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Antihistamine For Diabetics

Treating The Common Cold And Type 2 Diabetes

Treating The Common Cold And Type 2 Diabetes

It is that time of year again and as a Pharmacist/Certified Diabetes Educator one of the most common questions over the fall, the holiday’s and winter months is “What do you have to treat my cold?” or simply “Can you make me feel better?” Well there is no cure and we cannot wave our “therapeutic” wand and make symptoms disappear but there are a variety of products to help with the symptoms of cough and cold. If the patient is relatively healthy it may be a bit of a hit or miss scenario but usually the product will ease the symptoms until the cold runs its course over 7 to 10 days. The picture becomes less clear when the patient is taking other medications, has medical conditions such as kidney disease, blood pressure, or they have diabetes. Assisting our patient choose an appropriate product that will not worsen their existing medical conditions, and lessen the symptoms that make them feel miserable is key. Diabetes is a condition that requires some adjusting to choose the right product. It is not always a “Sugar free”, “Natural”, or alternative product that is best, as active ingredients may have issues. These include raising blood sugars, raising blood pressure or stressing the kidneys (common issues with diabetes). Usually after a brief discussion to educate the patient, a product can be chosen to help both their symptoms and minimally impact their diabetes and blood sugars. The discussion that follows is a practical approach on how to decide what a person with diabetes can use so that they understand why we avoid certain classes of products due to a their existing medical conditions. Blood Sugars Can Rise when Ill It is important to realize that when a person with diabetes is “fighting” a cold it produces stresses on the body as a whole and Continue reading >>

Allergy Tips For People With Diabetes

Allergy Tips For People With Diabetes

Aaachoooo! It's that time of year again: spring allergy season. For about 1 in 5 people, warm weather brings not only blooming flowers and trees but also the telltale symptoms of hay fever (seasonal allergies) -- sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose, scratchy throat, and itchy eyes. For those with type 2 diabetes, spring allergies don't directly affect blood sugar, but there are things you need to watch out for, says Gerald Bernstein, MD, FACP. HE's the director of the Diabetes Management Program at the Friedman Diabetes Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. For relief from itching, sneezing, and runny nose, you might reach for an over-the-counter (OTC) medication such as an antihistamine, which millions have used safely, Bernstein says. "But when you're throwing something like issues around blood sugar into the mix, you need to be a little more aware of the potential things that can occur." One in five people who use antihistamines become drowsy, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). "So if you take a nap and miss a meal, you can wake up with low blood sugar," Bernstein says. Look for newer antihistamines with less of a sedative effect or talk with a pharmacist about the side effects of various medications. To unclog a stuffy nose, you might choose an OTC or prescription nasal spray, but you might not know that some contain steroids. "Steroids stimulate the liver to make more glucose [blood sugar], so now your liver is beginning to make more sugar," Bernstein says. "And if you're not aware of this, you might be surprised and ask, ‘Why are my numbers high?'" Ask your doctor or pharmacist about nasal sprays without steroids. You have two choices: an OTC decongestant nasal spray or an OTC antihistamine nasal spray. If you cho Continue reading >>

Cold Medicines That Are Safe For Diabetes

Cold Medicines That Are Safe For Diabetes

Searching for relief for your runny nose, sore throat, or cough? Many over-the-counter cough, cold, and flu remedies list diabetes as an underlying condition that may indicate you should leave the medication on the shelf. The warnings are clear: "Ask a doctor before use if you have: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes." Unfortunately, your doctor is not along for the trip to the pharmacy. Because illness causes your body to release stress hormones that naturally raise blood glucose, you'll want to be sure that over-the-counter medications won't increase blood glucose levels, too. Simple Is Best for Cold Medicines Keep it simple by choosing an over-the-counter medication based on the types of ingredients proven to relieve your particular symptoms. Often a medication with just one ingredient is all you need to treat your symptoms rather than agents with multiple ingredients. "To choose the correct medication, take time to speak to a pharmacist," says Jerry Meece, R.Ph., CDE, of Gainesville, Texas. "The proper remedies may not only make you feel better, but also cut the length of the illness and possibly save you a trip to the doctor." Oral cold and flu pills are often a better choice than syrups with the same ingredients because the pills may contain no carbohydrate. If you decide to use a syrup, look for one that is sugar-free. If you can't find one, the small amount of sugar in a syrup will likely affect your blood sugar less than the illness itself, Meece says. Safe OTC Cold Medicines Various over-the-counter medications are designed to treat specific symptoms. Many pharmacists recommend these products for people with diabetes. Symptom: Cough Best option: Anti-tussive dextromethorphan (Delsym, Diabetic Tussin NT [includes acetaminophen, diphenhydramine]) Sympt Continue reading >>

