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Diabetes And Colds

Diabetes And Colds

Diabetes And Colds

Colds can be miserable for many people, but with diabetes there's the added risk of blood sugar levels being affected. The body sends out hormones to fight the infection that's caused the cold. This can make it harder for you to use insulin effectively, and blood sugar levels may rise. Higher blood sugar in type 1 diabetes increases the risk of ketoacidosis, a build-up of too much acid in the blood that can be life-threatening. In type 2 diabetes, very high blood sugar can bring on a serious condition called diabetic coma. With a cold and diabetes you may be advised to check blood sugar levels more often than usual. Depending on how your diabetes is managed, medication or insulin doses may need to be adjusted. Talk to your diabetes care team if you have concerns, or are not sure how to adjust insulin or medication. Even though you may not feel like it, it is important to try to stick to regular meal patterns. Having smaller meals more often may help. If you really don't feel well enough to eat, soup may be recommended, or other higher-carb drinks, such as milk or fruit juice. It is important to keep drinking fluids with a cold. When it comes to over-the-counter cold remedies or painkillers, check the label or ask a pharmacist to see whether it can affect diabetes or its treatment. Continue reading >>

Keeping Your Blood Sugar Stable With The Common Cold

Keeping Your Blood Sugar Stable With The Common Cold

Editor’s Note: This article was originally written by patient expert Jackie Smith. The common cold has been uncommonly common for me in recent months. I typically get maybe one cold a year but this season, in spite of getting the flu and H1N1 shots, I succumbed to the onslaught of viruses hurled my way. I’m currently wrapping up the latest attack - congestion, sore throat, cough, overall tiredness - with a lingering throaty voice that makes me sound like a 30-year smoker or teen queen Miley Cyrus. When I’m sick I prefer to escape from the world, stay under covers, watch cartoons or Hammer horror films, eat gummy candy and drink Vitamin water. All these things I did do, but in the interest of becoming a more responsible type 2 diabetes patient I read up on what I SHOULD do. When you are sick, your body reacts by releasing hormones to fight infection. These hormones raise blood sugar levels and at the same time make it more difficult for insulin to lower blood sugar. As a result, when you are sick, it is harder to keep your blood sugar in your target range. Here are some guidelines to follow when you are ill: Check your blood sugar every four hours. Check your temperature regularly. Try to stick to your regular eating plan, even if you have no appetite. Try to eat as closely to your normal eating times as possible. Aim for 50 grams of carbohydrates every three to four hours. This will help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Make sure you are drinking liquids if you are unable to keep down solid food. Drink one cup of liquid every hour while you are awake to prevent dehydration. Aim for 50 grams of carbohydrate every three to four hours. This can include broth or bouillon, ½ cup regular soft drink (think Sprint or 7-up), ½ cup sports drink, weak tea. Other high-c Continue reading >>

Coughs, Colds And Diabetes

Coughs, Colds And Diabetes

Save for later For many people, the chilly month of January brings winter bugs. If you’re ill you may not feel like eating, but, if you've got diabetes, it’s really important to try to get adequate nutrition, particularly carbohydrate and fluids. Try these top tips for eating well when you're under the weather. Eating well Keep to your normal meal pattern if at all possible, but if this is too difficult, eat smaller meals, more frequently. You’ll find this easier than three larger meals, and it will also help to increase your appetite. If you’re off your food or can’t eat properly, you can replace your meals with carbohydrate-containing drinks such as soup, milk or fruit juice. Your dietitian may suggest high-energy supplement drinks between meals, too. Staying hydrated It’s important to drink plenty of sugar-free drinks, particularly water, and keep drinking as much as your can. If you’re being sick and can’t keep anything down, take regular sips of sugary drinks such as fruit juice, cola or lemonade, which can help to regulate your blood glucose levels. Keep taking your insulin and/or other diabetes medications even if you’re not eating, and speak to your healthcare team if you aren’t able to keep food and drinks down. Remember, your blood glucose level naturally goes up during illness and you need to keep it under control. Managing your health and your diabetes You may need to change your dose of insulin and/or other diabetes medications. If you check your blood glucose levels at home, you might have to do it more often when you are ill. Your results will help you and your healthcare professional to decide the changes you need to make to your medications. Contact your GP or a member of your diabetes healthcare team if you are concerned about anyth Continue reading >>

