February 21


What Happens to Our Blood Sugar When We Have the Flu?

By Gabriela

February 21, 2022

Diabetes makes us more prone to catching the flu, and 3 times more likely to need a hospital stay for the complications of the virus, in comparison to those without the disease.

Sometimes it does not matter if we are cautious or not because there is a high possibility that we will get the flu just like anyone else.

The truth is, that infections and viruses can complicate our control over blood sugar levels. For example, the numbers may drop because of some changes in the diet, or they might go up and be difficult to bring them down.

That’s why we need to prepare and know a few basic things about the combination of these two conditions.

Symptoms of the Flu

  • Runny nose;
  • Sore Throat;
  • High fever;
  • Serious pains and aches in the muscles and joints;
  • Pain around the eyes;
  • Flushed and warm skin;
  • Watery Eyes;
  • Weakness.

Which Drugs Are Safe?

To ease the symptoms, we can take over-the-counter drugs. However, we should always read the label. Remember that we need to avoid drugs that have a lot of sugar.

This includes liquid cough drugs, cough drops, and liquid flu and cold drugs. Instead of these products, we should opt for sugar-free products.

How Will Flu Influence the Blood Sugar?

Usually, the flu leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, people that are on hypo-causing medication might be at risk of too low glucose levels in case they consume insufficient carbs while ill.

However, when we get the flu, it is crucial to check our blood sugar levels more regularly than we usually do. We should do that since the flu, and the feeling of being ill can mask the symptoms of low and high blood glucose.

Because of this, we can develop hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia without being aware of it, both of which might be severe if not treated fast enough.

What Can We Consume?

At this time we might feel crummy, and not thirsty or hungry at all. However, that does not mean that we do not have to eat or drink. Remember, we need to consume something to maintain our blood glucose levels steady.

We should stick to our meal plan. Every hour we can consume around 15 g of carbs such as one cup of soup, one slice of toast, or ¾ cup of frozen yogurt.

How to Avoid the Flu?

Since we have a higher risk when it comes to complications, the best strategy is to prevent the flu. We should make sure to keep our hands clean. The best way to avoid the flu is thorough and frequent hand washing.

Another alternative is to get a yearly nasal or shot vaccine. Before we decide to make any changes, we need to consult your doctor.

Source Diabetes | Web MD | Diabetes


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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