To catch a flu or a cold is not fun for anyone. And if you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, not only is it not fun, it can even be complicated. When you have diabetes and flu, you need special care. Why? Keep reading and you will discover what you can do to recover in the best possible way.
For people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes , having a flu or a cold (not the same) is something that can be much more complicated than for other people. The flu and colds include symptoms that can interfere with the management of your diabetes, and medications to treat these diseases, too.
How does the flu affect your diabetes ?
- In many cases the flu and colds can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, which make your glucose levels rise.
- If you become dehydrated because you do not eat well, do not drink enough fluids or as a result of diarrhea and vomiting, your glucose levels will drop too low.
- Infections can make your blood glucose rise.
- Influenza or flu can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia or pneumonia . People with diabetes are three times more likely to die from this type of respiratory disease, than those who do not have diabetes.
- When your body suffers from the stress of a disease, it creates many ketones, a waste that means that your body is not using glucose correctly. This is especially true for people who have type 1 diabetes.
- Some over-the-counter medications contain sugar, which causes an increase in your blood glucose levels.
So, what medications should you take?
If you are diabetic, you will know that most of the flu medications you find in the pharmacy say “not suitable for diabetics”. This is either because they contain a lot of sugar that can be harmful or because they have another contraindication. Probably the best thing you can do is take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce pain and fever. Do not buy over-the-counter medications without first knowing if they are good for you. First consult with your doctor.
To treat your flu, you should also rest and drink plenty of fluids. In addition, you should monitor your glucose levels frequently to make sure they are not going too high, or if so, be prepared to act.
In short: the main thing is to meet with your doctor so that between the two of you create a “plan for when you get sick” and take the days that are necessary to recover. That way, you can set a fixed time to eat, you can stay hydrated (drink water at least every hour), monitor your glucose regularly and take your temperature. Do not stop taking your diabetes medications unless your doctor recommends it.
When to call your doctor?
If you have diabetes and the flu or cold you should call your doctor if:
- Your blood glucose levels are above 180 mg / dL.
- Your blood glucose levels are below 70 mg / dL.
- Vomites everything you eat or drink and have diarrhea.
- Your temperature is above 101 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.3 degrees Celsius.
Finally I recommend you to follow the best treatment for the prevention of influenza (influenza or flu): the vaccine against influenza (influenza). It is the best way to prevent complications, both for diabetic people and for those who do not suffer from this disease.
So, prevent! And if you already had the flu, follow your doctor’s recommendations and do not self-medicate.