Make A Plan For Sick Days
Everyone gets a cold or flu sometime. Your doctor, nurse, or diabetes educator can help you prepare. They’ll probably recommend that you do the following in addition to regular things like staying home from work, school, or day care if youÃ¢â¬â¢re too sick to go.
Check your blood sugar levels every 4 hours, or as often as recommended by your doctor.Ã 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.
Test for ketones if your blood sugar level is over 240 milligrams per deciliter . Call your doctor if it shows any ketones.
Take your temperature regularly.
When Should I Call The Doctor
Your diabetes management plan will explain when you may need medical help and what to do. Here are some general reasons to :
- if you have no appetite or you can’t eat or drink
- if your blood sugar level is low because you haven’t been eating much but remember to take steps at home to bring your blood sugar back up
- if you keep vomiting or having diarrhea
- if your blood sugar levels are high for several checks or don’t decrease when you take extra insulin
- if you have moderate or large amounts of ketones in the urine
- if you think you might have ketoacidosis
- if you can’t eat or drink because you’re having a medical test like an X-ray, surgery, or a dental procedure
Any time you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor for advice.
People In The Know: Cold And Flu Season
Q: I know its almost inevitable that my 7-year-old will catch a cold at some point this winter, so how will this affect his type 1 diabetes? Its our first cold and flu season since his diagnosis.
A: When children with type 1 diabetes catch a cold or flu, typically the biggest concern, beyond coughs and runny noses, is keeping blood sugar levels well managed. When a child becomes ill, stress hormones released by the body can interfere with insulin and lead to high blood sugar levels. At the same time, if a sick child cant keep anything down or has very little appetite, its common for low blood sugar to develop.
No one is able to predict ahead of time exactly how a bug will affect a childs blood sugar. However, parents can put together a good game plan before that first case of the sniffles strikes. Talk to your childs doctor about extra steps to take when monitoring blood sugar on sick days. In general, checking more frequently can be very helpful for detecting highs or lows before they get out of control. Ask your childs doctor for a specific timetable for monitoring sugars testing every three to four hours or so may be recommended.
Whenever your child is sick, your doctor may want you to test frequently for ketones. If present, theyre a sign that your child needs more insulin. You may be able to make adjustments at home to eliminate ketones, but some children will need medical attention when they develop, especially when accompanied by vomiting.
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Diabetes And The Flu Shot: What To Know
Whenever a nip of cold is in the air, and coughs and sneezes ring out in public places, you know its flu season again. If you live with diabetes, youre probably being prodded to go get a flu shot and related vaccines.
But over the years, our mailbag has filled up with questions about how those shots may mix with diabetes care.
Heres a Q& A covering all you need to know:
What Can I Eat If I Have Diabetes And Flu
Many people with diabetes dont feel hungry or thirsty if they have flu. However, it is important to continue eating a healthy diet and drinking regular fluid to help manage your blood sugar and diabetes. Ideally, dont vary your regular meal plan too much.
If you cannot eat, it is advisable to consume drinks with carbohydrate in to provide your body with energy. Keep monitoring your blood glucose levels closely and ask your health team if you need advice in managing your blood glucose levels.
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Pandemic Influenza And Risk Of Type 1 Diabetes
Among the 2,286,650 individuals in the study population, 76,173 were diagnosed with pandemic influenza. From June 2009 to December 2014, 2376 individuals were diagnosed with new-onset type 1 diabetes .1). New-onset type 1 diabetes was registered at a slightly younger age for those registered with pandemic influenza diagnosis compared with those without such registration .
Managing Diabetes Calls For Extra Attention During Flu Season
Diabetes can weaken the immune systems ability to fight infection, increasing the risk of serious complications from the influenza virus. However, by paying extra attention to nutrition habits during flu season, most people with diabetes who do catch the flu can avoid serious complications.
People with type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes are at high risk of serious flu complications, even if they are doing a good job of managing their condition. There is the risk of sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other flu-related illnesses. In recent flu seasons, almost 30% of adults in the United States hospitalized with flu had diabetes.
