3 Things You Need to Know About Flu Shots and Diabetes

While summer allergies may subside with the cooler fall weather, flu season is right around the corner.

For diabetics and people with other chronic health problems, getting the flu can be dangerous - which is why the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that every person with diabetes get a flu shot each year.

Here are three things you need to know about getting a flu shot that will help you manage "sick season" as a diabetic:

1. Get your flu shot now.

According to the ADA, the best time to get a flu shot is September. Since the flu shot takes about 2 weeks to take effect, the earlier you get the shot the better your chances will be when it comes to avoiding illnesses that often spread quickly in the fall and winter months.

Flu shots last for about 6 months, but it's also a good idea to have the people you live with get flu shots, too, as it will decrease your odds of catching any viruses.

2.Get a pneumonia shot, too.

If you have diabetes, your risk of death from flu and pneumonia is higher.

Pneumonia shots are recommended for anyone with diabetes over the age of 2, the ADA says. If it's been 5 years since your last vaccine or if you are over 65, it's recommended you get another pneumonia shot this flu season.

You can get a pneumonia shot any time of year.

3. Take other preventative measures.

The flu shot isn't 100 percent effective in preventing illness, so you should also take preventative measures to stay healthy during flu season if you have diabetes.

Wash your hands often, use hand sanitizers when you've touched things in public places and avoid rubbing your eyes or touching your nose or mouth without clean hands.

If you have flu symptoms, check in with your doctor to make sure you can treat the virus quickly while managing your diabetes safely.

Source: American Diabetes Association

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