Voice Of The Diabetic

Voice Of The Diabetic

by Sarah Johnston Miller, Pharm.D., BCNSP (Note from Dr. Wes Wilson: Looking at this question, I felt it would be wise to refer it to a pharmacist who is actively involved in both patient care and in teaching students about such problems. Dr. Sarah Miller is Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Montana, and is also a consultant at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana. Her answer should be helpful.) Q: Which nonprescription drug products for treatment of common cold symptoms should a person with diabetes avoid? A: There is some concern about the effect some nonprescription (over-the-counter) medications may have on blood sugar control. The diabetic patient should always remember that, in general, "sick days" may be associated with fluctuations in blood sugar. This may be related to the stress of being sick, or to changes in dietary intake during illness. Your nonprescription medications may not be at fault at all--but it pays to know. A severe bout of the common cold (a viral illness) could certainly produce "sick days," elevated blood sugars--without any effects from your nonprescription or other medications. When you're sick, test your blood more often. Textbooks may list quite a few classes of potentially-problematic medications, though many of these are in reality not very significant. Regardless, the diabetic patient should always contact their health care provider (physician, diabetes educator, or pharmacist) prior to taking any new nonprescription medication. This includes "lternative"remedies purchased at the health food store or elsewhere; "natural" does not mean "safe from interactions!" You should be cautious that many nonprescription medications, including those targeting symptoms of the common cold, contain multiple ingredients. Another Continue reading >>

Cold Medicines That Are Safe For Diabetes

Cold Medicines That Are Safe For Diabetes

Safe OTC Cold Medicines Various over-the-counter medications are designed to treat specific symptoms. Many pharmacists recommend these products for people with diabetes. Symptom: Cough Best option: Anti-tussive dextromethorphan (Delsym, Diabetic Tussin NT [includes acetaminophen, diphenhydramine]) Symptoms: Congestion, mucus in sinus passages Best options: Decongestant pseudoephedrine (Sudafed); phenylephrine; phenylpropalamine Symptoms: Phlegm, mucus in respiratory tract Best option: Expectorant guaifenesin (Mucinex, Robitussin) Symptoms: Pain and/or fever Best options: Analgesic acetaminophen (Tylenol); aspirin For fever and pain relief, look to analgesics, including aspirin and acetaminophen. Both are safe for most people and commonly available. The analgesic class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which includes ibuprofen and naproxen, may increase blood pressure and is not a good choice for people with kidney problems. Note: Be sure to call your doctor if your temperature rises above 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms: Runny nose, itchy eyes Best option: Antihistamine Less-sedating options: certirizine (Zyrtec); loratadine (Claritin) More-sedating options: chlorpheniramine (Chlortrimeton); diphenhydramine (Benadryl) For a stuffy nose, oral decongestants (pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, phenylpropalamine) can increase both blood glucose and blood pressure and therefore are not usually recommended. "The occasional use of a decongestant should be the rule," says Robert Busch, M.D., an endocrinologist from Albany, New York. You'll have to sign the pharmacy register for over-the-counter remedies containing pseudoephedrine. Federal law limits pseudoephedrine purchases because the drug can be used to make illegal methamphetamine. All oral antihistamines are Continue reading >>

Histamine Affects Blood Sugar & Why Eating Makes You Sleepy

Histamine Affects Blood Sugar & Why Eating Makes You Sleepy

Feeling tired and dizzy after eating, as well as having low blood sugar symptoms between meals, is all too common in histamine intolerance and mast cell activation. Histamine inflammation is a key player in all these, and yet there’s more to it than meets the eye. histamine and blood sugar Histamine and blood sugar are very strongly linked. Blood sugar fluctuations can affect histamine levels, and histamine can contribute to the development of diabetes. Medical studies show that: Diabetic animals were found to consistently have lower levels of the histamine degrading diamine oxidase (DAO) enzyme In animal studies, blocking the histamine 3 receptor (H3) reduced glucose levels in diabetic subjects Diabetics have been found to have increased histamine levels and mast cells Mast cell stabilisers and antihistamines have been shown to decrease diabetic complications TOXIC HUNGER New York Times bestselling author Dr. Fuhrman, M.D., believes that “food addicts and unhealthy eaters feel the detoxification symptoms (as fatigue) after digestion is finished, so they look to eat again for energy (which halts the detoxification, so they feel better) even though they don’t need the calories. This inevitably leads to being overweight and unhealthy.” This tripped me up for years! I suspected blood sugar problems for the longest time and while living in Cairo, Egypt, I’d keep running to the pharmacy next door every time I felt a blood sugar episode coming on, only to be disappointed with totally normal results. I came to realise only years later that what was actually happening was a blood pressure crash, combined with the junk that I had eaten being worked on by my immune system. Now I’ve also come to believe that the symptoms I felt after eating were actually the result of Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Sick Days: What Meds Are Ok

