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Post-Acute COVID Metabolic Syndrome

By Ronald Steriti, ND, PhD


Acute and Long-Term Disruption of Glycometabolic Control

Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are reported to have a greater prevalence of hyperglycaemia. Cytokine release as a consequence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection may precipitate the onset of metabolic alterations by affecting glucose homeostasis. Here we d
A study described abnormalities in glycometabolic control, insulin resistance and beta cell function in patients with COVID-19 without any pre-existing history or diagnosis of diabetes, and document glycaemic abnormalities in recovered patients 2 months after onset of disease.
In a cohort of 551 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in Italy, we found that 46% of patients were hyperglycaemic, whereas 27% were normoglycaemic. Using clinical assays and continuous glucose monitoring in a subset of patients altered glycometabolic control, with insulin resistance and an abnormal cytokine profile, even in normoglycaemic patients was detected. Glycaemic abnormalities can be detected for at least 2 months in patients who recovered from COVID-19.
COVID-19 is associated with aberrant glycometabolic control, which can persist even after recovery, suggesting that further investigation of metabolic abnormalities in the context of long COVID is warranted. (Montefusco et al., 2021)

Increased Risk of Insulin Resistance in Adult Patients Without Diabetes

A study assessed insulin sensitivity and fasting insulin secretion in patients with COVID-19 without diabetes on admission and at 3 and 6 months after discharge.
This 6-month prospective study assessed data from the records of 64 patients without diabetes diagnosed with COVID-19 at Wenzhou Central Hospital, China. Each patient was followed up at 3 and 6 months after discharge. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to investigate differences in multiple measurements of the same variable at different times. Linear regression analysis was performed to analyze the contributor for changes in the triglyceride-glucose (TyG) index.
Fasting C-peptide levels in patients at baseline were lower than the normal range. Compared with the baseline results, patients had significantly elevated fasting C-peptide levels (0.35 ± 0.24 vs 2.36 ± 0.98 vs 2.52 ± 1.11 μg/L; P < .001), homeostasis model assessment for beta-cell function (0.42, interquartile range [IQR] 0.36-0.62 vs 2.54, IQR 1.95-3.42 vs 2.90, IQR 2.02-4.23; P < .001), and TyG indices (8.57 ± 0.47 vs 8.73 ± 0.60 vs 8.82 ± 0.62; P = .006) and decreased fasting glucose levels (5.84 ± 1.21 vs 4.95 ± 0.76 vs 5.40 ± 0.68 mmol/L; P = .003) at the 3- and 6-month follow-up.
Male gender, age, interferon-alfa treatment during hospitalization, and changes in total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein levels were significantly associated with changes in the TyG index.
COVID-19 may increase the risk of insulin resistance in patients without diabetes. (Chen et al., 2021)



Chen, M, et al. (2021), ‘COVID-19 May Increase the Risk of Insulin Resistance in Adult Patients Without Diabetes: A 6-Month Prospective Study.’, Endocr Pract, 27 (8), 834-41. PubMed: 33887468
Montefusco, L, et al. (2021), ‘Acute and long-term disruption of glycometabolic control after SARS-CoV-2 infection.’, Nat Metab, 3 (6), 774-85. PubMed: 34035524


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