Eight Ways To Manage Diabetes In Cold Weather

Eight Ways To Manage Diabetes In Cold Weather

Eight Ways to Manage Diabetes in Cold Weather Cold weather can throw off your diabetes management. Here are eight ways winter can present a challenge, and what you can do to maintain your blood sugar control. 1. Be aware that cold environments can raise your A1C A1C levels (a measure of average glucose over the previous 23 months) often increase in cold weather. To some degree, bodies seem to do this on their own, perhaps as an evolutionary adaptation that helps raise their freezing point to survive the cold , according to Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD. Pharmacist and diabetes educator Susan B. Sloane says that higher sugars may make you feel warmer in the cold, but they are still unhealthy. Sloane says, Remember not to stay out long in extreme cold, especially if you have any cardiac issues or neuropathy. The cold weather can make blood thicker and more prone to clotting. Diabetes may reduce circulation to feet, leaving them less able to keep warm in cold weather. Winter may increase your chances of infection and nerve pain in your feet. Wear the warmest socks and well-fitting shoes or waterproof boots you can get. Pay extra attention to your foot care ; inspect your feet carefully every day and use moisturizer if the skin is drying (except between the toes). Wear warm gloves or mittens. 4. Keep your diabetes supplies at the right temperature Like extreme heat, extreme cold can affect your insulin and cause your blood glucose monitor to stop working properly. Joslin Diabetes Center advises not leaving supplies in the car in very cold weather. The same applies to insulin vials, pens, and pumps. Cool is generally OK; very cold or freezing is not . Some experts advise keeping a Thermos of warm tea in your diabetes supply case you have one of those, dont you? to keep supplies wa Continue reading >>

Battling Winter Colds And Illness When Type 1 Diabetic

Battling Winter Colds And Illness When Type 1 Diabetic

My carefully laid training plans were recently axed by a “stinking cold” that seemed to go round amongst colleagues and friends. What started off with body aches on a Friday, feeling cold and having headaches on a Saturday, had turned into a proper cold by Sunday with all the common symptoms: Runny nose, cough, congestion, headaches, sneezing and feeling generally quite lousy. And with that started a new challenge altogether: Managing my diabetes! From incubation to outbreak – Blood sugar observations As the weekend progressed, my sugar levels became gradually harder to manage until, eventually, with the outbreak of the cold, they were staying up at around 200-220mg/dl (11-12mmol/l). Any slow-release carbohydrates I would eat and cover with short-acting insulin (bolus) would send levels even higher within 30-60 minutes of injecting. My body had become highly insulin resistant and my diabetes an uncontrollable beast! Real life example: Day 2 of the cold and blood sugar levels My target range is shown in gray; levels between 85-140mg/dl (4.7-7.5mmol/l). I generally have good control with HbA1c results of ca 6.2%. When illness strikes however, chaos rules: Below graph shows how elevated glucose levels were despite: A temporary basal rate at 140-150% from waking up throughout the day until early evening an additional circa 15 -20 units of correction with short-acting insulin over the course of the day Little carbohydrate intake Notice the spike from 160mg/dl (8.9mmol/l) to 271mg/dl (15mmol/l) around 19:00 (7 pm)? This came after eating 12 grams of COH in form of Pumpernickel bread – and carbohydrates were measured correctly. This required significant correction with short-acting insulin (no ketones present). Illness, food and Type 1 don’t go well together. The bod Continue reading >>