Alabama and many other southern states have high rates of diabetes. Alabama ranks No. 4 in the nation, based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System , which collects state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors. People with diabetes are at a higher risk for catching a contagious illness.
Making Matters Worse
Flu also can make diabetes worse, because some illnesses can make it harder to control blood sugar. Flu may raise sugar levels, but sometimes people dont feel like eating when they are sick, and a reduced appetite can impact glucose levels.
Foods that contain 15 grams of carbs include:
½ cup fruit juice
½ cup applesauce
1/3 cup noodles or rice
Medicines and Supplies
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How To Read Your Levels When Sick
When youre under the weather, its crucial to carefully monitor your blood sugar and ketones more often than usual, as often as every four hours. Check your continuous glucose monitor if you have one, or frequently use finger sticks. It may be necessary to take extra insulin to bring down higher blood sugar levels.
The impact of illness on your blood sugar is also dependent on the type of illness you have:
For a relatively minor viral illness such as a cold or chicken pox: You should not see a major effect on your blood sugar level, though you should still keep an eye on it.
For a gastrointestinal infection such as the flu: If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, there are more serious effects. You are less likely to produce stress hormones. It is important to keep up your fluids by drinking one to two glasses of fluid every hour or so. In the case of gastrointestinal infection, your blood sugar levels are more likely to be low because youre not eating, or youre not absorbing the food that you are eating.
For a serious viral or bacterial infection: If your blood sugar levels are high or you have a fever, you are especially prone to becoming dehydrated and need to maintain your fluid intake. If you are feeling particularly ill, test your blood sugar levels more frequently. You should also test either your blood or your urine for ketones.
Are There Different Vaccines For Flu
Yes, there are several.
- the list includes people with weakened immune systems which certainly does include PWDs . Its also important to note that the CDC considers all types of diabetes a medical condition that puts us at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications that may include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections.
- The 2018-19 flu season brought news that the FDA approved a new medication dubbed Xofluza, the first flu antiviral OKd in almost 20 years! Its for those ages 12 and older whove only been showing flu-like symptoms for 48 hours, max. For the 2019-20 flu season, the FDA expanded the indication for use of Xofluzo to those 12 years or older who are at high risk of developing flu-related complications, such as those of us who live with diabetes.
There are many more, but we wont get lost in all the varieties at the moment.
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What If I Get The Flu Before I Get My Shot Do I Still Need The Shot This Year
Yes, because the shot protects against several circulating strains. Without the shot, you could come down with another strain and be sick twice in one year.
Also, shot or not, if you get sick, get to your doctor pronto. People with diabetes are candidates for anti-viral drugs, which are most effective if started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. They wont cure you overnight, but they can shorten the length of a bout of flu and greatly reduce the risk of serious complications.
Will A Flu Shot Raise My Blood Sugar
It might. You know how your arm often aches after a flu shot? Well, two things are going on there. First, a bunch of liquid just got shoved into your muscle. Until its absorbed, it can be a hair achy and any kind of pain can cause your blood sugar to spike. Additionally, although the flu buggers are dead, the immune system is still reacting to them, which in fact is the whole point of a vax.
This initial burst of immune reaction causes inflammation from the antigen reaction, and you guessed it any sort of antigen reaction can trigger a blood sugar spike the same way illnesses do. For what its worth, that annoying ache in your arm tells you that the vax is working. So smile and correct your elevated blood sugar with fasting-acting products, if you have them. Avoid increasing any long-acting blood sugar control medications, as theres no predicting how long the elevated blood sugar from the flu shot will last.
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What The Community Have To Say About Flu
- Fergus : I am sore and itchy at the injection site, but it beats the hell out of getting flu. My employer now offers it to all staff, and if I didnt get it on the NHS I would have it through my employer. I guess they feel if they stop a few cases of flu then they save on sick pay and reduced efficiency. The mild discomfort in my arm is worth it to reduce my risk of flu.
- Fergus : I had mine yesterday and no problem at all. Previous years I have had a sore arm for a day or so this year I cant even tell where it was done. For those of us at more risk it is always worth getting it.
- Fergus : The normal flu vaccine is always combined with varying strains. The swine flu vaccine is absolutely no different to a normal flu vaccine. The only reason it was delivered separately last year was because it was an emergency situation.