Diabetes And Sick Days: What Meds Are Ok

In the midst of cold and flu season, you may wonder what medications are safe to take without greatly impacting blood glucose levels when you have diabetes. Overall, it's the sickness that increases blood glucose in people with diabetes, not the medication used to treat it. However, some medications should be used with caution. Stacey O'Donnell, R.N., B.S., C.D.E., nurse manager, at Joslin Diabetes Center, goes over different types of medications and how they could impact your diabetes. Examples: Tylenol, Aspirin Effect on diabetes: No effect. Use cautiously if you have renal disease. Anti-inflammatory Examples: Ibuprofen, such as Advil, Motrin, Nuprin Effect on diabetes: No effect. Also should be used carefully if you have renal disease. Examples: Allegra, Bumex Effect on diabetes: Caution should be used in patients who have diabetes with renal disease, cardiac disease and high blood pressure. General guidelines for taking medications for people with diabetes are to avoid products containing sugar, such as sucrose, dextrose, fructose, lactose and honey, O'Donnell says. Also, choose products with little or no alcohol. A suggested list of sugar-free cough and cold medicines includes: Chlor-Trometon tablets Dimetapp Elixir Scot-Tussin DM Liquid Cerose-DM Liquid Continue reading >>

What’s The Danger With Decongestants And Antihistamines?

What’s The Danger With Decongestants And Antihistamines?

Why do over-the-counter decongestants or antihistamines warn that they are not to be used by people with diabetes? Robert Williams Fort Worth, Texas They can be used by people with diabetes, but with caution. Decongestants Decongestants are similar to adrenaline, thus they can cause blood vessels to constrict and increase blood pressure. Also, as with adrenaline, decongestants can release sugar into the blood stream and raise blood sugars. For most people, it is not a big deal. To see if it is a big deal for you, test your blood sugar, take the decongestant, then keep testing to see what happens. The problem lies in the fact that if you require a decongestant, you are probably already sick, so your blood sugars are high anyway. Caution is advised. Antihistamines Antihistamines have a slight decongestive effect, but not enough to worry about. One danger is that antihistamines can make you drowsy, and you may forget to test your blood sugars. R. Keith Campbell, RPh, CDE Professor of Pharmacy Washington State University Pullman, Washington I think that it’s safe to say that none of us were happy when we first found out that we had diabetes. The words “you’re a diabetic” or “you have diabetes” can sound like a death sentence and while we … Dear Nadia, Is marijuana used to lower high blood sugar? if so, does this mean I have to refrain from the munchies to get the benefits? Leah Dear Leah: The new Marijuana industry is still at its infancy in terms … Continue reading >>

Tips For Managing Glucose Levels

Tips For Managing Glucose Levels

Upswing: Caffeine There are many different ways blood sugar (glucose levels in the blood) can be affected and cause problems with sugar control in people with diabetes. Each person reacts differently to various items that influence blood sugars. There are some compounds individuals with diabetes may want to examine to see how they influence their own blood sugar levels. For example, blood sugar levels can rise after drinking coffee, black tea, and some energy drinks due to the presence of caffeine. There are other compounds that may alter blood glucose levels and methods people with diabetes can use to see what compounds and actions influence their own blood sugar levels. Upswing: Sugar-Free Foods A number of foods claim to be "sugar-free," but these foods raise blood sugar levels because many of them contain carbohydrates in starches, fats, and even fiber. Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol add sweetness to foods but still may have enough associated carbohydrates to raise blood sugar levels. Foods with high levels of carbohydrates are likely to raise blood sugar levels very high, and eventually may cause organ damage over time in people with diabetes. Upswing: Chinese Food Foods high in fat can cause blood sugar to stay higher for longer periods of time. Pizza, French fries, and most fried foods are high in carbohydrates and fat. It's a good idea to check your blood sugar about two hours after you eat such foods to see how your blood sugar levels are affected. Upswing: A Bad Cold Dehydration can elevate your blood sugar so it is wise to stay well hydrated. If you are sick, diarrhea and vomiting for more than two hours, or illness longer than a few days may alter your blood sugar. Moreover, blood sugar rises as your body tries to fight any type of illness. Medi Continue reading >>

