Fatigue, complications more likely in diabetics who get Covid-19: Study

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They also experience lower handgrip strength, according to a study by researchers from Fortis C-Doc in collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Diabetes Foundation

Diabetics, who contracted Covid-19, were likely to experience more fatigue compared to those who did not. And those with high fatigue are likely to have higher inflammatory markers during the course of the infection as well as increased blood sugar levels afterwards. They also experience lower handgrip strength, according to a study by researchers from Fortis C-Doc in collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Diabetes Foundation.

Fatigue is the most common symptom that patients who have recovered from Covid-19 experience.

“Fatigue is a predominant and very debilitating factor, present afterwards in both hospitalized and non-hospitalised Covid patients. Fatigue and associated symptoms decrease quality of life and interfere with normal working capacity. The study shows diabetes complicates the course of Covid-19 and influences long Covid-19,” said Dr Anoop Misra, director of diabetes and endocrinology, Fortis C-DOC.

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“In addition, diabetes poses challenges in the recovery of patients. It is imperative, therefore, for chronic diabetic patients to follow a healthy lifestyle, adhere to treatment guidelines and go for regular health checks.”

Those with high fatigue score of more than four are likely to experience the symptoms and hence their recovery and rehabilitation will need careful attention to nutrition, glycaemic control, and a graduated physical activity protocol, according to the study recently published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews.

The study compared the level of fatigue among 52 persons with type 2 or adult-onset diabetes, who had a history of Covid-19, and 56 persons with type 2 diabetes but no history of Covid-19.

“This new important study re-emphasizes that management of diabetes should be sustained and more stringent during a pandemic. Blood glucose and blood pressure should be optimal and more aggressive glycemic management is required. Special care must be taken regarding nutrition and protein and vitamin supplements should be used as required. Exercise and physiotherapy should be started early after Covid-19 as it may benefit not only fatigue but cardiovascular and pulmonary health and mental well-being of the patient,” said Dr Misra.

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