COVID-19 CAUSING UPTICK IN DIABETES?

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I was looking through Google News this morning and ran across this story about a kid who was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes months after recovering from COVID-19.

When their 11-year-old son started losing weight and drinking lots of water, Tabitha and Bryan Balcitis chalked it up to a growth spurt and advice from his health class. But unusual crankiness and lethargy raised their concern, and tests showed his blood sugar levels were off the charts.

Just six months after a mild case of Covid-19, the Crown Point, Indiana, boy was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. His parents were floored — it didn’t run in the family, but autoimmune illness did and doctors said that could be a factor.

Diabetes and Covid: Scientists explore potential connection (nbcnews.com)

I found it odd. Why would COVID cause Type-1 Diabetes? Then I clicked on the “View Full Coverage” link and found the news page with a bunch of these stories.

Google News – News about COVID, diabetes – Overview

We know people with Diabetes are more susceptible to severe COVID-19 but it is curious that there would be a link to the illness causing it.

High rates of newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus have been reported in COVID-19 hospital admissions around the world. It is still unclear, however, if this phenomenon represents truly new diabetes or previously undiagnosed cases.

It is also not known what the cause of these elevated blood sugars may be, and whether patients’ blood sugars improve after resolution of COVID-19 infection.

Preexisting diabetes in people with COVID-19 has been associated with higher rates of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation, and death.

“We believe that the inflammatory stress caused by COVID-19 may be a leading contributor to new-onset or newly diagnosed diabetes,” said lead author Sara Cromer, HMS instructor in medicine and an investigator with the Department of Medicine–Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at Mass General.

“Instead of directly causing diabetes, COVID-19 may push patients with preexisting but undiagnosed diabetes to see a physician for the first time, where their blood sugar disorder can be clinically diagnosed. Our study showed these individuals had higher inflammatory markers and more frequently required admission to hospital ICUs than COVID-19 patients with preexisting diabetes,” Cromer said.

COVID and Diabetes | Harvard Medical School

American Diabetes Association sees strong genetic links with Type-2 diabetes

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Personally I believe almost everything is genetically linked. With something like Type-2 diabetes there may be people that are more susceptible than others but it seems relatively curable through diet.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states that type 2 diabetes has a stronger link to family history and lineage than type 1. It goes on to say that studies of twins have shown that genetics play a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

The ADA also advises that race can also play a role, and research Trusted Source indicates a higher prevalence among Asian, Black, and Latino people. But this may not be entirely due to genetics.

Environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle also influence the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The ADA notes that it is possible to help prevent type 2 diabetes by exercising and reaching or maintaining a moderate weight.

There can also be a genetic role in obesity, and families often develop similar eating habits. This can put someone with a genetic predisposition at more risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Is type 2 diabetes genetic? Causes, genes, and prevention (medicalnewstoday.com)

Meta analysis of clinical trials show ketogenic diet superior to reduce weight and improvements for diabetics

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Good news for those interested in starting the ketogenic diet or at least wanting to go low carb.

The findings of this review show a significant effect of the ketogenic diet as compared to controls in terms of weight reduction, glycemic control, and improved lipid profile. A noticeable improvement was seen in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), favoring the ketogenic diet as compared to control. Conclusion This review concludes that the ketogenic diet is superior to controls in terms of glycemic control and lipid profile improvements, and the results are significant enough to recommend it as an adjunctive treatment for type two diabetes.

PubMed.gov

Type-2 Diabetes patients with COVID-19 and control blood sugar fair better

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The investigators said they were surprised to see that patients with well-controlled blood sugar had lower mortality rates compared with those with poorly controlled levels. Furthermore, those with well-managed T2D also received fewer medical interventions, including supplemental oxygen or ventilation, and had fewer overall complications.