Managing Diabetes With A Cold Or Flu

Managing Diabetes With A Cold Or Flu

The cold and flu season is on its way. And while sick days bring everyone down, people with type 2 diabetes have some special considerations when they're under the weather. In addition to choosing the right cold medications and checking in with your doctor about possible dosage changes, good diabetes care means being prepared for the days when you would rather not drag yourself out of bed for a glucose check or a snack. Pick the Right Cold Medicine “A lot of [cold and flu] medications, particularly cough syrup, are high in glucose,” says internist Danny Sam, MD, the program director of the residency program at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif. His practice specializes in adult diabetes. If you have diabetes, your best bet is a medicine that is clearly labeled sugar-free. Almost every major pharmacy has a store brand of sugar-free cold or cough medicine, says Dr. Sam. If you have questions, ask your pharmacist for help. Check Blood Sugar Often “Diabetes is not as well controlled when you are sick,” observes Sam. This is because when your body fights infection, it releases a chemical cascade that can alter your body’s glucose and insulin response. As a result, you may need to check your blood sugar more often than you usually do. People with type 2 diabetes may need to check their blood sugar four times a day, and should check their urine for ketones anytime their blood sugar level is higher than 300 mg/dL. Other medications you may need to take when you are sick can affect your blood sugar levels: Aspirin may lower blood sugar levels Certain antibiotics may decrease blood sugar levels in those taking some oral diabetes medications Decongestants may raise blood sugar levels Adjust Your Plan “You have to monitor your blood sugar more frequently and you m Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Cold Feet

Diabetes And Cold Feet

We’ve all heard of a bride or groom “getting cold feet” before walking down the aisle, but for people with diabetes, having cold feet takes on another meaning entirely. What causes cold feet? Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a form of nerve damage, is one of the most common causes of cold feet. About sixty to seventy percent of people with diabetes develop some form of neuropathy over time. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is actually the cause of all kinds of symptoms, including tingling, burning, or sensitivity to touch. Your feet might seem warm to the touch, but feel cold to you. Symptoms may worsen at night. Poor circulation is another common cause of cold feet. Poor circulation makes it more challenging for your heart to pump warm blood to your extremities, keeping your feet cooler than the rest of your body. Peripheral artery disease, caused by clogged arteries in your legs, can reduce circulation and lead to cold feet. This could be a sign of something more serious, like increased risk for heart attack or stroke, but your doctor can usually detect it by checking the pulse in your legs. Certain medications, particularly those that cause blood vessels to constrict, can cause cold feet. Popular medications associated with cold feet are those to treat blood pressure, migraine headaches, and head colds. Talk to your pharmacist if you start to experience cold feet after starting a particular medication. Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by an underactive thyroid. Low levels of thyroid hormone interfere with your body’s metabolism, contributing to reduced circulation and colder feet. Other causes of cold feet Restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder that causes funny sensations in your legs when at rest, such as creeping, crawling, aching—and, so Continue reading >>

How To Treat Flu Or Colds With Diabetes

How To Treat Flu Or Colds With Diabetes

Fall and winter are the viruses' delight. Rhinoviruses (colds) and adenoviruses (flus) prey on people huddled close together in cold weather. They also feel right at home on thousands of daily continental and intercontinental flights on which they fly for free. The vast oceans on the earth host uncounted viral hoards, and global warming makes breeding and mutations easier. Adenovirus transmission often goes from wild birds or bats to chickens, then pigs, and finally to humans. Flu season usually begins in early December and winds up in late March, but a 1999 outbreak began in Alaska in September, and unusual summer influenzas have also been seen in some parts of this country over the last few years. On average, adults develop 2 to 3 colds or flus per year, and children as many as 6 to 12. Knowing when to visit the doctor can be tricky. Here are some criteria to help you make an informed decision. Consult your physician if: a cough gets worse instead of better your illness lasts longer than a week your symptoms get worse instead of better a high fever occurs sinus pain, earache, or toothache develops Viral strains change every year, and about every 30 years an especially severe outbreak or pandemic occurs. A very deadly variant appeared during World War ! and became what is now called the Spanish flu pandemic. Some believe it started on March 11, 1918, at an Army training camp in Fort Riley, Kansas. However, an earlier outbreak probably began earlier in 1916 at a large British war camp near Etaples, France, where large numbers of live chickens and pigs were kept in close proximity to thousands of encamped soldiers. By late spring of 1918, the flu had killed 48 soldiers at Fort Riley. The following fall, it reappeared with a vengence in the fall, killing more Americans, E Continue reading >>

