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Can Influenza Cause Diabetes?

Flu And Diabetes: A Dangerous Combination

Flu And Diabetes: A Dangerous Combination

After many years of caring for ill people in hospital and never catching the flu, Mathilde V., 75, a retired nurse and mother of 5, had never thought she could be affected by it. She didn’t think she would ever have to consider vaccination. She always maintained a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, took vitamin C supplements and carefully avoided confined spaces (waiting rooms, shops, etc.) during the flu season. Around her menopause, however, due to genetic predispositions, Mathilde was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. And a few years later, while nursing her younger daughter, she eventually got the flu. Unfortunately, the flu virus can have much more serious consequences for diabetics (1). Since the organism is already weakened by this chronic disease, it has less resources available to fight the virus, making it more vulnerable to flu complications (2). The virus can also disrupt blood sugar control and therefore worsen the diabetes. The flu can develop into pneumonia (viral or bacterial) or respiratory distress, potentially leading to a serious progression of the diabetes, which can result in a coma or even death (3). Mathilde suffered pulmonary complications that required taking antibiotics. Despite acute breathing difficulties, exhaustion and pain, she could not go to hospital, for fear of leaving her ill daughter alone, as her husband was away on a military mission. Physically weakened, it took her many weeks to recover. Since then, Mathilde gets systematically vaccinated against the flu. Previously skeptical regarding the benefits of vaccination, she only changed her mind when she personally experienced the dangers of the diabetes/flu interaction. “To avoid getting the flu, on top of getting vaccinated, it is important to have a healthy diet, to get some Continue reading >>

Flu Virus May Trigger Diabetes

Flu Virus May Trigger Diabetes

Italian researchers have discovered that the flu virus may trigger the onset of type 1 diabetes. Sign Up for Our Healthy Living Newsletter Thanks for signing up! You might also like these other newsletters: Sign up for more FREE Everyday Health newsletters . MONDAY, Nov. 5, 2012 The flu virus may do more than just make you sick with the flu, say Italian researchers. It could also trigger diabetes. Type 1 diabetes , once known as juvenile diabetes, affects as many as 3 million Americans, most of them diagnosed as children. Type 1 diabetes develops when the bodys immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells found in the pancreas. The condition is genetic, but an environmental trigger is also necessary for it to appear. Researchers have suspected the flu virus might provide this trigger since the 1970s, because type 1 diabetes often sets in after an infection. Study author Ilaria Capua and her team from the World Organization for Animal Health infected turkeys with the flu to test their theory that it could trigger diabetes. They conducted the study on turkeys because they knew birds with the flu often have an inflamed pancreas, according to New Scientist . They found that many of the turkeys infected with flu virus developed severe pancreatic damage, as well as diabetes. The researchers then infected human pancreatic tissue with two common flu viruses and found that both viruses grew well in the tissue. The flu virus in the pancreatic cells triggered production of inflammatory chemicals that are central to the autoimmune reactions that lead to type 1 diabetes. Normally, in humans, the virus attacks the lungs and gut, but not typically the pancreas. But it can sometimes get into the blood and travel to the pancreas , researchers said. Capua is now testing th Continue reading >>

Influenza Virus And Glycemic Variability In Diabetes: A Killer Combination?

Influenza Virus And Glycemic Variability In Diabetes: A Killer Combination?

Influenza Virus and Glycemic Variability in Diabetes: A Killer Combination? 1School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 2Mater Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 1School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 3Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 1School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 2Mater Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia 3Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia Edited by: Aeron Hurt, WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, Australia Reviewed by: Paul Horwood, Pasteur Institute in Cambodia, Cambodia; Julie McAuley, University of Melbourne, Australia *Correspondence: Kirsty R. Short, [email protected] These authors have contributed equally to this study. This article was submitted to Virology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology Received 2017 Mar 7; Accepted 2017 Apr 27. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Following the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, numerous studies identified the striking link between diabetes mellitus and influenza disease s Continue reading >>