- Fergus : There are many of us who have done our own research into the Flu jab and its constituent parts. I for one will be having it this year and the next etc. I have never had a problem with it and know plenty of people who also have never had a problem. As far as I am concerned it protects me from what could be a nasty bout of Flu sounds good to me.
- Fergus : I had the flu last xmas and it was awful but Id rather go without the jab and let the elderly and those less able to fight it have it instead of me Im young enough and healthy enough to cope
How Do I Tell Whether I Have The Flu Or A Common Cold
Both the flu and the common cold result from viruses, but the flu is a deadly killer that packs a major punch. Its like the difference between a tropical depression and a Category 5 hurricane. Official flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, sometimes sprinkled with vomiting and diarrhea. The body aches tend to be a key warning sign for most people that they have the flu, rather than a cold.
Remember that any cold or illness striking someone with diabetes can cause our blood sugars to spike. The result can be dangerous diabetic ketoacidosis , so testing for ketones is important. This can be done using an at-home urine testing kit widely available at drug stores without a prescription.
Also please remember that for those without diabetes, flu-like symptoms frequently appear as a telltale sign of newly-onset diabetes and it can get deadly, very quickly. So make sure to know the warning signs of diabetes and be ready to handle this whether its actually the flu or not.
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How Long Is The Flu Contagious
Everyone gets the common cold and the flu . Both the common cold and flu are contagious, but they are not caused by the same virus.
Although the typical contagious period for the flu is about one to four days. Some adults can be contagious from about one day before the onset of signs and symptoms for up to two weeks.
Other people with diabetes and take cold or flu medications may develop complications, such as pneumonia, may extend the
Generally, medications to treat the signs and symptoms of the flu or common cold are safe to take if you have diabetes, for example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can control pain and fever. Usually, over-the-counter cold and cough medications are acceptable for people with diabetes. While sugar-free medications are always preferred, the amount of sugar consumed in a single dose of medication is minimal and unlikely to cause harm.
People with diabetes may misunderstand that they should reduce their medication dosages if an infection has decreased their appetite and they are eating less. However, being sick usually makes someone resistant to insulin and raises glucose levels – even if you are eating less. So, it is important to continue taking your diabetes medication when you are sick and to monitor for urinary or blood ketones.
Lack of physical activity associated with the illness can raise blood sugar levels.
What You Should Know About Cold And Flu Medicines
The main problem for people with diabetes is that some cold and flu drugs, such as cough syrups or liquid medicines, have sugar in them. Read the ingredients label carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend over-the-counter drugs that are safe for you. Keep those product names handy for future reference.
If you have high blood pressure, avoid any cold medicine that contains , which can raise it even more.
DonÃ¢â¬â¢t give cold and flu medicines to a child younger than 2, whether they have diabetes or not, because of the risk of serious side effects.
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Seasonal Influenza And Type 1 Diabetes
During the study period for seasonal influenza, from 2006 to mid-2014, 3700 individuals under 30 years of age were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during 15,583,847 person-years of follow-up . The number of individuals registered with a seasonal influenza diagnosis included in the analysis varied from 19,691 in the season 20072008 to 39,179 in the 20122013 season . Higher risk of type 1 diabetes after a seasonal influenza diagnosis was observed in all seasons between 2007 and 2011, but only the season 20102011 was statistically significantly associated in both the total population and those aged below 15 years .
Association between seasonal influenza diagnosis and risk of type 1 diabetes in more than 2.5 million individuals under 30 years of age , and under 15 years of age . HRs were adjusted for year of birth, sex, place of birth and education. Seasonal influenza from 1 January 2006 to 30 June 2014 . Exp., exposed Unexp., unexposed
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:
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Other Preventive Actions For People With Diabetes
In addition to getting a flu vaccine, people with diabetes should take the same everyday preventive actions CDC recommends for everyone, including avoiding people who are sick, covering coughs, and washing hands often.
Specific Health Actions for People with Diabetes
- Plan ahead to maintain sufficient supplies of your regular medications for chronic medical conditions