COVID-19: Questions about possible links to higher incidence of diabetes

In Alberta, doctors and nurses are working to understand the potential link between COVID-19 and diabetes.

At Siksika Health Services, Jacey Solway closely monitors people with diabetes. And they’ve been showing up in greater numbers since the county announced an easing of health measures earlier this year.

“The past two years have been very difficult,” says the chronic disease management nurse. Because of the pandemic that has exacerbated the pressure on hospitals, the clinic where she practices has been unable to provide regular and continuous medical care to her diabetic patients.

Jacey Solway is now finding that some need more medication, while others are simply trying to regain control of their disease. She says the situation, which the clinic is monitoring closely, is as closely as any possible increase in new diagnoses.

Rise in cases

Diabetologist and Professor Dr Cumming School of Medicine From the University of Calgary, Doreen Rabe has also noticed clear trends in her Calgary clinic, more than two years since the pandemic began.

We are seeing more and more cases of diabetes, at a time when we must necessarily increase the treatment that people who already have diabetes are receiving. »

Quote from Dr.. Doreen Rabie Endocrinologist

Dr. Doreen Rabe believes that the fact that “COVID-19 can alter a person’s ability to make insulin” is not enough to explain why people who test positive for COVID-19 themselves are more likely to develop diabetes.

Photo: Radio Canada/Jennifer Lee

Dr. Neja Bakshi, MD, an internal medicine specialist in Edmonton, is seeing an increase in patients with metabolic disorders, including newly diagnosed or exacerbated diabetes, as well as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Factors known to increase the risk of developing diabetes, including unemployment, poverty, food insecurity and isolation, have been prominent during the pandemic. Added to this are delays or delays in obtaining care. Doreen Rabie believes that the combined effect of these factors may play a major role in the increase in cases.

Dr. Neja Bakshi points out that people often experience major life changes when they test positive for COVID-19. In this regard, they indicate a decrease in physical activity and changes in diet.

Increased risk and mysterious cause

Other notes also pertain to specialists. According to Dr. Rabie, they found that patients who tested positive for COVID-19 were more likely to develop diabetes in addition to an increased risk of disease exacerbation.

He cites Dr. In this regard, Rabee conducted an American study that examined the medical records of veterans. Study results revealed that people who tested positive for COVID were 40% more likely to develop diabetes.

However, this area of ​​research presents many unknowns given the fact that it is very recent. So the mystery surrounding the possible causes of this situation remains the same.

Dr. says.

In an effort to better understand the relationship between COVID-19 and chronic diseases like diabetes, Dr. Bakshi now includes questions about SARS-CoV-2 infection when conducting medical profiling of her patients.

Edmonton internal medicine specialist, Dr. Neja Bakshi, is seeing an increase in the number of diabetics in the wake of COVID-19.

Photo: Radio Canada/CBC

In medicine, she explains, we always look at risk factors [comme par exemple] Family history and lifestyle [du patient]Genetic predisposition. Now I think we need to ask the patient whether they have COVID-19 or not.

The way to understand all the effects of COVID-19 seems long, because SARS-CoV-2 is “an inflammatory virus that affects many systems of the anatomy and many organs,” asserts Dr. Bakshi.

Files from Jennifer Lee

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