Just under five million people in the UK have diabetes, a number set to rise to around five and a half million according to charity Diabetes UK. As a result, thousands more individuals will need education and treatment on how to manage their diabetes and what measures they should take. One area where cases of diabetes have been driven up in recent months was in regard to COVID-19. Scientists began to notice some Covid patients were developing diabetes not long after testing positive; the reason for this was a mystery, until now.
A study conducted by the University of Massachusetts has developed the theory that the reason for the development of diabetes post-Covid is down to physiological stress experienced as a result of Covid.
Furthermore, they said that rather than the diabetes being a permanent fixture of that individual’s existence, that the diabetes itself may be temporary.
In a statement lead investigator Dr Sara Cromer said: “Instead of directly causing diabetes, COVID-19 may push patients with pre-existing but undiagnosed diabetes to see a physician for the first time, where their blood sugar disorder can be clinically diagnosed.
“This [data] suggests to us that newly diagnosed diabetes may be a transitory condition related to the acute stress of COVID-19 infection.”
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The basis for their belief that the condition is transitory (temporary) is down to the fact that their results showed that the blood sugar of individuals diagnosed with diabetes returned to normal after a short period of time.
Published in the Journal of Diabetes and Complications, the researchers noted: “These patients may only need insulin or other medications for a short time”.
Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Bristol have been researching the effectiveness of masks at stopping airborne transmission of Covid.
Published in the journal Physics of Fluids, the team found that the most popular choice of mask is one of the least effective at stopping particles from making their way through.
They found that, unlike surgical masks designed to keep out bacteria and viruses, cloth masks had multiple micro-holes that allowed particles to slip through.
Co-author of the study Richard Sear said: “Masks are air filters, and woven fabrics, such as cotton, make for good jeans, shirts, and other apparel, but they are lousy air filters”.
While cloth masks are the least effective, Sear does not recommend the use of surgical masks as they “fit badly, so a lot of air goes unfiltered past the edges of the mask by the cheeks and nose”.
Although these findings may cause some to question their use, scientists have nevertheless found the wearing of masks and face coverings are an effective way to reduce transmission of an airborne virus.
Just like other conditions, type 2 diabetes has a number of symptoms that can identify if the condition is present.
Common symptoms include urinating more than usual, feeling thirsty all the time, feeling tired, losing weight without trying to, itching around your genitalia, wounds taking longer to heal, and blurred vision.
An individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes is likely to go up if they’re over the age of 40, have a close relative with the condition, are overweight, and are of Asian, African-Caribbean, or black African origin.
The NHS recommends that individuals should see a GP if they have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or they’re worried they have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.