Most healthy people can afford to crawl in bed and sit out a flu if they stay hydrated. This is rarely the case for anyone suffering from diabetes. Any illness of infection has an adverse effect on your blood sugar levels. This will put extra strain on a diabetic’s already delicate balance. An ill managed flu infection could lead to escalated symptoms resulting into hospitalization and sometimes death.
Why Are Diabetics at More Risk?
Apart from just messing up your blood sugar balance, diabetes affects your immune system hence making your body less aggressive when fighting infections. Coupling the reduced immunity with an offset in blood sugar balance births a catastrophic chain reaction that needs more than bed rest to control.
Your options range from protection to active treatment in case you are infected
Vaccination and Protective Living
The flu shot is still your best chance against flu. CDC encourages everyone over six months old to get the flu vaccine. This is especially more important to people with diabetes. With flu shots having a long and established record even to diabetics, it is always the best line of defense against the condition.
Health practitioners encourage diabetes patients to include regular flu shots in their regular diabetes management plan. In addition to this, a Pneumococcal vaccination will keep you safe from pneumonia complications in case you get the flu since pneumonia is a common symptom of the flu in diabetics.
Coupling the flu shot with daily preventive measures to avoid exposure to the virus will increase your chances of surviving the infection.
- Cover your nose and mouth with tissue when coughing and sneezing then dispose it off after single use
- Wash your hands with soapy water or use an alcoholic sanitizer after sneezing or often when interacting with people or public objects
- Abstain from touching your eyes, mouth or nose at all costs
- Eat healthy. This will help you keep your immunity at the possible best
- If there’s a flu outbreak in your area, try to avoid public areas as much as possible. Wash your hands more often if you can’t and keep distance when talking to people
Treating the Flu
Inasmuch as we would want to keep the flu away and avoid getting infected in the first place, it is good to have a contingency plan in case your protective walls crumble. In most cases, you can treat flu using antiviral drugs. It is wise to get a prescription for these from a doctor who understands your condition.
The treatment should commence as soon as you see the symptoms since the antivirals will work within the first 48 hours of the initial symptoms. The drugs will make the infection milder giving your body the chance to heal and recover faster. In addition to this, you will be less susceptible to serious symptoms and health complications arising from the flu.
The DCD recommends three FDA approved antiviral drugs. They work by keeping the flu virus from replicating hence buying your immune system the time it needs to fight the infection.
Diabetes patients should be more careful as the influenza season rolls in. Your personal doctor should advise you on which flu shot to take, especially if you have egg protein intolerance. This coupled with the close monitoring and treatment of any infection that makes it through your guard is all you need to keep the flu in check as a diabetic.