Drugs To Prevent And Treat The Flu

Drugs To Prevent And Treat The Flu

Its that time of year again: flu season. If you havent gotten it already, you should be preparing to get your annual vaccine against influenza or, as it is usually called, the flu. The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. Symptoms of the flu include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and fatigue, all of which can range from mild to severe. Often the flu is accompanied by fever, with its usual symptoms of alternating chills and uncomfortable warmth. While most flu symptoms involve the respiratory tract, vomiting and diarrhea can also occur; these symptoms are more common in children than adults. Most people recover from the flu within a few days to less than two weeks. However, some people develop serious and sometimes life-threatening complications from the flu. Such complications may include secondary infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear or sinus infections, or the worsening of a preexisting chronic condition such as asthma or congestive heart failure. If you have diabetes, you are considered at high risk for getting the flu and for developing complications, even if your blood glucose is well controlled. This is because diabetes can impair your immune systems ability to fight off an attacking virus such as the flu. Then, once you catch the flu, your body may respond negatively in several ways to the stress of being sick. During times of stress, the body releases stress hormones such as epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol, which raise your heart rate and blood pressure . Epinephrine along with glucagon, a hormone produced by alpha cells in the pancreas also causes the liver to release stored glucose, leading to elevated blood glucose levels in many people with diabetes. Being ill can also Continue reading >>

Can Catching The Flu Cause Type 1 Diabetes?

Can Catching The Flu Cause Type 1 Diabetes?

Many a type 1 diabetes diagnosis occurs right after the flu or other big virus or illness. This leads some to believe that the flu or other illness caused their diabetes. While those are good powers of observation, it’s not accurate. To help us better understand, Dr. Stephen Ponder, a fellow person living with type 1 diabetes and a pediatric endocrinologist from Texas who wrote the book, Sugar Surfing: How to Manage Type 1 Diabetes in a Modern World explains: “What happens is that the hormonal stress from a major infection like the flu overwhelms what little insulin capacity is left after a long period of autoimmune erosion of the beta cell mass. This unmasks the glucose intolerance sooner. Because it is a proximal event relative to the clinical diagnosis of diabetes, the infection itself wrongly gets blamed as the culprit.” In other words, a major illness such as the flu will speed up the process of type 1 diabetes developing, leading more quickly to the symptoms that lead to diagnosis. In such cases it can appear that the flu caused type 1 diabetes but really it was a mere catalyst for it happening as soon as it did. Without the flu or other illness being contracted, type 1 diabetes would still develop in time. Continue reading >>

What Is Influenza?

What Is Influenza?

People with diabetes are at high risk of serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year, and vaccinating the entire family. If you have diabetes, you are three times more likely to be hospitalised and three times more likely to die from the flu and its complications than other people. The flu may also interfere with your blood glucose levels. So prevent flu and get a flu shot! Influenza is highly contagious as the viruses are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes small virus-containing droplets into the air. If you’re nearby, you can breathe them in and infect your respiratory tract. However, it’s important to remember that touching contaminated surfaces (including hands) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes can also lead to infection. Influenza infection usually has different symptoms and causes a more severe illness than most other common viral respiratory infections and may be a life-threatening infection in certain people; it should not be confused with the common cold! Influenza, and its potential complications, can be very serious for people living with diabetes. The NHMRC recommends vaccination in adults and children older than 6 months with chronic pulmonary or circulatory disease, including severe asthma, and other chronic illness that require regular medical follow-up or hospitalisation in the preceding year. People living with diabetes need to get vaccinated– it could save their lives and will ensure they are protected when others bring the infection into their workplaces or social environment. People who work with or live with people who are at risk of complications, such as people living with diabetes, should also be immunised to avoid spreading the flu. People can unknowingly infect othe Continue reading >>

Flu Virus May Trigger Diabetes, Study Says

Flu Virus May Trigger Diabetes, Study Says

Flu Virus May Trigger Diabetes, Study Says Researchers have prompted another reason to worry about flu season. The influenza virus may trigger diabetes. But, if the hunch is true, it may also help doctors target and prevent diabetes. There are two common forms of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, the more common form, occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or when the cells ignore the insulin that the body creates. The second, less common form of diabetes is Type 1, which affects 5 percent of people with diabetes ,is when the body does not produce insulin at all. It is normally diagnosed during childhood or young adulthood. While people are born with a genetic predisposition for the disorder, an environmental factor triggers the onset of the lifelong condition - though researchers have remained uncertain about what exactly the environmental factor is. As a result, researchers from Italy infected turkeys with the flu , because infected birds normally have enlarged pancreas after developing the flu, even if the virus does not spread beyond their respiratory tract. After flu infection, many of the turkeys developed severe pancreatitis, or pancreas damage, and diabetes. Subsequent studies by the same researchers infected human pancreatic tissue with two common influenza viruses. In both cases, the flu virus grew very well, producing the type of chemicals that are, in turn, central to the autoimmune reactions that lead to type 1 diabetes.According to New Scientist, researchers theorize that immune cells bring infected cells to the fighter T-cells to help them learn to destroy the disease. But the T-cells become carried away with their job, learning to not just recognize the disease, but the insulin-producing cells that carry them. Normally, in humans, the flu virus r Continue reading >>

