Be on the alert for post-COVID-19 diabetes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that just under 150 million Americans had COVID-19 from February 2020 to September 2021 -- and somewhere around 80 million cases had been officially reported as of March 2022. That means there are a lot of folks who need to pay attention to their glucose levels so they can spot developing diabetes if it shows up during the year after their infection.
According to a new study in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, people who test positive for COVID-19 have a 40% greater likelihood of developing diabetes than their peers who didn't catch the virus. Most cases are Type 2 diabetes, but some are Type 1 (seems the virus can attack a person's pancreas). The associated risk is greater for people with severe cases of COVID-19 -- but it's still significant for those with mild symptoms. The CDC has also found that kids with COVID-19 have an increased risk for all types of diabetes.
The post-acute phase of COVID-19 can present many health challenges -- prolonged fatigue, fuzzy thinking, higher risk for heart problems and now diabetes. If you have had COVID-19, make it a point to see your doctor regularly to identify any lingering health issues and have your glucose levels checked monthly and/or ask for a prescription for an at-home glucose monitor. Managing (or even reversing) Type 2 diabetes promptly will help avoid related-health challenges that can affect your vision, nerve and kidney function, heart health and more. You beat COVID-19, and you can beat the challenges of diabetes if it develops.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@GreatAgeReboot.com.
(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.