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 >>

Diabetes And Colds

Diabetes And Colds

Colds aren't fun for anyone, but if you have diabetes, all that sniffling and sneezing comes with an extra risk. When you're sick, there's a chance your blood sugar levels could go up. Some smart strategies can get you back on track. Why Is My Blood Sugar Going Up? When you have a cold, your body sends out hormones to fight the infection. The downside: That makes it hard for you to use insulin properly, and your blood sugar levels may rise. If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar levels get hard to manage, it can lead to problems like ketoacidosis. That's a buildup of too much acid in your blood and it's potentially life-threatening. If you have type 2 diabetes, especially if you're older, very high blood sugar can bring on a serious condition called diabetic coma. How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar? Check it at least every 3 or 4 hours when you're sick with a cold. If your levels aren't near your target, you can tweak your diabetes management plan -- your doctor may tell you to use more insulin if your blood sugar levels are too high. What Should I Eat and Drink? You may not feel hungry when you first get sick, but it's important to try to eat something anyway. You can have foods from your regular meal plan. The American Diabetes Association recommends you try to eat something with about 15 grams of carbohydrates every hour or so. Some foods to try: 3-ounce fruit juice bar 1/2 cup frozen yogurt 1/2 cup cooked cereal If you don't eat, your blood sugar might fall too low. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not performed, may result in hypoglycemia. Please see important risk and safety information. If you have a fever, vomiting, or diarr Continue reading >>

Cold And Flu And What To Do

Cold And Flu And What To Do

Getting sick can be scary and especially when you or a loved one is Type 1. As the body tries to fight off the virus, blood glucose levels elevate, causing rapid and dangerous highs. And when youre not feeling well, you may find it difficult to keep down fluids or even eat, causing you to go too low. Then theres the issue of medicine which to take and how to dose for it if needed. Theres a lot to consider, but rest assured! Weve talked to doctors about what is recommended in terms of planning ahead and the protocol if you or your loved one are faced with a bug. While this season brings with it challenges to staying healthy, here are some helpful guidelines when facing off with the cold or flu. Whatsthedifference between a cold and flu? A cold is a milder respiratory infection than a flu. While both can cause a soar throat, cough, runny nose and congestion, a flu is usually accompanied by body aches, fever and lasts much longer than a common cold. As a Type 1 or as a caretaker of a Type 1, you should plan ahead so youre readynot only for the cold, a common and frequent ailment, but also, the more unruly cousin the flu, who outstays his welcome and can cause serious havoc if left unchecked. lists of recommended medications you can taketo alleviatecertain symptoms the contact of your doctor and when / where they can be reached during regular hours as well as holiday time a plan of action (if / then scenarios), how often you should check your BGLs and whenyou should contact a doctor. low-calorie sports drinks (for fast-acting sugars and electrolytes) These are usually offered in the fall and are highly recommended for anyone who is at higher risk for complications if they contract influenza. Youve heard it a million times, but it really is one of the best ways to prevent c Continue reading >>