Antihistamines | Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community

Antihistamines | Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Hi there does any one know if antihistamines or other treatments for hay fever such as Beconase (steroid) can affect levels? Hi there does any one know if antihistamines or other treatments for hay fever such as Beconase (steroid) can affect levels? Wow, thanks for the question . I thought it might pertain to all us diabetics, one way or another. I found my inhaler on this list in case I have an asthma attack so I have been meaning to let my allergy doc know I occasionally have to use the thing Thanks that is interesting as 30 mins before testing I needed to take ventolin and Beconase - both listed here. That might explain the higher than usual reading. Trouble is I need them occasionally and this time of year is when I do. It's pollen and August early Sept is my worst time. Took antihistamine but found it ineffective so changed to Beconase. This deals with the sneezing but as its topical doesn't help the asthma so I need my ventolin. I'm usually fine in the day but evenings are worse. I don't know if antihistamines raise bg levels, I do think the hayfever would raise bg anyway. I get hayfever from grass pollen from June to August and take loratadine, and use Nasobec nasal spray when grasspollen levels are very high. I am trying to push back my 12 month HbA1c test so that it doesn't cover the hayfever season. I was diagnosed as T2 after test at end of August last year, at 49. I suspect my reading might have been higher because it covered the hayfever season. When I had my 3 month retest in November it had come down to 44. That might have been due to low carbing and exercise, but it might also have been lower because it covered 12 weeks after the grass Continue reading >>

Choosing A Antihistamine For Diabetics

Choosing A Antihistamine For Diabetics

Choosing the Right Antihistamine as a Diabetic written by: AngelicaMD edited by: Diana Cooper updated: 5/6/2011 Diabetics who suffer from allergies, flu, colds and cough sometimes take over-the-counter (OTC) drugs such as antihistamines. Choosing the right antihistamine as a diabetic is important because many OTC drugs may affect blood sugar levels and cause other undesired side effects. Many diabetic people who experience symptoms of flu, colds, cough and allergies are often not sure if they are suffering from infection or allergies. The symptoms may be similar and so people often buy over-the-counter drugs (OTC) that contain combinations of ingredients which target these symptoms all at once. These symptoms may include headache, fever, runny nose and weakness, for which OTC drugs combining pain relievers, antihistamines, nasal decongestants, cough suppressants and other ingredients are sold. Antihistamines block the action of histamines which are produced by normal cells in reaction to allergens, thus preventing symptoms like runny nose, excessive tearing, itchiness and other allergic reactions. OTC antihistamines are usually combined with other drugs such as nasal decongestants, cough suppressants, expectorants, pain relievers, etc to relieve cough, colds and other flu symptoms. First generation or older preparations of antihistamines often cause drowsiness. Examples of these are diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlortrimeton). These are usually taken when one is expected to rest in bed and contraindicated for persons who are driving vehicles or heavy equipment. Second generation antihistamines are the newer class of drugs which are non-sedating and are taken by people who work or go to school. They include certirizine (Zyrtec) and loratadine (Clarit Continue reading >>

Do Allergy Medications And Diabetes Medications Interact?

Do Allergy Medications And Diabetes Medications Interact?

I heard people with diabetes need to be careful with allergy medications. Are there allergy medications I cannot take with my diabetes medication? Zyrtec® (cetirizine), Claritin® (loratadine), Allegra® (fexofenadine), and Benadryl® (diphenhydramine) are all allergy medications that should not affect your blood sugar when used by themselves. However, these antihistamines are often paired with pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine. Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are both decongestants. These two medications can cause an increase in blood sugar when taken with diabetes medication and should be avoided, if possible, in people with diabetes. Be sure to read labels on cold and allergy medications, and be careful when the letter D is added to a medication name, such as Zyrtec-D or Claritin-D. This means that it contains pseudoephedrine. Continue reading >>

