As a result of the Covid pandemic, Britain’s most respected diabetes specialists have warned that there will be a “tsunami of new type 2 diabetic patients.”

By the end of next year, doctors expect to diagnose at least 200,000 new cases of the chronic condition – twice the number seen in an average year.

GPs have already revealed astonishing rises of the condition that occurs when a patient’s blood glucose, or sugar, is too high – often because of age, obesity and lack of exercise – which can lead to heart failure, blindness and even amputations.

A number of local clinics have noticed a rise in type 2 cases. According to experts, diabetes could lead to “crisis upon crisis” if there is a flood of patients with the disease.

Andrew Boulton (president of the International Diabetes Federation) told The Mail Sunday that Covid’s impact meant they are now facing multiple types of type 2 crises at once. In the next two-years, we are likely to experience a tsunami from diabetes and all its complications.

Doctors expect to diagnose at least 200,000 new cases of the chronic condition ¿ twice the number seen in an average year. Pictured: Finger prick test for glucose levels

Doctors expect to diagnose at least 200,000 new cases of the chronic condition – twice the number seen in an average year. Pictured: Finger prick test for glucose levels

The surge is being blamed on three things according to experts. Firstly, an increase in undiagnosed cases as a result of fewer GP visits.

Then there’s lockdown weight gain – the average Briton has gained 3 lb since the start of the pandemic, according to NHS data. The most interesting data is that Covid may trigger this condition in the more vulnerable.

British data shows nearly 20 percent of Covid patients who were hospitalized for the disease contracted diabetes in five months. This number is nearly three times greater than the five-month average for Britons with diabetes.

North Berwick GP Dr Kevin Fernando is a Diabetes Advisor to the Royal College of GPs.

“Some practices like mine are taking initiative to test for diabetes before it causes long-term complications.”

Lockdown victim: Cliff Barry, 52, a plumber from Wiltshire, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in July, after gaining a stone during the first lockdown

Cliff Barry, 52-year-old plumber from Wiltshire was a lockdown victim after having gained one stone during the previous lockdown.

Dr David Strain is a University of Exeter Medical School diabetes specialist. He says that it used to be rare for people with type 2 diabetes to bring their GP.

“Now because surveillance is so badly disrupted it’s getting more frequent. It might take up to 2023 before all the patients are found. At that point, they’ll be very susceptible to complications.

About 4.9 million Britons suffer from diabetes. 90 percent of them are type 2. Sufferers of the condition fail to produce enough insulin – the hormone that converts sugar in food into energy – causing blood sugars to spike.

A high blood sugar level can result in a number of long-term problems including vision loss, nerve damage, and possibly even limb death.

Although type 1 is genetic, type 2 can also be caused by obesity. But the reasons why are still not understood. Excess fat around the pancreas is believed to be the cause of type 2 diabetes. It affects insulin’s production.

Diabetes can be managed with regular checkups and medication. But delays to treatment increases the risk of deadly complications – more than 36,000 Britons with diabetes die prematurely every year.

Doctors claim that the arrival of Covid, and a halt to regular checks-ups has ‘destroyed’ concerted efforts early detection of type 2.

Since the symptoms of type 2 diabetes are initially mild – fatigue, constant thirst and repeated infections – most would have been denied a GP appointment in person, where warning signs are spotted.

From April 2013 to March 2014, fewer than 37,000 diagnosis were made by GPs in the United States.

On average, over 100,000 diagnoses were made in this same period as previous years.

According to Professor Martin Rutter of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, the true number for people with type 2 is probably higher than 100,000.

Experts argue this means that in 2022, diagnoses are likely to reach 200,000 – or higher – given a surge in obesity.

Dean Eggitt, a Doncaster-based doctor says new diabetes diagnoses have increased by 56 percent in the area since March 2013.

He says that people who used to walk every day to work suddenly moved to their kitchen and started working there.

Some studies also suggested that Covid might cause type-1 diabetes. The Imperial College London scientists found that Covid-positive children were two times more likely to get type 1 diabetes than the ones who weren’t.

The virus was found to be capable of destroying insulin-producing cells in small lab experiments conducted in Italy and the US.

Dr Strain says that doctors are now seeing many people with diabetes who were not diagnosed before being admitted to hospital. While it may take several years to find out how common the link is we believe we will be seeing an increase in diabetes rates.

One theory suggests that dexamethasone (a drug often administered to Covid patients in hospital), may be able to trigger Covid in people with high blood sugar. Dexamethasone can cause an increase in blood sugar as a side effect.

There’s also the issue of people who have been diagnosed and denied treatment.

A University of Manchester study found that more than 7.4 millions type 2 diabetes patients had not received regular screenings in 2020.

Professor Boulton stated that diabetic patients felt scared to visit clinics, as they had been told they were at risk from Covid.

“Now, we are going to face a lot of complications like permanent nerve damage because the issues were not picked up in time.”

Hertfordshire-based doctor Dr Mike Smith stated that the existing situation was already “overwhelming”.

‘There are a lot of patients who have type 2 who could easily put their condition into remission if they lost weight – but all plans to do so have gone out the window since Covid hit.’

Cliff Barry, 52-year-old plumber from Wiltshire was diagnosed with type II diabetes in July after having lost a stone during the initial lockdown.

Cliff states, “I found myself suddenly working remotely and finding that I was always reaching for my snack box,” Cliff describes how he began to eat a lot of chips and chocolate, and stopped going on walks or exercising.

Cliff experienced constant fatigue in March 2021 and lost half a stone within five weeks.

After a July check-up, Cliff was immediately referred for hospitalization. Cliff had type 2 diabetes and was immediately referred to hospital for insulin shots daily.

Cliff was quickly frustrated at the delay he experienced when trying to get help. So he went to London Diabetes Centre private clinic to learn more about diet plans that would control his blood sugars. He is now in control of his health.

He says, “It’s possible that I waited too long for my appointment to be done.”

‘I thought people were worse off than me – and I didn’t want to trouble the NHS.’