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How Does The Flu Affect Diabetes

Flu Shot & Diabetes | Joslin Diabetes Center

Flu Shot & Diabetes | Joslin Diabetes Center

Each year people with diabetes are offered flu vaccinations. Should you get an annual flu shot if you have diabetes? Everyone with diabetes over the age of six months. People who are allergic to eggs (they are used in the production of the vaccine). A yearly flu shot is highly recommended if you have diabetes, according to M. Donna Younger, MD, at Joslin Diabetes Center. Diabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting the flu, particularly if your diabetes is not well controlled. Having the flu also makes it more difficult to manage diabetes. Its important to get a flu shot when you have diabetes, so you can reduce the risk. The flu vaccine is 70-90 percent effective and takes two weeks after the shot for your immunity to build up. Its a triple vaccine against three types of influenza strains that public health officials predict are most likely to strike in a given flu season. The flu shot is effective for about six months. Cases of flu usually peak in January or February, but you can still get infected any time up until May. Although it is recommended you get the vaccine as soon as it is available in the fall, even January is not too late. Should you get the flu when you have diabetesbefore you get thevaccine or despite it, Younger recommends that you contact your primary care provider right away. There are also other treatments for the flu, but they arent as effective as getting the vaccine. Tamiflu, for example, has to be taken in first 48 hours and continued for a week. In order to be prepared, you should also have a sick day plan made with your health care team. We also encourage others in your family over six months years old to get the vaccine as well, so the flu is not passed around the house, Younger says. Prepare yourself for theflu season and get your vaccine Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Influenza: A Dangerous Combination

Diabetes And Influenza: A Dangerous Combination

Nov. 14, 2017 is World Diabetes Day, the world’s 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. 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 high or drops too low. If diabetes is not managed correctly (meaning blood glucose is not properly regulated), sufferers are likely to become progressively sick and debilitated. Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, 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 >>

Handling Diabetes When You're Sick

Handling Diabetes When You're Sick

Whether your head feels like it's stuffed with cotton because you have a cold or you're spending a lot of time on the toilet because of a stomach bug, being sick is no fun for anyone. For people with diabetes, being sick can also affect blood sugar levels. The good news is that taking a few extra precautions can help you keep your blood sugar levels under control. When you get sick whether it's a minor illness like a sore throat or cold or a bigger problem like dehydration or surgery the body perceives the illness as stress. To relieve the stress, the body fights the illness. This process requires more energy than the body normally uses. On one hand, this is good because it helps supply the extra fuel the body needs. On the other hand, in a person with diabetes, this can lead to high blood sugar levels. Some illnesses cause the opposite problem, though. If you don't feel like eating or have nausea or vomiting, and you're taking the same amount of insulin you normally do, you can develop blood sugar levels that are too low. Blood sugar levels can be very unpredictable when you're sick. Because you can't be sure how the illness will affect your blood sugar levels, it's important to check blood sugar levels often on sick days and adjust your insulin doses as needed. Your diabetes management plan will help you know what to do when you're sick. The plan might tell you: how to monitor your blood glucose levels and ketones when you're sick what changes you might make to your food and drink and diabetes medications In addition, people with diabetes should get the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against some serious infections. You should also get a flu shot every year. These vaccines may help you keep your diabetes under better control and cut down on the number of sick d Continue reading >>

Diabetes And The Flu

Diabetes And The Flu

Diabetes can turn a simple case of the flu into a serious problem. "People who have diabetes are three times more likely to be hospitalized if they get the flu," says Helena Duffy, CDE, a nurse practitioner at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. Diabetes can weaken your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight off the influenza virus, she says. The flu can affect your blood sugar levels. You're also at higher risk for pneumonia. And if you're not eating well while you're sick, you could be at risk for hypoglycemia. Get a Flu Shot for Prevention The best way to protect yourself is to get a flu shot at the beginning of every flu season. Avoid the nasal flu vaccine, which has not been extensively studied in people with diabetes (PWDs). Ask people living in your house to get a flu vaccine, too. PWDs also should get the pneumococcal vaccine to protect against pneumonia. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about getting a second shot five to 10 years after the first. When You Have Diabetes and the Flu If you do get sick, ask your doctor about Tamiflu (oseltavimir), a prescription antiviral medication that can ease symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness. For best results, take it as soon as you notice symptoms. It's also important to pay close attention to your blood glucose levels. "Check your blood glucose every two to four hours, and record your readings," Duffy says. "If your blood sugar remains high or gets too low, call your doctor." Duffy says people with type 1 diabetes who feel ill and have a blood glucose reading over 250 mg/dl should test for ketones in the urine. Left untreated, excessive ketones can result in ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition that occurs when fat is burned for energy instead of glucose. If you have the flu, do 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

Fight the Flu! How to get through your flu with diabetes Its officially winter! Which means we are right smack dab in the middle of flu season. The flu is bad for anyone. But its especially serious for people with diabetes. And this year, the CDC is reporting a moderately severe infection rate. If we dont 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. Nows the time to really take advantage of that One Drop | Premium subscription take your blood sugar every hour, at least! Itll 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 its fighting the flu. If you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, youre 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 youre checking BGs before sipping. If your blood sugar is running high, sip liquids like water or sugar-free ginger ale. If its 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 g 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 & 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 >>

