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New studies find COVID-19 can cause diabetes

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Posted at 7:58 AM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 12:40:27-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — New studies are suggesting that COVID-19 could cause diabetes, pneumonia, and other health problems.

Research from Stanford confirms the association between COVID-19 and diabetes. The virus destroys the cells in the pancreases that make insulin. Decreased insulin levels leads to high blood sugar and Type 1 Diabetes.

A study through the National Institutes of Health suggests that the COVID-19 virus can also replicate by making copies of itself to spread to other insulin-producing cells. This could leave a recovered COVID-19 patient with a life-long battle and dependency on medications like insulin.

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Dr. Pedro Joe Greer Jr. is the Dean of the College of Medicine at Roseman University. He says he’s also concerned about the development of Type 2 Diabetes, particularly for marginalized communities that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19.

“Diabetes we can treat, diabetes has complications, but it’s the cumulative effect of the socioeconomic situation and the actual virus itself that so adversely affects this population,” Dr. Greer said.

Dr. Greer added diabetes is the number one cause of blindness, number one cause of renal failure, and number one cause of amputations. It also increases risk for heart attacks and strokes.

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Doctors say anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 should be on the lookout for diabetes symptoms, that includes extreme thirst, increase in urination, unintentional significant weight loss, and fatigue.

One study found that specific drugs may be able to help, but those findings will need to be confirmed in a larger study.