We are now a full year into the pandemic. And one thing that has been evident right out of the gate is that patients who are overweight, obese, or have diabetes are also at the highest risk of developing a more severe—and even deadly—case of COVID-19.
Which shouldn’t come as a surprise. People who are overweight, obese, or diabetic are at higher risk of death from any cause. That’s why I spend so much time talking about eating properly, getting enough exercise, and managing your blood sugar.
Which brings me to today’s topic…
Diabetes triples COVID death risk
I don’t often dedicate discussions to medications—unless, of course, it’s to warn you about their risks. But, there are some drugs that I actually do prescribe regularly. And metformin is one of them.
You might recognize it as a diabetes medication. But research shows it can also help women to lose weight, improve pain from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and possibly even prevent cancer. All because it lowers blood sugar and makes your insulin receptors more efficient.
And now, research suggests it could significantly lower the risk of dying in diabetic COVID patients who are taking it, too. In fact, one recent study showed a staggering three-fold reduction in mortality rate.
This latest research looked at more than 25,000 patients who received COVID-19 tests at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital during the pandemic’s first wave, between February and June of last year.
Results showed that African American patients were more than 2.5 times more likely to test positive than white patients. People with high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity were also 200 percent more likely to test positive than those without.
In these patients, the overall mortality rate was 11 percent. But diabetes, specifically, was linked with a dramatic increase in death risk—more than 3.5 times higher, even after adjusting for key factors like age, race, gender, obesity, and high blood pressure.
But there’s some good news here…
Metformin makes a dramatic difference
Among diabetic patients who were taking metformin before their COVID diagnosis, mortality rates dropped dramatically. Only 11 percent of those patients died—compared with 23 percent of diabetic patients not taking metformin.
This isn’t the first study to observe this, either. We now have studies from Wuhan, France, and the U.S.—looking at all genders and high-risk subgroups—all showing the potential effectiveness of metformin against COVID-19.
And because these results have been so consistent and widespread, it’s probably fair to assume that they’re no fluke—and likely apply to the entire population.
Metformin works as an anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic (a blood clot-preventer)—along with having a number of metabolic benefits.
But if you aren’t taking metformin, there are a lot of non-pharmaceutical substances that deliver these same perks: like curcumin, CBD, green-lipped mussel, fish oil, and vitamin E, to name a few.
Regardless of the strategy you choose, here’s the bottom line: Get your diabetes under control and you will be healthier—not just throughout this pandemic, but long after, as well.
For additional guidance to conquer high blood sugar once and for all, check out the October 2016 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The diabetes epidemic isn’t going away—but you don’t have to be its next victim”). Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one today!
“Metformin Treatment Again Linked to Fewer Deaths From COVID-19.” Medscape Medical News, 01/20/2021. (medscape.com/viewarticle/944386)