does not get treatment for their diabetes diagnosis. 

Klinio helps patients manage their diabetes by providing healthy recipes, nutrition advice and tools to manage their glucose levels.  

The Klinio app is available to download for free on iOS and Android

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