TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — Diabetics who’ve contracted COVID-19 ought to droop their use of a category of frequent diabetes medication generally known as sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i), new analysis warns.

Folks utilizing these medications for diabetes are prone to a probably deadly complication referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and it now seems that danger will increase much more in the event that they change into sick with COVID-19, mentioned senior researcher Dr. Naomi Fisher, director of the Hypertension Service and Hypertension Specialty Clinic at Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital in Boston.

Diabetic ketoacidosis happens when there’s not sufficient insulin to permit cells to soak up glucose from the bloodstream, Fisher mentioned.

“As a result of the physique cannot use glucose for vitality, it begins to interrupt down fats as gasoline as a substitute,” Fisher mentioned. “This course of finally ends up inflicting excessive ranges of acids referred to as ketones within the blood, in addition to very excessive concentrations of sugar in typical DKA.”

Excessive ranges of ketones poison the physique, inflicting headache, nausea, vomiting, problem respiration and confusion. An individual’s breath can also begin to scent fruity.

If left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis can kill an individual.

5 uncommon circumstances of DKA had been handled at Brigham’s diabetes clinic throughout the span of two months on the top of the 2020 pandemic, together with three that occurred in a single week, Fisher and her workforce reported not too long ago within the journal AACE Medical Case Stories.

The 5 circumstances all concerned euglycemic DKA (euDKA), a sort of diabetic ketoacidosis that is tougher to diagnose as a result of it happens despite the fact that folks do not have severely excessive blood sugar levels.

SGLT2i medication embrace Jardiance (empagliflozin) and Invokana (canagliflozin). They assist deal with diabetes by making sufferers urinate out glucose, mentioned Dr. Cecilia Lansang, director of endocrinology on the Cleveland Clinic.

“It is to forestall the absorption of the glucose by way of the kidneys,” mentioned Lansang, who wasn’t a part of the examine.

However the medication additionally trigger folks to change into dehydrated by way of urination, and the mixed glucose lower and water loss “are in all probability each vital components in inflicting euDKA,” Fisher mentioned.

All 5 of the Brigham euDKA circumstances had been noticed in COVID-19 sufferers with type 2 diabetes and had been taking the drug. Three sufferers wound up in rehab, one was launched to their dwelling, and one died, a 52-year-old man who developed extreme respiration issues.