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 >>

Diabetes And The Flu

Diabetes And The Flu

Flu can be especially hard on people with diabetes. Here are some tips to protect your self from the flu and take care of yourself if you get sick. Get Vaccinated! The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone with diabetes get a flu vaccination.The CDC has a great Flu Facts page. There is a both a shot and a nasal spray available: ‘Flu shot:’ an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. If a pregnant mother is vaccinated, the immunity will pass to the child! Nasal-spray flu vaccine: a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for “live attenuated influenza vaccine” or FluMist). LAIV (FluMist) is approved for use in healthy* people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant. Follow Common Sense Precautions. Wash your hands regularly, stay away from sick people, and stay home if you start showing symptoms (it’s the polite thing to do). High Fever Muscle Aches Headaches Exhaustion Dry cough or Sore Throat Runny or Stuff Nose Stomach Symptoms (nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) in children Watch for High Blood Sugar. Flu and other illnesses can cause high blood sugar. So test your blood sugar often and consult your doctor on how to keep your numbers in line. If you have a pump, your doctor may recommend setting an increased temporary basal rate. Choose Flu Medicine Carefully. If you take an over-the-counter medication to combat flu symptoms, read the label carefully. Many medicines contain a lot of sugar and can spike your blood sugar. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a recommendation. Have questions about how others d Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Flu: Does Illness Influence Blood Sugar Levels?

Type 2 Diabetes And Flu: Does Illness Influence Blood Sugar Levels?

Nobody likes getting sick. Cos' let's face it, there are few things more miserable than being confined to a bed or couch struggling to breathe and carry out daily activities. And unfortunately, diabetes increases risk of illness of many kinds, including the flu. The reason this happens is because elevated blood sugar levels weaken the immune system, making it more susceptible to infection. And on the opposite side, infections raise blood sugar levels because as the immune system is mounting it’s attack, it needs energy to fight infection. So catching the flu can result in a bit of a vicious cycle. What is the Flu? Influenza is a viral infection that affects millions of people each year. It is a notoriously contagious respiratory illness that commonly infects the nose, throat and lungs. It spreads from person to person through droplets expectorated when people cough, sneeze or talk. Additionally, if these small droplets are on surfaces (counters, handles etc), people can touch them, then touch their face and infect themselves. People may be infected and infect others before they even know they’re sick and even after they’ve begun feeling better. Generally people are contagious for about a week, though this obviously will vary depending on the person. Once a person is infected, symptoms show up within 1-4 days. Symptoms of influenza Please note, not everyone will get all of these symptoms and some of them can be symptoms of other disease. If you have any of these signs, you should schedule a doctor’s visit for proper diagnosis. Symptoms of influenza include: Fever/chills Cough Sore throat Runny nose Body aches Headaches Fatigue Flushed skin Vomiting and diarrhea Complications of influenza Complications of influenza can include: Pneumonia Ear infections Sinus Infec 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, often resulting in hospitalization and sometimes even death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. The 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 don’t 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. Vaccination is the Best Protection against Flu CDC recommends that all people who are 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. It is especially important for people with diabetes to get a flu vaccine. Flu shots are approved for use in people with diabetes and other health conditions. The flu shot has a long, established safety record in people with diabetes. People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing pneumococcal pneumonia because of the flu, so being up to date with pneumococcal vaccination is also recommended. Pneumococcal vaccination should be part of a diabetes management plan. Talk to your doctor to find out which pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for you. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away after using it; Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing; Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth (germs are spread that way); and Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. If you are sick with flu-like symptoms you should sta Continue reading >>

Winter Woes: T1d And The Flu

Winter Woes: T1d And The Flu

When the days grow shorter and the snow starts to fall, theres no mistaking winters arrival. Most people look forward to this season filled with holidays, sledding, and hot chocolate, but theres one aspect of winter that no one enjoysthe flu. Getting sick with a cold or the flu can sideline anyone, but when you have type 1 diabetes (T1D) its even harder to manage. Here are some common challenges and helpful solutions for battling cold and flu season this winter. Challenge: Keeping blood-glucose in your target range The biggest challenge when youre under the weather is maintaining healthy blood-glucose levels. You may think that since youre feeling crummy and have no appetite that youll have to watch for low blood-glucose levels. In fact, the opposite is true: when youre sick, the body produces stress hormones that actually raise blood-glucose levels. Solution: Eat regularly and check your blood glucose often You may have no desire to dig into a big meal, but its important to at least nibble every few hours. Try to take in your normal number of calories by eating foods like crackers, soups, regular gelatin, and applesauce. And if solid foods are too hard to eat, try drinking liquids that contain carbohydrates like juice, sherbet, pudding, fruit-flavored yogurt, and broth. Aim for 50 grams of carbohydrates every three to four hours. Youll also need to monitor your blood-glucose levels more frequently than usual to stay in your target range. Experts suggest testing every two hours until you are feeling better. Its important that you continue to take your insulin when you are ill. In fact, often you will have to increase the amount of insulin to counteract the infection in your body. Work with your healthcare team to develop a plan that covers how much extra insulin to tak 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 >>

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 >>

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