Can Covid cause diabetes?

It looks like Covid might be causing diabetes


Wow, fascinating. I was wondering if that might happen. Our army will grow!

I just ran across this 2019 paper yesterday, entitled Hijacking the Supplies: Metabolism as a Novel Facet of Virus-Host Interaction. This analysis is not about the Covid-19 virus but it does examine the implications on the virus host with both DNA and RNA viruses. Covid-19 is an RNA virus.

One statement that caught my eye in the RNA virus section was this.

Similar to other viruses, we found an enhancement of glucose uptake and the virus was dependent on both extracellular glucose and glutamine for optimal viral replication (39). However, the amplification of glucose uptake was detectable as fast as 1.5 h upon infection, which ruled out a transcriptional control of this process.

It seems the first order of business for some RNA viruses and perhaps Covid-19 is to increase blood sugar levels to benefit its ability to reproduce. If glucose uptake was amplified within 1.5 hours of infection, it suggests how important elevated systemic blood glucose is to the virus.

I can only hope that one of the enduring lessons of this era in hospital care will be for hospital care providers to place much more emphasis on optimal blood sugar management. Perhaps future hospital policies will no longer permit the simple-minded over-reacting fear of hypoglycemia to drive tactics like permissive hyperglycemia.

@Terry4 That would be nice if they paid more attention to BG levels, but I doubt it as I think they are more likely to chalk this up to the virus only problem. We saw this in Covid type of thing, so if you are in there for that, then it might be a protocol developed for that.

They are just so scared of lows and the immediate emergency and lawsuits because of that, versus not noticeable emergency highs which might not make you heal as well, stay sicker longer but not cause an immediate emergency.

Very interesting! I was diagnosed in 2006 and remember someone in the PICU running a study on viruses/type 1 diabetes asking if I had a viral infection about two years before diagnosis. Pretty much exactly two years before diagnosis I had a really bad flu followed by bronchitis that took me out for a few weeks: I have no idea what the results of that study were, but I haven’t skipped a flu shot since. Really wish I would have gotten one that year.

Many of us with T1 seemed to have had viral triggers to the autoimmune attacks, like bad flus, so it makes a lot of sense that a virus as pernicious in both its direct attacks on the body and its induction of immune hyper-reactivity could result in beta cell death. Makes me think that if I had kids genetically at risk for T1, I would be working super hard to keep them free from COVID, even if most kids seem to get through the acute infection ok.

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This is actually one of the most interesting posts all year, Marie. Its interesting for so many reasons. I was thinking about posting something, but now I need to re-evaluate my thoughts in the new context of this article. I’m gonna cite this thing. Thanks for posting. So cool!

I believe one of the latest theories is that it might be more than one virus that sets up the response to getting type 1 and there is more than one possible gene involved. This next article is based on possible enterovirus connection with type 1.

When infants received a vaccine against a rotavirus there were less cases of kids getting type 1 in that area.


This sends shivers through my body. We got hit out of the blue with T1 in our daughter when she was 7 1/2. Now we know we must have some immune system imbalance and are at risk, especially our younger 2 children. You don’t know which vaccines are effective and which ones are actually triggering harm (our daughter developed t1 shortly after a vaccination). Meanwhile viruses are abundant around you. It’s almost like without escape.

While I can understand linking those events because they occurred in close proximity for your daughter, when these things are looked at over many many children, there is no evidence whatsoever for vaccines causing T1, so it is likely a coincidence that happens to stand out to you. I would not be concerned about vaccines and if anything would be sure to get them given the small amount of evidence they may if anything be protective since they prevent potentially risky infections. Also many of us with T1 have siblings who had all sorts of infections etc and didn’t develop diabetes—if there’s no other family history of it, the genetic factor may not be that strong for your other kids, it’s hard to say. T1 often doesn’t have very strong hereditary pattern. I hope you and your family stay safe!


Thank you so much for the encouragement. I cannot quite describe how anxious I get at the possibility of my 2 other children to also develop t1, and how I pray, if I can still mentally do so, for it not to happen. Statistical chances for siblings are 1 in 20 (!). As far as vaccines, I feel that the saying “there’s no evidence” is overused and cold comfort. The vaccines are engaging the immune system at a fairly deep level. I think most are helpful. That’s the extent of my thinking. Then it’s just hope.

Coronavirus very possibly triggering diabetes… Oh my. On top of everything else. And just as we might have to travel.
Stay safe too, and thanks again.

I understand that, but as a scientist, I would say it is more robust than it sounds, because there have been many many studies on vaccines, and they are so commonly given that if they were a major factor, you’d almost certainly see clear patterns in T1 diagnosis timing linked to vaccines, which you don’t over the population (the majority of diagnoses happen many years later than most vaccines). So in this case it’s not that there’s no evidence because people haven’t studied it (which would be not very reassuring), but because many scientists without any ties to pharma have looked at these issues and repeatedly not found any links, except that vaccines may lower risk of T1 by preventing infections.

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I was diagnosed at age 5 (out of the blue), and have 7 siblings. We are now all over 55, and I’m still the only one with T1D. Worrying won’t change the outcome, so hope this gives you comfort and positive thoughts.

In my extended family of nieces, nephews, and 20 cousins and their kids, no other cases of T1D.


I was diagnosed after a long fight with an upper respiratory illness. Then the usual, unusual thirst and weight loss etc.
when I finally went to a doctor he put me in the hospital and I still had the upper respiratory infection. It was cocksackie B which is a common virus to trigger T1.
It was luck that I still had it and they bothered to test me.
Anyway I think any virus could do it. I don’t see why corona virus couldn’t be a trigger for it.

Bumped into this article in Nature, which also suggests COVID as a trigger


Thank you. I wish I was better with “positive” attitude. I
instinctively look at all the downside in thinking that I could
mentally get somewhat prepared - not necessarily true. Your case is of
great comfort but the general 1 in 20 statistics are still out there
unfortunately. T1 in our daughter also made us realize that perhaps my
wife and myself had some combined predispositions as far as imbalances
in the immune system and the thyroid. Perhaps we should take that DNA
test commercially available.

I had covid 19 early on in January. I was sick with a fever. I never get fevers. It lasted a week and I recovered. I didn’t think about it until my company asked me to take the covid test and the antibody test. We manufacture drugs so they are much more careful about introducing infections into the facilities. So about 5 percent of us had the antibodies in April 2020. I was one of them. I have IGG and IGM antibodies. I had them retested for a clinical trial and Again were positive. I don’t think controlled t1 people have it any worse or better than anyone else. I think we just need to be careful But no more than anyone else. Eventually everyone will get it. We just don’t want it all at once to overwhelm the hospitals. Ive known a few other t1 s who have had it. No one has needed to be hospitalized.