A recently published paper which focuses on rural Maharashtra shows high levels of sugar and thyroid-stimulating hormones in 17 Covid patients. However, none had a family history of diabetes or hypothyroidism. “We gave them short-acting insulin when they were hospitalized and put them on oral hypoglycemics to control their blood sugar afterwards. These patients continue to take diabetes medication even now,” said Dr. Himmat Bawaskar, reports Malathy Iyer. Dr Jalil Parkar, senior consultant at Lilavati Hospital in Bandra, said he noticed the Covid-diabetes link early in the pandemic. “We realized that some patients with known diabetes had very high sugar levels when hospitalized with Covid and needed a higher dose of insulin or medication. But a few months later their sugar levels fell to their pre-Covid levels,” he said. He added that there is another group of Covid patients who were not previously diabetic but developed the sugar disorder after Covid. “They continue to be diabetic after two years,” he said. Senior Endocrinologist Dr Anoop Misra from Delhi said the onset of new diabetes and thyroid dysfunction in Covid patients has been noticed in all countries. The reasons, he said, could be “serious effects of cytokine surge” (a severe immune reaction seen in some patients with Covid-19) and/or “some deployment of autoimmunity (when the body’s immune system tricks itself into attacking the body’s own tissues and organs)”.