Flu And People With Diabetes

Flu And People With Diabetes

People with diabetes (type 1 or type 2), even when well-managed, are at high risk of serious flu complications People with diabetes (type 1 or type 2), even when well-managed, are at high risk of serious flu complications , which can result in hospitalization and sometimes even death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. Flu also can make chronic health problems, like diabetes, worse. This is because diabetes can make the immune system less able to fight infections. In addition, illness can make it harder to control your blood sugar. The illness might raise your sugar but sometimes people dont feel like eating when they are sick, and this can cause blood sugar levels to fall. So it is important to follow the sick day guidelines for people with diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). More than 100 million Americans are living with diabetes (30.3 million) or prediabetes (84.1 million). Learn more about how people with diabetes can protect themselves from flu illness here. A Flu Vaccine is the Best Protection Against Flu Flu vaccination is especially important for people with diabetes because they are at high risk of developing serious flu complications. Flu vaccines are updated each season as needed to keep up with changing viruses. Also, immunity wanes over a year so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against flu. A flu vaccine protects against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. (See Vaccine Virus Selection for this seasons exact vaccine composition.) Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Flu: A Devastating Combination

Diabetes & Flu: A Devastating Combination

Flu hits diabetes patients hard – nurses and GPs can help improve vaccination rates ‘I remember the fever and fatigue as being unbearable,’ recalls Maximino Álvarez, a diabetes patient who has had flu twice. ‘It is an unpleasant experience which should be avoided.’ Flu infection can be serious for anyone but for people with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, the risk of hospitalisation can be as much as ten times higher than the rest of the population. ‘Anything that affects your health has an impact on your diabetes,’ explains Maximino. ‘With flu, your blood sugar levels are affected and it becomes difficult to keep it under control. Resistance to fast-acting insulin is a frequent effect of influenza infection.’ Dr Xavier Cos, a GP specialising in diabetes care, says people with diabetes are more severely affected by any respiratory tract infections and can suffer serious complications as a result. ‘The reaction to the infectious process often exacerbates their metabolic disease,’ he says. ‘In many cases, they are also not as well able to fight the infection so a cascade of consequences can follow – just as in older people or those with chronic lung or kidney diseases.’ Vaccine-prevent diseases Flu and pneumococcal disease – both of which can be prevented by vaccination – are serious respiratory diseases that can increase the risk of hospitalisation. ‘Epidemiological data tells us that people with diabetes who suffer from flu or other respiratory problems are at higher risk of hospital admission and likely to spend more days in hospital,’ says Dr Cos. His advice? ‘It makes sense to vaccinate all diabetes patients against flu given the potential for complications.’ Maximino echoes this view but acknowledges that too few people w Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Influenza: A Dangerous Combination

Diabetes And Influenza: A Dangerous Combination

Diabetes And Influenza: A Dangerous Combination Diabetes + Influenza = A Dangerous Combination Nov. 14, 2017 is World Diabetes Day, the worlds largest diabetes awareness campaign that aims to unite the global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice to highlight the realities and threats of dealing with this chronic medical condition. Diabetes is a major threat to health globally. In the U.S., diabetes rates have almost doubled in the past two decades, from 5.5 percent in 1994 to 9.3 percent in 2012. An estimated 30.3 million people , or 9.4 percent of the U.S. population, had diabetes in 2015. The CDC projects that one in three adults could have diabetes by 2050. More than one-quarter of seniors (ages 65 and older) has diabetes (25.9 percent, or 11 million seniors). In the European region, about 60 million people have diabetes , or about 10.3 percent of men and 9.6 percent of women aged 25 years and over. In Africa, the rate of diabetes remains low , but the number of people living with diabetes has dramatically increased from 4 million in 1980 to 25 million in 2014. More than 60 percent of those with diabetes live in Asia , with nearly half in China and India combined. The Asia Pacific region has 138 million people with diabetes, and the number may increase to 201 million by 2035. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th edn. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2013. The prevalence of diabetes is increasing mostly due to increases in obesity, unhealthy eating habits and decreased physical inactivity. Globally, diabetes kills about 3.4 million people annually. WHO projects that diabetes deaths will double between 2005 and 2030. Diabetes itself is not a major problem unless the blood glucose is uncontrolled and either rises too Continue reading >>

