The newsLINK Group - Diabetes and the Flu

Editorial Library Category: Health Topics: Diabetes, Flu Title: Diabetes and the Flu Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: You probably know already that the flu is a virus. It affects your muscles and your respiratory system, and it usually comes on fast. Editorial: Diabetes and the Flu 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Flu Symptoms You probably know already that the flu is a virus. It affects your muscles and your respiratory system, and it usually comes on fast. You may experience the following: Mild or high fever (it’s more likely to be high than low) Aches and pains in your joints and muscles, as well as around your eyes Feeling weak and looking sick. Your skin will feel warm and look flushed; your eyes will water; you may experience a headache; you may suffer from a dry cough, and your nose will be runny. Why You Need to Avoid the Flu The flu can be bad news for a lot of people, but it is particularly bad for people who have diabetes: Because of your diabetes, the flu can affect you more than other people because your body has to battle the strain from two problems (the diabetes and the flu virus) instead of just the flu. Your blood glucose will probably go up. You are also more at risk for complications such as pneumonia. Prevention Common sense says that the best way to avoid being sick is to avoid being around people who are already sick. Protect yourself as much as is reasonable. You can also do what your doctor may do: wash your hands frequently, but especially after you’ve come into contact with someone who is sick. It wouldn’t hurt to wash your face as well. If you are six months old or older, the current recommendation is that you should get a flu shot. Anyone you have close contact with, such as a caregiver or members of your family, should also get the flu shot. And since you could get pneumonia after you’ve had the flu, you should get the pneumonia vaccine as well. What to Do If Precautions Don’t Work and You Still Get the Flu Even if you do get vaccinated, avoid being around sick people, and wash your hands and face regularly as a preventive measure, you could still get sick. What should you do then? You might not be able to eat, but you still need to take your insulin or pills. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate dosage. If you are having trouble keeping anything down, you might need more than usual in order to compensate. You need to be more conscious of your body and how it is doing than usual, because things can change fast when you’re ill. Check and record your blood glucose level every four hours. Drink lots of water. You don’t want to get dehydrated. Try to eat as normally as you can. If that isn’t working, try switching to foods that are soft. You could also try anything liquid that has some calories in it. Keep track of your weight every day. High blood glucose causes you to lose weight. When to Get Medical Help You’ll have to gauge the severity of your situation for yourself, but you need to either call your doctor or go to the emergency room if any of the following occurs: Your digestive system is really messed up. For example, you can’t keep food down for more than six hours, or you have severe diarrhea. Your diabetes is acting up more than usual. If your blood glucose is less than 60 mg/dL or more than 300 mg/dL, talk to someone who can help you. If your urine has moderate or large amounts of ketones, that’s also cause for concern. If you can’t think clearly or you feel sleepy, that’s another indicator. You show signs of dehydration. Losing five or more pounds might be one way to tell. You have a fever of more than 101 degrees F. You can’t breathe.