“We were surprised to see such favorable outcomes in [the] well-controlled blood glucose group among patients with COVID-19 and pre-existing type 2 diabetes,” said senior author Hongliang Li, MD, in a statement. “Considering that people with diabetes had much higher risk for death and various complications, and there are no specific drugs for COVID-19, our findings indicate that controlling blood glucose well may act as an effective auxiliary approach to improve the prognosis of patinets with COVID-19 and pre-existing diabetes.”

Pharmacy Times

Metabolic Health looks to be the new focus in fighting COVID-19

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Story after story crops up regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on people who have Type-2 Diabetes and/or are obese. The virus seems to affect people with these conditions regardless of age. Many times I’ve seen reports of a relatively young person (below 40 years old) with no underlying health conditions dying from the virus. Then when the show the photo of the person they appear to be obese.

What is the underlying cause of Type-2 Diabetes and obesity? Doctors on social media keep referring to “metabolic syndrome” and “metabolic health.” And it appears that this goes back to insulin resistance and the low carb movement in diet.

Carbohydrate consumption triggers a flood of insulin in your blood stream. The more this happens the more your body adjusts to having so much of it in your blood. This makes insulin less effective at doing its job thereby increasing the flow of insulin in your body. This leads to the viscous cycle in diabetics of increasing their insulin dosage to get their blood sugar levels down. Which in turn makes them less sensitive to insulin. Which in turn requires higher doses. The use of insulin is heavily tied to weight gain because glucose is removed from your blood and shoved into your fat cells.

All this information is in Dr. Jason Fung’s books, “The Obesity Code” and “The Diabetes Code.

So it may seem that the best defense against COVID-19 is to get our metabolic health in order. That requires reducing consumption of carbohydrates and highly processed foods. Getting back to the basics of meat and vegetables and cooking at home looks like the best treatment. It requires no pharmaceuticals and will help with weight loss. The best part is you don’t have to spend money on fancy diet books or weight loss programs.

Obesity may be one of the most important predictors of severe coronavirus illness, new studies say. It’s an alarming finding for the United States, which has one of the highest obesity rates in the world.

Though people with obesity frequently have other medical problems, the new studies point to the condition in and of itself as the most significant risk factor, after only older age, for being hospitalized with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Young adults with obesity appear to be at particular risk, studies show.

New York Times

But Dr. David A. Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, has a simple message for people who want to keep their metabolic health and weight in check when temptation is just a few steps from their work space: Try to avoid eating foods that contain what he calls “fast carbs,” such as refined grains, starches, corn and sugar.

These foods, like bagels, bread, breakfast cereals, juices, tortilla chips and anything made with processed flour, tend to be highly processed and devoid of fiber. They are rapidly absorbed and converted to glucose in the body, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike and preventing the release of hormones that quench hunger. Over time, researchers have found, this pattern of eating can wreak havoc on metabolic health, leading to weight gain and increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, conditions that can increase the risk of complications from Covid-19.

New York Times

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) seems to be a risk factor for acquiring the new coronavirus infection. Indeed, T2DM and hypertension have been identified as the most common comorbidities for other coronavirus infections, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV)1. According to several reports, including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients with T2DM and the metabolic syndrome might have up to ten-times greater risk of death when they contract COVID-19 (CDC coronavirus reports). Although T2DM and the metabolic syndrome increase the risk of more severe symptoms and mortality in many infectious diseases, there are some additional specific mechanistic aspects in coronavirus infections that require separate consideration, which will have clinical consequences for improved management of patients who are severely affected.

nature.com

A recent commentary In Nature states that “patients with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome might have to up 10 times greater risk of death when they contract COVID-19” and has called for mandatory glucose and metabolic control of type 2 diabetes patients to improve outcomes. The authors also suggest making this a priority in ALL patients with COVID 19 will be beneficial. (12) It’s instructive to note that the disproportionate numbers of those from black and ethnic minority backgrounds succumbing to the virus may in part be explained by a significantly increased risk of chronic metabolic disease in these groups. For example, those of south Asian origin living in the UK type 2 diabetes is 2.5 -5 times more prevalent and three times more common in those of African-Caribbean descent in comparison to Caucasians.

