San Diego COVID-19 affected person receives new analysis: sort 2 diabetes


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – With new findings, researchers are now trying to find out whether COVID-19 can trigger new cases of diabetes.

In mid-April, 28-year-old Jessica Schexnayder of Black Mountain Ranch developed a cough and fever and tested positive for COVID-19 nine days after receiving her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Days later, she was hospitalized with pneumonia and treated with the antiviral drug remdesivir and steroids.

“They had to turn off the pneumonia, so they gave me a steroid infusion,” Schexnayder said.

Schexnayder says her oxygen levels dropped to dangerous levels before her condition improved.

A few days after she was hospitalized, she received another diagnosis.

“I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,” said Schexnayder, who had no history of diabetes. She says she has family histories of diabetes on both sides of her family.

Doctors told her the steroids raised her blood sugar levels while COVID may have made her more vulnerable.

“My body may not be able to regulate my own insulin because of my immunocompromised condition,” said Schexnayder. “I just felt great, another thing that was added to my list of fights I now face.”

Schexnayder’s story is not uncommon.

According to a global analysis published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, more than 14% of people hospitalized with severe COVID-19 developed diabetes. The researchers pointed to the potential repercussions of the effects of COVID-19, pointing to the high doses of insulin that diabetic patients need in severe cases and the complications they often develop.

Dr. Robert Eckel is a past president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association.

“What we don’t know – and it is possible – is that the virus itself can damage the pancreas and cause the pancreas not to secrete enough insulin,” said Dr. Eckel.

He says it’s also possible that many of the apparent new cases were actually undiagnosed cases of diabetes. New studies are currently underway to investigate whether COVID-19 can cause diabetes.

Schexnayder is now back home struggling with persistent COVID symptoms and her diabetes, which requires a daily injection of insulin.

She hopes diet changes will begin to reverse her diabetes.

“I will do everything I can to get to a healthy and self-regulating place,” said Schexnayder.

A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help Schexnayder with medical expenses.