When you have diabetes, it is best to avoid getting the flu. But almost everyone has a chance of catching viral infections. For people who are diabetic usually have a harder time fighting it off. Flu can add up to the stress in your body, which can eventually affect your blood sugar levels and raise your chance of developing some serious health problems.
Some common problems associated with the flu include:
- Aches and pains in the joints
- Sore throat
- Watery eyes
Some over the counter medications can help ease these symptoms. But buying it on your own is not advisable. It is best to talk to your healthcare provider before purchase. This is because some medications may have high amounts of sugar in their composition, especially cough syrups.
Something else that will require your attention would be checking you blood sugar levels as your illness may cause them to fluctuate. Ideally, you should take a sugar reading every 3 -4 hours. If you are on insulin you may have to adjust your dose. A glucometer can help you with your regular blood sugar checks.
For type 1 diabetics, it is important to check ketones. If the level of ketones is very high, it can indicate diabetic ketoacidosis which when gets worse can cause coma or death.
For some people flu is accompanied with nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Make sure to be hydrated and sip enough fluids throughout the day.
If your sugar levels are high and regular water seems boring then you can look for occasional sugar free drinks like chamomile tea or green tea or ginger ale.
In case you blood sugar is on the lower side then consume something that has 15 grams carbs (approx). For example; half a cup of grapes.
As a diabetic, your chances of developing a complication are higher than others. The best strategy is to keep flu at bay. Also focus on hygiene.Keep hands clean. Frequent hand wash is the best way to avoid germs. But in winters this can cause your skin to become dry and chapped. Make sure to moisturize when hands get dry using a non-scented, doctor recommended lotion.
Also flu or any illness can make you lazy and want to stay in bed. Make sure your current situation does not make you compromise on exercise. Even if a little less than usual, make sure to workout daily.