Planning Ahead For Sick Days

Planning Ahead For Sick Days

Having a bad cold or the flu can make anyone want to crawl into bed and stay there until it’s over. But when you have diabetes, hiding under the covers and sleeping until you feel better isn’t the best option (although getting plenty of rest is still a good idea). That’s because any illness or infection can make your blood glucose more difficult to control, which increases the risk of serious acute complications. So just when you’re feeling your worst is when it’s most important to stay vigilant about your diabetes care and to take good care of yourself to help your body heal. What happens when you’re sick Your body may know it’s sick even before you feel any symptoms, and a good clue can be an unexplained steady rise in blood glucose. Everybody has a high release of stress hormones when they’re battling or about to battle an illness. Typically, stress hormones cause a rise in blood glucose level because they cause the liver to release more glucose than normal into the bloodstream. People who don’t have diabetes can compensate by releasing more insulin, but people who have diabetes may produce no insulin, or their bodies may not use insulin efficiently, so blood glucose levels stay high unless something is done (such as taking insulin) to lower them. The release of stress hormones and consequent rise in blood glucose level is why people with diabetes are advised to continue taking their diabetes medicines (insulin or oral medicines) when they are sick, even if they’re vomiting. Monitoring blood glucose levels every 2–4 hours and sipping liquids every 15 minutes to stay hydrated are also important. Not taking diabetes medicines during an illness raises the risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a medical emergency characterized by high bloo 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 >>

What Kind Of Cold Medicine Can Diabetics Take?

What Kind Of Cold Medicine Can Diabetics Take?

home / diabetes center / diabetes a-z list / what kind of cold medicine can diabetics take article What Kind of Cold Medicine Can Diabetics Take? Medical Author: Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) Ruchi Mathur, MD, FRCP(C) is an Attending Physician with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Associate Director of Clinical Research, Recruitment and Phenotyping with the Center for Androgen Related Disorders, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. My mother just found out she has diabetes. What can she take for a cough or cold, since most of the medicines have a lot of sugar? There are a few things I'd like to mention before I get straight to your answer. Ifyour mother's cough is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever , chills , sore throat , or other systemic symptoms, she should be assessed by a physician. Likewise, is she is coughing up phlegm (sputum) that is thick, green, otherwise has color, or is excessive in amount, she should be seen by a doctor. In addition, if she identifies triggers, such as dander, or pollen , this may be more than a simple cough , and should be investigated. Finally, it is common sense that she and anyone with diabetes (or without diabetes , for that matter) should not smoke. There are over-the-counter remedies available without sugar , and if in doubt, your pharmacist should be able to point you in the right direction. In particular, Benylin Adult is sugar and alcohol free, and provides some relief from a non-productive (dry) cough. This should not be used in conjunction with MAOIs , in pregnancy or in nursing mothers. The active ingredient inthis formula is Dextromethorphan, and it is PPA (phenylpropanolamine) free. Another possibilityis Robitussin CF. This preparation has been re-formulate Continue reading >>

How To Handle A Cold Or Flu -- With Diabetes

How To Handle A Cold Or Flu -- With Diabetes

How to Handle a Cold or Flu -- With Diabetes Learn how to manage the disease when you're under the weather. You're new to diabetes, but you feel you're keeping it under control. Then, bam! You get sick. Diabetes can be tricky when you're under the weather. But if you let your blood sugar get out of whack, you'll feel worse. If you come down with a cold, fever, or flu this winter, you'll be back on your feet sooner with these simple guidelines. Do I keep taking my medicine? "The biggest mistake people with diabetes make when they're sick is that they think they don't have to take their medicine because they're not eating as much," says Elaine Sullivan, RN, a certified diabetes educator at Joslin Diabetes Center. It's true that eating less can lower your blood sugar. But lack of physical activity and sickness itself can raise it. So keep taking your meds while you're fighting off a cold or the flu. What should I eat? It's best to continue your meals as usual. But if you can't eat much, try to get at least 45 to 50 grams of carbohydrate every 3 to 4 hours. Soup, soda crackers, Popsicles, and gelatin might be easier to keep down than your usual staples. What should I drink? Even a meager diet of soup and crackers might not prevent sick-day sugar spikes. Your body gets rid of extra sugar through your urine, and you can help the process along by drinking plenty of fluids. You could be pretty thirsty anyway: High blood sugar can dehydrate you. Drink about 8 ounces of zero-calorie fluid every hour -- unless you can't keep food down. "If you can't eat, have no-calorie beverages one hour, then carb-containing fluids the next," Sullivan says. "That could be 8 ounces of juice or regular soda." Liquids that contain minerals -- like broth or sports drinks -- can help keep you hydrat Continue reading >>

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