A recent TOI report indicates whopping 158% surge in diabetes in Indore city in last one year. Is it having any Covid connection?
Now it is well known that diabetes and Covid make a fatally dangerous combo, most Covid hospitalizations and deaths had diabetic history. Diabetes has 2 implications in Covid:
- Many medicines that are prescribed to diabetic patients enhance ACE2 receptor expression, and these receptors are binding sites for Corona virus too. Hence, people on anti-diabetic medicines end up catching infection even with a very tiny viral load.
- Most diabetics have compromised immunity and overall health; and hence, virus spread faster in them and lead to more organ damage needing hospitalization and critical care.
But this is Covid coming to diabetics, and it doesn't explain the vice-versa i.e. coming of diabetes in Covid pandemic. There could be following possible explanations:
- Viral infection in general shoots up blood sugar and bring a transient diabetic condition.
- Stringent lock-down measures imposed during pandemic house-arrested entire urban population. This population was already sedentary, and the lock-down forced them being even more. Sedentary lifestyle is one of the key cause of diabetes.
- Besides sedentary living, other key causality for diabetes is high carb or high glycemic index diet. Lock-down forced people live mostly on wheat, rice and potatoes, all high in carbohydrates.
- Stress is also a risk factor, and Covid in general enhanced stress.
Covid is still not over, vaccine is arriving, so are new mutants. And like other flue vaccines, Covid vaccine may also have only a short protection time. The realistic solution is enhancing one's own immunity and overall health.
Since this fact is now out, it's a good idea to get blood sugar tested even if you are an otherwise healthy individual without any Covid or diabetic history, and switching to a non-sedentary healthy lifestyle always remains a smart idea.