Seasonal Allergies And Diabetes

Seasonal Allergies And Diabetes

As the warmer weather returns in spring, so do seasonal allergies. Tree pollens are the culprit of airborne allergens in the spring, with grass pollens in late spring to summer and weed pollens in the late summer to early fall. These allergens can trigger sneezing, runny noses, nasal congestion, itchy and watery eyes as well as inflammation within the nasal passages in many people, leading to more irritation and discomfort. Seasonal allergies and diabetes requires some extra knowledge to ensure that the products you use do not significantly impact your blood glucose levels. What products can you find in your pharmacy for symptom relief? Topical agents: Eye drops or nasal spray containing cromolyn sodium: this active ingredient is a mast cell stabilizer, and prevents the release of histamines during an allergic reaction. For the best results, cromolyn sodium should be started before the allergy season begins and continued daily until the season ends. These products usually do not provide immediate relief. However, modest improvements can usually be expected within several days, and full benefits in one to two weeks. It is important to note that they can still be used even after symptoms have appeared, to prevent further allergy symptoms from developing. Some common products: Apo-Cromolyn®, Cromolyn®, Nalcrom®, Opticrom®, PMS-SODIUM CROMOGLYCATE® Nasal decongestants provide faster symptom relief than oral decongestants. Their use should be limited to short periods (3–5 days) to avoid developing rebound nasal congestion. Some common products: 0.1% xylometazoline HCL (Otrivin®); phenylephrine 0.5% and pheniramine 0.2% (Dristan®) Nasal irrigation with saline solution via nose bidets or neti pots, squirt bottles, bulb syringes, or pulsatile irrigation systems. These Continue reading >>

Sneezes And Wheezes: Seasonal Allergies And Diabetes

Sneezes And Wheezes: Seasonal Allergies And Diabetes

Spring is really starting to burst out here in Massachusetts. The tulips are blooming and leaves and buds are popping out on the trees. As pretty and welcoming as this is, many of you (about 50 million!) are probably bracing yourself for all of the pollen that is soon to follow, and suffering through the misery that it can bring. Thanks to the mild winter that we had in the Northeast, plants are pollinating earlier than usual. As if that weren’t bad enough, having seasonal allergies can also affect your blood sugar control. Seasonal allergies: do you have them? Seasonal allergies are sometimes called hay fever or, more technically, seasonal allergic rhinitis. You might be wondering if your symptoms are due to a cold, flu, or allergies. While there can be some overlap, the following symptoms are usually indicative of allergies: • Itchy eyes • Watery eyes • Dark circles under the eyes • Sneezing • Runny nose • Stuffy nose • Sore throat You might also feel a little bit tired. You won’t get a fever from allergies, however. These symptoms can linger for weeks unless they’re treated. Treating allergies There are a number of remedies for seasonal allergies, including oral medications, nasal sprays, and eye drops. It’s important that you not only choose the right one for your symptoms, but that you also are aware of how these medicines might affect your blood sugars. The following types of allergy medicines may affect your blood glucose levels or how you manage them: Antihistamines. These medicines can reduce sneezing, runny nose, and itchy and watery eyes. Common antihistamines include diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratidine (Alavert, Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy), and fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy). Antihistamines might be combined with a deconge Continue reading >>

Antihistamines & Glucose Levels

Antihistamines & Glucose Levels

If you have diabetes, it is critical that you maintain healthy blood glucose levels. While some medications can have an effect on glucose levels, antihistamines will not raise or lower them. However, your nutrition will affect your blood glucose levels, so it is important to eat a healthful diet. Also, you should always follow your doctor's advice about what medications are safe for you to take. Video of the Day Histamine is a chemical in your body that causes the nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing and itching that generally accompany an allergic reaction or cold, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. An antihistamine is a medicine that prevents histamine from acting in your body, and it relieves allergy symptoms. Antihistamines are widely available over-the-counter, and they can often cause drowsiness as a side effect. However, they also can offer inexpensive relief from mild to moderate allergy symptoms. Antihistamines and Diabetes Antihistamines have no effect on your blood glucose level, so diabetics and others who need to carefully monitor their glucose levels should be able to take them. It is possible that with the drowsiness caused by antihistamines, however, you may forget to monitor your blood sugar. However, when taking an antihistamine, you can compensate for this by setting an alarm to remind you when to check your glucose levels. If you have any concerns regarding diabetes medication and antihistamine interactions, check with your pharmacist or doctor before taking anything. Glucose and Carbs Your glucose levels are primarily affected by what you eat and drink, particularly carbohydrates. When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into the simple sugar molecule, glucose. Glucose is absorbed from the small intestine into your Continue reading >>

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