This is about the month of September last year. Vipul Shah, who was battling a severe infection of Kovid-19, was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai for 11 days. 47-year-old Vipul did not already have diabetes, so doctors gave him steroids to treat corona infection.
Due to the infection of coronavirus, there is swelling in the lungs, which doctors use steroids to reduce. Through this, the person can also be saved to some extent from the damage caused to the immune system fighting the virus in the body.
But the use of steroids reduces the immunity of the body. Apart from people with diabetes, it can increase the amount of sugar in the blood of common Kovid-19 patients.
It has been a year since Vipul recovered from corona infection, but he is still taking medicines to control his blood sugar.
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Vipul Shah, a stock trader by profession, says, “I know many people who, like me, are taking medicines to control diabetes after recovering from COVID-19.”
- diabetes in india
One out of every six people in the world suffering from diabetes is in India. According to an estimate, there are 77 million diabetic patients in India and in this case India is second only to China. In China, 116 million people are victims of this disease.
Doctors say that there could be thousands of people in whom this disease has not been detected yet.
A person has diabetes when the pancreas of the body does not make the necessary amount of insulin to eliminate the glucose (sugar) present in the blood, or the body is not able to use insulin properly. Due to this, the amount of glucose in the blood increases, due to which serious danger arises. Due to this, kidney, eyes or heart can be damaged.
Diabetes is one of those diseases due to which Covid-19 can take a severe form in corona virus infected patients. Apart from this, obesity, high blood pressure and day and lung disease can also be at risk of severe Covid-19.
Now doctors are afraid that a large number of patients who have recovered from Covid-19 may be at increased risk of a new type of diabetes.
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According to the World Health Organization, 32 million people have been affected by the corona virus in India so far and India is at number two after America in terms of total infected.
Dr Rahul Bakshi, a diabetologist based in Mumbai, says, “The concern is that after the end of the corona epidemic, there may be a tsunami of diabetic patients in the country due to Covid-19.”
He says that eight to ten percent of the Covid-19 patients who come to him did not have diabetes before, but months after recovering from the infection, they still have to take medicine to control their blood sugar.
He says, “Some patients have diabetes at an early stage. But some people need to take medication after a year.”
Doctors around the world are currently discussing whether cases of diabetes are increasing due to Covid-19 in people who did not complain about it earlier.
Experts believe that the main reason for this may be the use of steroids in the treatment of Covid-19. On the one hand, the body’s immune system produces an excessive amount of cytokines to fight the virus and in the process starts getting tired, on the other hand the virus affects the pancreas which makes insulin to eliminate blood sugar.
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Recently a peer-reviewed study of doctors treating people who have been cured of mucormycosis ie “black fungus” infection has been published which sheds some light on this serious topic.
So far, about 45 thousand cases of black fungus ie black fungus have been registered in India. In most cases, this fungus affects the nose and eyes of a person, but in some cases its infection can spread to the brain. Its attack often occurs 12 to 18 days after recovery from Covid-19.
According to this study, thirteen out of 127 patients i.e. 10 percent did not have diabetes before infection, but later they got diabetes. It is important to note that in seven of these patients neither steroids were used nor did they need oxygen.
Dr Akshay Nair, a researcher and eye surgeon involved in the research, says, “But these patients had higher blood sugar levels. We are increasingly concerned that diabetes could become an epidemic in the coming years.” Is.”
Another research conducted on 555 patients in two hospitals in Delhi and Chennai has found that people who have diabetes after Covid-19 had higher blood sugar levels than those who already had diabetes.
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Diabetologist and doctor involved in the research, Anoop Mishra, says that recent research has found a relationship between Covid-19 and diabetes, which presents a ‘complex’ picture.
In patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes after corona infection, for its detection, hemoglobin A1C level test was done during treatment of Covid-19, through which the average amount of blood sugar in the body was detected over three months. Goes.
It is also possible that these patients already have diabetes but have not been tested for it before. Or they may have developed diabetes due to the use of steroids during treatment.
In case of some patients after discharge from the hospital, the amount of blood sugar in their body started returning to normal, but in the case of Vipul Shah this did not happen even after a year.
Dr Mishra says, “Our assessment is that such patients already had diabetes due to obesity or people in their family.”
But there is also a group of patients who got diabetes because the corona virus damaged their pancreas. Such patients may have type 1 (in which the body is unable to make insulin) and type 2 (in which the body is unable to make insulin in the required amount) diabetes.
According to Professor Guy Rutter of Imperial College, London, the corona virus attacks the pancreas and the insulin-producing part.
He says, “This virus appears to use different receptors in the pancreas than in the body. It attacks insulin-producing cells more directly than the cytokine storm.”
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But so far it is not clear whether the diabetes found in patients who have recovered from Covid-19 is permanent or not.
Professor Rutter says, “I suspect that the bigger problem from the Indian point of view is that with so many people having diabetes, the chances of death from Kovid-19 here are higher than in countries where the virus infection is less.”
Doctors believe that the number of diabetic patients in the country will increase after the corona epidemic ends.
Strict lockdown has been imposed twice in India to prevent the spread of corono epidemic and a large number of people are still locked in homes and working from home. In such a situation, people are exercising less and many people are struggling with mental stress and depression.
Dr Mishra says, “I am seeing more cases of diabetes in such people, and this is a matter of concern for me.”