How to Prepare for a Cough, Cold or Flu if You Have Diabetes

Tools

Story Updated: Nov 21, 2012

(NewsUSA) - Each year, an average of 200,000 Americans are hospitalized because of flu complications, but people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are three times more likely to face complications that may be fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The best step is prevention, and anyone with diabetes should seriously consider getting a flu shot in the fall.

But for those who do get sick, it's important that people with diabetes be prepared. The following sick-day plan is designed to help diabetic patients suffering from a cough, a cold or the flu.

* Get plenty of sleep, and even when awake, do resting activities (reading, watching TV, online shopping) as long as you don't find it stressful.

* "Feed a cold, starve a fever" is not advice you should follow. Eat plenty of healthy items that are also easy to digest, like soups, sugar-free Jell-O and fruit juice mixed with water and yogurt. Dehydration will cause your blood sugar to drop, so drink one cup of sugar-free, caffeine-free liquid per hour.

* Medicine cabinets must go beyond a glucose meter and thermometer. You should also have ketone-testing supplies and appropriate medications for cold and flu symptoms.

"When suffering from a cough, cold or flu, it's important for people with diabetes to treat their symptoms with medicine that doesn't have a negative effect on their diabetes," says Debra Spector, registered dietitian and certified nutritionist.

"Most people don't realize that cough syrups can contain up to 50 percent sugar, and cold and flu medicines may contain alcohol, both of which can raise one's glucose, possibly to dangerous levels. Diabetic Tussin has been trusted by the medical community for years because it is sugar and alcohol-free, so it's 100 percent safe for diabetics. It's even recommended for those on a sodium or gluten-free diet," says Spector.

* Take your insulin and diabetes medicine on schedule, even if you experience nausea or haven't eaten. Check your blood glucose at least four times a day.

* If your symptoms worsen, contact your doctor. Learn more about medicine for people with diabetes along with additional sick-day advice and nutritional recipes at www.diabeticproducts.com.

Add a comment

Name:

Comment: 250 Characters Left

WBNG and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.

Featured Professional

Ophthalmology

Guthrie Specialty Eye Care



Interviews with Dr. Lester McDonald
Interviews with Dr. Chaudhri

Guthrie Specialty Eye Care is proud to offer a wide range of comprehensive eye care services from basic eye health screenings to some of the most sophisticated eye surgical procedures available.

Guthrie Specialty Eye Care offers you six convenient locations, with six board-certified ophthalmologists, nine therapeutic optometrists and more fellowship-trained sub-specialists than any other eye care provider in the area.

Comprehensive services include cataract surgery, cataract surgery with Crystalens HD, corneal implants, diabetic eye care, dry eye care, macular degeneration, retinal detachments and disorders, eye infections, glaucoma, muscle surgery (cross eyes), and pediatric ophthalmology.

Cataract Surgery is one of the most common eye services available. Guthrie now has options that include Crystalens.

To learn more about Crystalens or other Guthrie Specialty Eye Care services, please log on to www.guthrie.org/eyes.

Guthrie Specialty Eye Care – Committed to Quality – Experience You Can Trust