According to a recently released study, a common class of diabetes medications can put individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 at greater risk of fatal complications from the disease.
Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i), including Jardiance (empagliflozin) and Invokana (canagliflozin), help treat diabetes by making patients urinate out glucose. However, these drugs can also put people at risk for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a condition in which there is not enough insulin to allow cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream.
The study, published in the journal AACE Clinical Case Reports, found that the chances of developing DKA increased in people who became ill with COVID-19. The researchers explained that when the body cannot use glucose for energy, it begins to break down fat as fuel instead, causing high levels of acids called ketones in the blood, as well as extremely high concentrations of sugar in typical DKA.
High levels of ketones poison the body, causing headaches, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and confusion. A person’s breath also can start to smell fruity. If left untreated, DKA can be fatal.
As reported in the study, five unusual cases of DKA in COVID-19 patients involved euglycemic DKA (euDKA), a type of diabetic ketoacidosis that is more difficult to diagnose because it develops in people who don’t have severely elevated blood sugar levels.
Since SGLT2i drugs can cause people to become dehydrated through urination, and the combined glucose decrease and water loss are probably both important factors in causing euDKA, the researchers said.
Diabetes Significantly Increases the Risk Of Serious Complications Or Death From COVID-19
This study comes after other studies have concluded that patients with COVID-19 and diabetes typically have a more dire prognosis, most likely because of the concurring effect of multiple risk factors associated with diabetes.
If you have diabetes, effectively managing your blood sugar levels is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19. Fortunately, advancements in glucose monitoring technology have made controlling your glucose levels easier than ever.
Traditional glucose monitoring involves pricking a finger multiple times a day to get and test blood samples, an inconvenient and uncomfortable burden. Now, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) allows those with diabetes to avoid the finger-pricking through the use of a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device.
Whether you’ve been living with diabetes for years or if you’ve recently been on the lookout for the latest trends that can help beneficially impact your health, CGM could be the ideal solution. Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.