BHOPAL: Is there anything like Covid-induced diabetes? Has many of the Coronavirus patients, who were non-diabetic before the infection, turned diabetic post-Covid? Yes, say top endocrinologists and doctors in the city even while they have reservations about calling it Covid-induced diabetes.
Doctors say there have been many cases where a non-diabetic person complained of high sugar levels after recovery. However, to call it Covid-induced diabetes would not be proper at this stage, say some doctors.
Post-Covid trauma is a condition most patients are experiencing after recovery and it is baffling the doctors. For the doctors, it is a learning curve as in most cases no two patients show a common symptom. While some report elevated blood sugar levels, others report nausea, headache, chest, abdominal, leg pain to cases of neuropathy.
A study by US doctors published in November 2020 suggests neurological manifestations occur in about 36.4% of patients infected with SARSCov-2 and span several domains within the central and peripheral nervous system.
Endocrinologist, Dr Sachin Chittawar, told TOI, “There can be three reasons for someone developing diabetes post-Covid- illness – one lack of prior awareness and testing, stress and use of steroids.
Stress one undergoes after testing Covid positive could be immense and it certainly takes a greater toll on diabetics. Blood sugar levels in such patients may get out of control. Then, there are patients who were pre-diabetic, but remained unaware that they were borderline case and use of steroids during treatment elevated sugar level in their body.
This chunk of patients includes those who had diabetes for some time and was not diagnosed at the time of Covid infection. Then, there can be some patients who developed diabetes due to the impact of Coronavirus. “
Hepatologist, Dr Sachin Gupta said “Post-Covid diabetes is a phenomenon mostly found among patients who were administered steroids during treatment. As far as studies related to Covid-19 and its impact on human organs goes, including some post mortems of Covid patients done at AIIMS Bhopal, pancreas was not found affected. It is better to call it stress-induced diabetes instead of Covid-induced diabetes.”
“Post-Covid diabetes in many cases is like “accidental finding”, which you can have when you go for cataract operation and the surgeon asks to get your sugar checked and you find, you have diabetes. But, in most cases we started with insulin and then prescribed medicines for sugar control and all the patients responded very well.
And, you must take note that most patients who developed black fungus post-Covid, were also diabetic.” Likewise, Dr Anil Barta, senior physician, said lot more patients are turning up with post-Covid complications. “Sugar levels go up due to use of steroids during treatment which is necessary and stress. These are however temporary and can be managed in about two to three months.” Similarly, we are getting lot of post-Covid patients with conditions of clotting and stroke, said Dr Batra.