How To Treat Cold And Flu Symptoms If You Have Diabetes

How To Treat Cold And Flu Symptoms If You Have Diabetes

How to Treat Cold and Flu Symptoms If You Have Diabetes By Debra Manzella, RN | Reviewed by a board-certified physician People with diabetes are at increased risk of being infected with the cold or flu virus because their immune systems can be weaker than someone else who does not have diabetes. To complicate matters, it can be hard to keep blood sugars controlled when you get sick. While the body tries to fight the illness, hormones are released that cause blood sugars to rise and interfere with the blood-glucose lowering effects of insulin, making diabetes harder to control. How you manage your diabetes when you are sick is important. Medications for Treating Cold and Flu Symptoms in Diabetics One of the questions that comes up often is, what can someone with diabetes take that is over the counter if they do get sick? This can be confusing because there are so many brands of cold and flu medications to choose from. You can buy single symptom medicines that treat just coughs or just nasal congestion. Or you can buy a product that will help with several symptoms at once. The trick is to know what ingredients are in the medications that you buy, and how they will affect your diabetes. Ingredients on the labels fall under two categories: inactive and active. Inactive ingredients don't have medicinal value. They are typically fillers, flavorings, colorings, and substances that help with consistency. Active ingredients are the drugs that actually treat the symptoms. Find out the ingredients of your typical over-the-counter medicines and how they can affect your diabetes: Inactive IngredientsThat May Affect Diabetes Alcohol or sugar are non-pharmacological ingredients that may be in the cold and flu medicine you are taking. They may be listed under "inactive ingredients" on Continue reading >>

Flu And Diabetes

Flu And Diabetes

Tweet People with diabetes are generally at a greater risk if they catch flu (influenza) as it can pose significant difficulties with diabetes management. Flu is a viral infection which is easily caught through inhaling small droplets released when someone with the flu virus nearby coughs or sneezes. A dangerous complication of the flu is pneumonia and people with diabetes are more at risk of developing this complication than people without diabetes. Flu, and other viral infections, can lead to higher blood sugar levels and increase the risk of serious short term complications risk, particularly short term complications such as ketoacidosis and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State (HHS). Read more on getting vacinated against the flu. What are the symptoms of flu? Symptoms of flu may occur rapidly and include: Severe aching and pain in joints Aching muscles Aching around the eyes Fever Warm, flushed skin Headache Dry cough Sore throat and discharge from the nose Complications of the flu Influenza can lead to chest infections which may develop into pneumonia. Rarer complications include tonsilitis, meningitis and encephalitis. The flu can be a killer and is responsible for around 600 deaths a year. During an epidemic, flu can kill thousands of people in a year. Diabetes and flu medication Some over-the-counter flu medication is suitable for people with diabetes. Some over-the-counter flu medication will be more suitable for people with diabetes than others. For instance, some flu medications contain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, which are not usually recommended for people with diabetes because they may slightly increase the risk of heart problems and stroke. A number of flu medications may contain a relatively high level of sugar which could pre Continue reading >>

