Does Covid-19 cause onset of diabetes?
While it has been widely seen that people with diabetes are at high risk of severe Covid-19 infection, on the other hand, new onset of diabetes was observed in some of the Covid-19 patients with and without a family history. Many Covid-19 patients were prediabetic, and were unaware of it. The virus affects the functioning of vital metabolic organs and tissues, including the pancreas altering glucose metabolism that could complicate the condition of pre-existing diabetes or lead to new mechanisms of disease.
Also, the use of corticosteroids leads to high blood glucose levels not only in people with diabetes but even those without a family history. Many of the Covid-19 patients were unaware that they had diabetes. And some of the patients, who were prediabetic, developed diabetes due to long Covid conditions. It remains to be seen if the new onset of diabetes due to Covid-19 becomes lifelong.
It is encouraging that some patients return to their baseline blood sugar levels within a few weeks of recovery from Covid-19. But whether a certain percentage of the patients will become permanently diabetic remains to be seen.