India, a country that was struck hard by the CCP virus (COVID-19) this year, is worrying the country might face a sequential disaster of diabetes caused by the virus.
For India, 2021 has been an exceptionally rough year, seeing a four-fold peak of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus patients during May. Four hundred thousand new patients were recorded daily compared to last year’s peak of nearly 100,000 cases last September, according to Worldometers. And with those who survived the infections, the health battle may not just end there.
“The worry is that COVID-19 could trigger a tsunami of diabetes in India after the pandemic is over,” Dr. Rahul Baxi, a Mumbai-based diabetologist, told the BBC.
The doctor said 8–10% of his patients had high sugar levels months after rallying from COVID-19 infections, and they did not have any history with diabetes before the virus struck them.
“Some have borderline diabetes. Others are managing with medicines even a year after recovery,” he added.
High sugar levels in the system can pose severe health risks such as damage to the kidneys, eyes, and heart, the outlet noted.
Diabetes is characterized by hyperglycemia, or elevated blood sugar levels, Medical News Today defines. This chronic disease can be caused by insufficient insulin production, insulin resistance, or a combination of the two.
Some experts suspected steroids, a drug used in treating COVID-19 but can also hinder immunity and increase blood sugar levels in diabetic and non-diabetic COVID-19 patients.
Other suspicions related to the virus’s ability to damage and the immune system’s issues as it strives to fight off the CCP virus.
In a study of 555 patients from two hospitals in Delhi and Chennai (Madras), it appeared that people who had no previous experience with diabetes turned out to be those with higher levels of blood sugar after CCP virus infections. More so than those who already had the disease before they encountered the virus.
But the researchers said they might have had diabetes that was unnoticed, or they became so after taking steroids during CCP virus treatment. After a period, though, some patients had their sugar levels normalized, whereas others remained significantly high.
The virus is known to attack the pancreas, including the part which produces insulin. Such damage would lead to patients developing diabetes. Therefore type 1 diabetes (bodies that can’t make insulin) and Type 2 diabetes (bodies that produce too little insulin) are both possible in such persons.
Meanwhile, professionals worry that after the raging CCP virus subsides, diabetes would be India’s next nightmare. And the virus would not be the only driver for diabetic problems, according to the BBC.
As India continues to impose lockdowns, citizens would have to remain indoors, work from home, ordering takeaway food, and get little chances for exercise. The conditions had filled some people with “anxiety and depression.”
“I am seeing a lot of new cases of diabetes in such people. This worries me a lot more than anything else,” said Dr. Anoop Misra, a diabetologist.
India is already notorious for its high amount of diabetic patients. Globally, one out of every six Indians were affected by the disease, with a total of nearly 77 million diabetic citizens, standing only behind China which has 116 million people having diabetes.