FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Results from a new CDC study show that people under the age of 18 who contract COVID-19 are 31-166% more likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Mark Guido is an endocrinologist with Novant Health and said it's still not known why this is happening, but there are a couple of theories.
He said one theory is the virus can directly destroy a part of the pancreas that makes insulin. Another theory is because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, experts believe when kids get the virus, their immune system overreacts and starts attacking the pancreas.
"The best thing to do is to not get COVID and so prevention is the best medicine. So that means following the guidelines as far as masking, distancing and if your kids have not gotten the vaccine, consider getting them the vaccine," Dr. Guido said.
Dr. Guido said the study looked at kids more than 30 days past diagnosis of COVID.
Here's some signs you should look for:
- excessive thirst
- frequent urination
- unintentional weight loss
"Type 1 diabetes is unfortunately a life long disease, there is no cure, but there are good treatment options," Dr. Guido said.
His practice is mostly adults and he said people over 18 with diabetes that contract COVID are having more severe complications from the virus.
Remember, there's a difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease in which your body attacks the pancreas and cannot make insulin. Type 2 is usually associated with overweight and your body becomes insulin resistant.