Fight The Flu! A Pwd Survival Guide To Tackling The Flu With Diabetes

Fight The Flu! A Pwd Survival Guide To Tackling The Flu With Diabetes

It's officially winter! Which means we are right smack dab in the middle of flu season. The flu is bad for anyone. But it's especially serious for people with diabetes. And this year, the CDC is reporting a moderately severe infection rate. If we don't take care of ourselves while sick, we could easily end up at the hospital in serious DKA-mode. Diabetes weakens the immune system, making it less able to fight infections; additionally, illness causes more blood sugar fluctuations. Together, we get a dangerous duo that can result in health risks that could potentially lead to high mortality rates . Instead, protect yourself with our easy-to-follow tips below. Before you wreck yourself. Seriously. Stay on top of blood sugars. Check your BGs more than you usually do. The flu can cause major fluctuations in blood glucose. Now's the time to really take advantage of that One Drop | Premium subscription - take your blood sugar every hour, at least! It'll greatly limit potential hypos/hypers. Cheers! To all the water and Pedialyte Now is the time for the ultimate chugging contest. Well, maybe not actually. But in reality, your body is losing liquids when it's fighting the flu. If you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, you're at much greater risk for dehydration. If you are having difficulty keeping liquids down, no worries - sip on clear liquids (water, tea, Pedialyte, broth) at regular intervals (seriously, no need to chug). PRO-TIP: Make sure you're checking BGs before sipping. If your blood sugar is running high, sip liquids like water or sugar-free ginger ale. If it's running low, sip on orange juice or regular ginger ale. Myth: when you get sick, you should stop taking your daily medications.Fact: stress hormones kick into high gear when you're sick, meaning you might actua Continue reading >>

Can The Flu Trigger Type 1 Diabetes In Children?

Can The Flu Trigger Type 1 Diabetes In Children?

Can the Flu Trigger Type 1 Diabetes in Children? Ginger Vieira / @GingerVieira , Patient Expert Every year approximately 15,000 children and teenagers are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. There are various things that can trigger the disease, one of which is the flu. To be clear, the flu does not cause type 1 diabetes, but it can serve as a trigger for the onset of the disease in someone who is essentially pre-programmed to develop it. Autoimmune diseases often are just waiting for their trigger. One 2011 study in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology found a correlation between a specific flu virus (H1N1) and development of type 1 diabetes; another one, published in a 2012 issue of the Journal of Virology also found an association. The theory is that while fighting off the flu virus, the immune system accidentally begins destroying the cells within the pancreas that are essential to insulin production. Undiagnosed type 1 diabetes has become enough of an issue that organizations like TestOneDrop.org have formed to keep parents better informed and more aware. And the incidence of type 1 diabetes in children under the age of five is sky-rocketing, according to Terri Lipman, Ph.D.,at the Philadelphia Pediatric Diabetes Registry. While type 1 can certainly run in families with trends of autoimmune diseases, it can also develop in anyone. Nothing you do causes it (no, eating too much candy doesnt cause it), and unless youre testing your child each year via TrialNet and are a candidate for current research studies, theres nothing you can do to prevent it, either. Despite how easy it is to test for and diagnose type 1 diabetes, young people die every year because the symptoms are easily dismissed as an extended flu or even strep throat. Here are the sig Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Flu: Complications, Prevention, Treatments, And More

Diabetes And Flu: Complications, Prevention, Treatments, And More

For in-depth information, see Flu Symptoms: What You Might Feel. You can take some over-the-counter medications to ease your symptoms. But make sure you read the label. Avoid products with high amounts of sugar . This often includes liquid cold and flu drugs, cough drops, and liquid cough medicines . Look for sugar-free products instead. For in-depth information, see Flu Treatment: The Basics. You'll need to check often while youre sick. Because you're ill and feel awful anyway, you may not notice changes in your blood sugar levels . Take a reading at least every 3 to 4 hours. Call your doctor about any major changes right away. You may need to adjust your insulin . Check your ketones, if you have type 1 diabetes. If they get too high, you might have diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can cause a coma or even death. High ketones are another reason to call your doctor. You may feel really crummy and not hungry or thirsty at all. Still, you have to eat to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Stick with foods from your regular meal plan. Eat about 15 grams of carbs every hour or so, like a slice of toast, 3/4 cup of frozen yogurt, or 1 cup of soup. Some people get nausea , vomiting, and diarrhea with the flu . To make sure you get enough fluids, sip liquids throughout the day. Aim for 1 cup every hour. Choose sugar-free drinks -- tea , water , sugar-free ginger ale -- if your blood sugar is running high. If your blood sugar is low, try something that has about 15 grams of carbs: 1/4 cup of grape juice or 1 cup of a sports drink, for example. Because you have diabetes, you have a higher risk for complications. Your best strategy is to keep the flu away in the first place. Get a yearly shot or nasal vaccine . The best time for people with diabetes to get vaccinated is Septe Continue reading >>

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