Warning to Covid survivors of the last year over new life-threatening complication

PEOPLE who have had Covid in the past year have been warned to look for signs of a new potential side effect.

A study has shown that those that battled the infection are more at risk of a life-threatening condition that already affects five million Brits.

A positive Covid test in the past year? Experts have warned to keep an eye out for symptoms of type 2 diabetes

A positive Covid test in the past year? Experts have warned to keep an eye out for symptoms of type 2 diabetesCredit: Splash

They were 46 per cent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes for the first time in the year following a positive test.

The finding is true even for people who had less severe symptoms, or none at all.

However those that battled a severe bout of illness were most at risk, reported MSN.

Type 2 diabetes is when the body cannot properly process sugar from food.

It needs strict management, because without such, high blood sugars can cause damage to organs, eyes, and limbs, and lead to heart attacks and stroke.

The serious condition is already on the rise due to soaring obesity levels.

Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development at VA St. Louis Health Care System, who led the review, said: “For the broader public, if you’ve had Covid-19, you need to pay attention to your blood sugar.”

It comes at a time when some one in 20 people in England are estimated to have Covid, following millions before.

Although the research was done on primarily white, older males, the large numbers of people involved made Mr Al-Aly confident that his findings were applicable to the public.

He and his team compared the health records of more than 181,000 veterans who were diagnosed with Covid, with 4.1 million veterans who were not.

The study, published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, said: “Taken together current evidence suggests that diabetes is a facet of the multifaceted long covid syndrome.

“Post-acute care strategies of people with covid-19 should include identification and management of diabetes.”

A number of smaller studies have shown the possibility of post-Covid diabetes, too.

Last week, a German study found Covid survivors are 28 per cent more likely than average to develop type 2 diabetes.

The study involved 35,865 people who tested positive for coronavirus.

Dr Faye Riley, of Diabetes UK, said: “This study, and others, hint that coronavirus could be triggering type 2 diabetes.

“But it’s not yet clear if the virus is causing new cases of type 2 diabetes, bringing undiagnosed cases to light, or temporarily driving up blood sugar levels.”

Are you at risk?

Type 2 diabetes can go undetected for a while because the symptoms are often brushed off.

You could be in trouble if you are:

  1. Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  2. Feeling thirsty all the time
  3. Feeling very tired
  4. Losing weight without trying to
  5. Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  6. Getting cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  7. Having blurred vision

Other rarer signs include:

  • Dark skin patches
  • Frequent infections
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability 
  • Sweet breath
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Bad teeth

If you have a relative with diabetes, are overweight or of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK), then you already have higher odds of diagnosis.

The same goes for those over 40 years old (or over 25 years old if from south Asian descent).

But children can get it too, with an estimated 36,000 children in the UK affected. 

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And there have been concerns in an uptick of diabetes in kids following coronavirus infection, too.

Earlier this year, US scientists examined a dataset that found kids who had caught Covid were 31 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those who had avoided it.


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