europeanscientist.com

VA is testing the Keto Diet on veterans with Type 2 Diabetes

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Diabetes experts are expressing concerns over the VA using the Keto Diet on veterans with Type 2 Diabetes? Why? This diet was designed to help those with epileptic seizures and Type 2 diabetes. Going keto helps to increase a person’s sensitivity to insulin thereby using their own body’s ability to utilize fat for energy rather than store glucose as fat. For people with epilepsy going keto allows their brains to depend on ketones rather than blood glucose and that has the effect of reducing or eliminating debilitating seizures.

What should be more controversial is the use of a Silicon Valley company to institute and track veterans that are using the Keto Diet. Why does the VA need them? They would be better off using glucose and ketone monitors and just consult with patients. There is no need to send taxpayer dollars to a private company for what a VA doctor can do.

The assertion is at the heart of an ongoing debate about the keto diet’s effect on diabetes. Some diabetes experts are skeptical of Virta’s promise and are expressing concerns that the company’s partnership with the federal government is giving the diet too much credence.

The agreement has helped raise the national profile of Virta, a fledgling health company that has developed a proprietary system of remote coaching and monitoring for people with Type 2 diabetes to help them follow the keto diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates.

KHN.org

How to reverse type 2 diabetes

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I’m not diabetic and perhaps it’s because I’ve been living by a ketogenic friendly diet and intermittent fasting for a couple decades. When I learned that intermittent fasting was a thing I ran into information from Dr. Jason Fung and read his book, “The Obesity Code”. It’s a good read and extremely informative but, if you’re not into reading, here is a short video that can get you started on reversing your type 2 diabetes as well as lose weight at the same time. As always, consult your doctor as well as I’m not a physician (although Dr. Jason Fung is so you can take his word for it if you like).

For more information and the rest of the video series you’ll have to sign up to dietdoctor.com.

New short term study shows benefit of keto diet for those with type 2 diabetes

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It’s always good to see a new study showing how a simple change in diet can help to treat type 2 diabetes. Not only is it natural but it’s FREE.

Following a ketogenic diet lowers blood glucose and HbA1c levels in people with type 2 diabetes, new research shows.
A short-term study by Indian researchers found that the diet’s benefits led to “great improvements” in symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes.

diabetes.co.uk

Going low-carb improves the ability to regulate blood sugar

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Another study is showing that limiting intake of carbohydrates allows those with Type-2 Diabetes to better control their blood sugar.

Patients with type 2 diabetes improve their ability to regulate blood sugar levels if they eat food with a reduced carbohydrate content and an increased share of protein and fat. This is shown by a recent study conducted at Bispebjerg Hospital in collaboration with, among other partners, Aarhus University and the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen. The findings are contrary to the conventional dietary recommendations for type 2 diabetics.
Nutritional therapy is important to treat the type 2 diabetes optimally, but the recommendations are unclear. According to the Danish Health Authority, up to 85% of newly diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes are overweight, and they are typically advised to follow a diet focused on weight loss: containing less calories than they burn, low fat content and a high content of carbohydrates with a low ‘glycaemic index’ (which indicates how quickly a food affects blood sugar levels).

eurekalert.org

Is the Zero Carb Diet the right diet for you?

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India Times takes a look at the Zero Carb diet. I’m not much for the idea of cutting all carbs out. I think that if you’re trying to lose weight or control your blood sugar levels you can still eat carbs but just a limited amount. But, maybe if you’re looking for a quick temporary fix to lose a lot of weight this just might be the thing for you.

Following a zero-carb diet might help you lose weight and control your blood sugar level to some extent but is unnecessary in a longer run. As a low-carb will also show similar results without strict restrictions. A complete ban of any nutrient is never an advisable option as each nutrient has some or the other vital function in the body. We should consume a balanced diet for healthy living.

India Times