The relief was short lived. Last September, Fouad, 46, fell seriously ill with Covid-19. He was urgently hospitalized, put on oxygen and corticosteroids.

After ten days of treatment, Fouad is cured. But, his analyzes reveal a new pathology. “I am told that I am probably diabetic. I did not understand at the time. Ok, I was treated for ten days. I was injected with insulin regularly. I thought it was related to the drugs and, at one point or another, it would stop. But no…”.

A surge in blood sugar

Since then, Fouad has wondered: did he become diabetic in the hospital? Or was he before but without knowing it? For specialists, this phenomenon is not a surprise. Covid-19 infection indeed causes a sudden rise in blood sugar levels in patients.

For Pr Agnès Hartemann, diabetologist at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris, the infection “Induces enormous inflammation in the body. This can inflame the liver, the muscles … That’s why we hurt muscles elsewhere. It also affects fatty tissue and the pancreas. And, these are the four organs that are involved in the rise in blood sugar and diabetes ”.

A predisposition to diabetes

This surge in blood sugar is reinforced by treatments used against the infection such as corticosteroids. It therefore results in diabetes in patients who are often predisposed, because they are already overweight or have a family history. Once healed from Covid, some still suffer from diabetes. This is the case with Fouad who must continue the treatments.

Conversely, other patients can stop but the episode remains a warning signal. They should favor a diet less rich in sugar, weight loss and regular physical activity to avoid developing diabetes in the years to come.