A study has found that the COVID-19 virus can cause type 1 diabetes.
Since its emergence, the COVID-19 virus has been concerned that it can cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. But a recent study adds to that, and the coronavirus can cause diabetes.
Most of those infected with COVID-19 reach the recovery stage without any major health problems. However, some patients also acquire new diseases from the coronavirus. Diabetes is one of these new diseases, according to the study.
According to the study, the coronavirus destroys certain cells that play an important role in stopping the development of diabetes.
Diabetes includes type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes mellitus, which most people are well aware of, is type 2 diabetes, a disease in which insulin does not work properly or the secretion of insulin is reduced due to poor lifestyle. On the other hand, type 1 diabetes mellitus is an autoimmune disease that attacks the beta cells of the pancreas that produce insulin, and cannot produce insulin.
The COVID-19 virus can infect beta cells in the pancreas and disable insulin production. A team of researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine and Weill Cornell School of Medicine in the United States, who conducted this study, analyzed autopsy samples from people who died of COVID-19 infection and confirmed that the virus could infect beta cells in the pancreas and cause type 1 diabetes.
“Coronavirus destroys cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for making insulin,” the research team said in their paper.
So why is the COVID-19 virus so tormenting the beta cells of the pancreas? The beta cells of the pancreas appear to be vulnerable to viral attack because they contain receptors that can bind to the COVID-19 virus, the team explains.
In other words, the COVID-19 virus can change the fate of cells in the body.
The research team is concerned that COVID-19 patients, whose pancreatic cells have been destroyed, could end up in a situation where they will have to depend on diabetes medications after they recover from a coronavirus infection.
It also said that follow-up studies are needed to determine how the COVID-19 virus gets to the pancreas and what actions can be taken to prevent this damage.
The researchers recommend that people who experience the typical symptoms of type 1 diabetes after being infected with COVID-19 get tested for diabetes. Symptoms include severe thirst, frequent urination, sudden weight loss, fatigue, and blurred vision.
By Moon Se-young, staff reporter [email protected]
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