Coronavirus can cause diabetes

The coronavirus can also disrupt the sugar balance and thereby trigger diabetes. It cannot be said whether the disease will go away again or whether it will be permanent.

the essentials in brief

  • The coronavirus can disrupt the sugar metabolism and thus trigger diabetes.
  • Researchers found this out using tissue samples from deceased corona patients.

The coronavirus can infect cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin. This is what an international research team with Basel participants reported in the specialist magazine “Cell Metabolism”. This disrupts the sugar metabolism, which can trigger diabetes.

The virus can hijack the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. This was proven by researchers in tissue samples from seven patients who died of Covid-19. In cell cultures, it was also shown that cells infected with corona produced less of the hormone that sugar absorbs from the blood.

It is impossible to say whether diabetes will remain

In laboratory tests, a certain inhibitor made it less successful for the virus to penetrate the cells. Such a treatment could possibly also protect patients with severe Covid-19 courses, wrote the University of Basel in a statement on Tuesday.

Earlier studies have already shown that around 15 percent of hospitalized Covid 19 patients are newly diagnosed with diabetes. “Whether the sugar metabolism will normalize again in all Covid-19 patients cannot be said with certainty based on the current study situation.” The pathologist and co-author of the study, Matthias Matter from the university and the University Hospital Basel, was quoted as saying. It is also still uncertain whether and how often permanent diabetes can develop.

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