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

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

As the summer months come to an end, we throw aside our swimsuits and bring out our favorite team jerseys! In America, fall means football, and...

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

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose...

It's not uncommon to spend several years living with type 2 diabetes and not even know you have the condition. Despite regular check-ups with your...

More Articles

Type 2 diabetes has become so common in Western culture and media that this often lifelong, serious condition doesn't really raise an eyebrow...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Lantus is a once a day insulin injection that is taken at the same time every day. It replaces anywhere from the average three to five insulin...

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

Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't help your community by being a blood donor. When persons with diabetes maintain good control...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise...

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this...

Fashion and function come together in clothing developed by AnnaPS, making life a bit more comfortable and convenient for insulin users. The...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Financial aid and scholarship money are available for people with diabetes, but acquiring it requires an investment of time and patience. Whether...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Smoking is a proven health hazard for everyone, but it is an especially dangerous habit for those with diabetes. Research shows that smokers with...

While life on the road can be tough on musicians, it’s especially challenging for those battling diabetes. Some musicians have to check their...