The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that just under 150 million Americans had COVID-19 from February 2020 to September 2021 -- and somewhere around 80 million cases had been officially reported as of March 2022. That means there are a lot of folks who need to pay attention to their glucose levels so they can spot developing diabetes if it shows up during the year after their infection.
According to a new study in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, people who test positive for COVID-19 have a 40% greater likelihood of developing diabetes than their peers who didn’t catch the virus. Most cases are Type 2 diabetes, but some are Type 1 (seems the virus can attack a person’s pancreas). The associated risk is greater for people with severe cases of COVID-19 -- but it’s still significant for those with mild symptoms. The CDC has also found that kids with COVID-19 have an increased risk for all types of diabetes.
The post-acute phase of COVID-19 can present many health challenges -- prolonged fatigue, fuzzy thinking, higher risk for heart problems and now diabetes. If you have had COVID-19, make it a point to see your doctor regularly to identify any lingering health issues and have your glucose levels checked monthly and/or ask for a prescription for an at-home glucose monitor. Managing (or even reversing) Type 2 diabetes promptly will help avoid related-health challenges that can affect your vision, nerve and kidney function, heart health and more. You beat COVID-19, and you can beat the challenges of diabetes if it develops.
This allergy season is something to sneeze at
Misty May-Treanor, three-time gold medalist in beach volleyball, was batting away allergy symptoms as she spiked the ball over the net. Scarlett Johansson is extremely allergic to grass and trees. Even Jon Bon Jovi contends with allergies: “I never worry about singing or playing or ... anything like that. I’m more into, ‘Can I breathe tonight?’”
Well, for that trio and 60 million other Americans, seasonal and year-round allergy symptoms could be getting worse. It seems that climate change leads to higher pollen concentrations and longer pollen seasons. U.S. data from 1995 to 2014 reveals how it has already started to happen, and according to a new study in Nature Communications, by the end of the century, the pollen season here will start up to 40 days earlier and last up to 19 days longer.
Allergies to pollen (and to indoor irritants like dust mites, smoke, pet dander and mold) can cause rhinitis -- plugged sinuses, drippy nose, sore throat, sneezing and wheezing. If you’re having a hard time this spring, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology says you may want to try allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy tablets -- an under-the-tongue daily therapy. They can reduce symptoms substantially or even conquer the allergy. There are also non-drowsy allergy pills, sprays and decongestants for immediate relief.
To check pollen levels and find out about medications, visit the National Allergy Bureau (with 80 stations reporting pollen levels nationally) and the AAAAI Drug Guide at www.aaaai.org; search for “National Allergy Bureau” and for “Drug Guide.”
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