Surviving flu season with diabetes

The start of fall tends to mark the beginning of flu season, when people spend more time indoors and are exposed to a greater amount of germs.

Fighting off the common flu may be easy enough for some people, but getting sick can be more complicated when you have diabetes.

Increased risk

Individuals with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at serious risk for health complications if they get the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Having diabetes can compromise the immune system, which makes it harder for your body to fight off infection.

Getting the flu can make it harder to control your blood sugar, and your eating habits may fluctuate due to lack of appetite.

Vaccination

The CDC recommends that people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes get a flu vaccine. Flu shots are a better option than the nasal spray flu vaccine, as the latter may not be safe for diabetics.

Children under 6 months should not get a flu vaccine.

In addition to a flu shot, diabetics may also need a pneumonia vaccine to prevent complications if they do get the flu.

Prevention

The best way to navigate flu season is to prevent illness to begin with. The traditional rules apply: Wash your hands frequently, steer clear of sick people, get plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy diet.

If you experience the first vague signs of illness, continue taking your diabetes medication or insulin. Monitor your blood sugar every four hours and check your temperature - a fever may be a sign of infection.

If you feel like you can't eat as you normally do, try to consume liquids that will provide you with the equivalent amount of carbohydrates that you usually eat.

Treatment

If you do end up getting sick, continue taking your medications, monitoring your temperature, and testing your blood glucose level.

Check in with your health care provider if you have severe symptoms, such as: inability to keep food down, severe diarrhea, weight loss of over five pounds, a temperature over 101 degrees F, trouble breathing or consistent extremely low or high blood sugar.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More Articles

Diabetic shoes are important as a common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities....

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

Insulin injections are a way of life for many people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but for some people, they can be a little intimidating at...

More Articles

With diabetes, it all used to be really simple: Type 1 diabetes was known as “childhood-onset,” and type 2 was “adult-onset” diabetes. The cause...

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

Everyone from grandmothers to physicians tout oatmeal's wholesome goodness and health benefits. But, is oatmeal good for diabetics? Limited...

A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can...

Stomach aches and other gastrointestinal pains can be signs of a bigger problem. One such problem for diabetics is gastroparesis, or delayed...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

While most physicians will tell you that your blood glucose will not be impacted by a flu shot, anecdotally there are reports of increased...

You may think beer, wine, and liquor would be categorized as food, but in reality, alcohol is a drug. Just like medications, alcohol has powerful...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

Experts estimate that somewhere in the world a person with diabetes will lose a lower extremity every half minute due to a wound. One of the...

One of the hardest parts about adopting a low-carb diet is giving up traditional baked goods and sweets. The good news, however, is that low-carb...

Anyone can develop a fungal skin infection, but people with diabetes are more prone to them. A common cause of fungal infections in those with...

Many diabetics struggle to control the sudden blood sugar spikes that can occur after meals. Knowing why blood sugar spikes happen and making...

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

There are several misconceptions about Diabetes. Learn more about the top misconceptions vs. facts surrounding Type 2 Diabetes below.

86...