Diabetes, the Flu, and You!

Categories: Lifestyle

It’s that time of year we all dread, the barrage of, “get your flu shot here, now!” we are entering flu season (October to late May – not exactly a ‘season,’ but).  Being prepared for flu season is even more important if you have any type of diabetes as it weakens the immune system.   Additionally, having diabetes, “puts you at an increased risk of flu-related complications,” according to Dr. Fernando Ovalle from the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center.  “The weakening of the immune system makes it harder for your body to fight the flu virus. Being sick can also raise your blood glucose and prevent you from eating properly.  You are also at risk for flu-related complications like pneumonia.”

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Keep track of your blood glucose with a journal
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Practice good-health habits (plenty of sleep, exercise, use stress management techniques, eat healthy foods and get plenty of fluids)
  • Get that dreaded flu shot!
  • Talk to your doctor about getting the pneumococcal vaccine too

So be extra vigilant this flu season as there are added risks, but what if no matter what you try, you still get the flu?

I already have the flu. What can I do now?

  • Keep taking your insulin and medication for diabetes
  • Stay hydrated! Drink lots of fluids
  • Eat regularly
  • Test blood glucose every 4 hours and track results
  • Weigh yourself every day because losing weight can be a sign of high blood glucose

Stay as healthy as you can and get the support you need to avoid contracting this season’s version of the flu.  Be extra careful and take care! Remember, you are important to us here at DiabeticCare.com!

By: DiabeticCare editorial team; Published: 10-4-2013, 9:00 AM

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