CNBC – When the first wave of Covid hit the U.S., it became clear that the majority of patients being placed on ventilators had a series of underlying conditions. Among those were metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes, both of which have been surging in the U.S. over the past few years.
A question that puzzled people at the beginning of the pandemic was: Why does diabetes make it harder to fight a respiratory virus?
First, we know that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can make blood sugar control worse in the short term and can potentially throw people with diabetes into a very dangerous blood sugar state, studies show.
It does this by binding itself to the receptors found on the beta cells of the pancreas, which produce insulin.
As an allergist and immunologist, I frequently tell my patients that having diabetes means you’re in a chronic low-grade inflammatory state, which taxes the body’s innate immune system and makes it slower to jump on pathogens when they enter the body.
“When it comes to our immune system, what we eat matters a lot. And no ingredient is more detrimental to your immune health than sugar, especially during Covid.”
Sugar: The worst food ingredient for your immune system
High blood sugar is caused by many factors, but the biggest is consuming too much of it in your diet.
It starts a vicious cycle of insulin resistance and obesity that drives up inflammatory cytokines, damages blood vessels, and activates the immune system to repair those areas.
This creates a major distraction for the immune system and paves the way for dangerous bacteria and viruses to slip through our body’s defenses.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, this may sound like bad news.
But it’s not; Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be permanent …