Cold and Flu Care for People with Diabetes

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Aug 29, 2012

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Catching a cold and flu if you are diabetic can be nasty. It is not as much serious as the word ‘nasty’ makes it sound; it is just a little difficult to get along. Being sick increases the blood sugar level of the body and then you also cannot take cough syrups as they are sweet. A whole lot of problems make this situation as mentioned earlier, ‘nasty’.


How does it Effect?

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can increase the blood sugar level.
  • Even infections at such times can cause your blood sugar level to rise.
  • Loss of appetite during such times can dangerously decrease your blood sugar level.
  • Cough syrups contain sugar and hence automatically becomes out of bounds for you.
  • Your body during this time creates ketone which is physical waste and this means that glucose is not being used in your body well.
  • Flu can often lead to pneumonia and diabetics are more prone to death with such a condition.


Some ways to take care of yourself when suffering from cold and flu:

Pick the right medicine – When visiting a doctor make sure you inform him regarding your diabetic situation. You do not want to drink bottles of sweet, sugary cough syrups and kill yourself. Most cough syrups are extremely sugary so be sure to pick the right type. Get the sugar free.


Check your blood sugar – Your body is fighting infections and hence there is a lot of misbalance of the glucose present in your blood, it can also alter the insulin response. So check your glucose level often in order to keep a tab of your bodily functions. [Read: Effects of Prolonged High Blood Sugar]


Eating Habit – Being a diabetic it is very important that you eat, especially if you are pushing in insulin. Of course you may not feel hungry during the first symptoms of cold and flu but you must eat and stick to your diet plan. It will give you strength and allow you to keep your blood sugar level normal as if you do not eat it will hit very low. [Read: How to eat Healthy with Diabetes]


Fluids – Diarrhea, fever or vomiting situations need to be take control of by drinking a lot of fluids. Drink sugar free ginger ale or water every now and then if your blood sugar is high, take small sips instead of guzzling down a litre at one go. You can drink ½ cup of apple juice or ginger ale if it is low. [Read: Health Drinks for Diabetics]


Hygiene – Do take care of your hygiene as it is important not to let the flu increase its effects. You can wash your hands with a disinfectant soap every now and then. This way you could have decreased your chances of getting sick in the first place.

Be careful and everything else will be fine. Do consult a doctor for an expert advice.




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