In the United States, the diabetes rates have increased from 5.5. % in 1994 to 9.9 % in 2012, in the past 2 decades.
Moreover, according to estimations around 9.4 % or 30.3 million Americans had diabetes in the year 2015. And by 2050, it’s expected 1 in 3 adults to have diabetes. These numbers are disturbing.
However, the prevalence of diabetes is mostly increasing because of the decreased physical inactivity, and increases in the unhealthy eating habits and obesity.
Having diabetes means special precaution for everything. Individuals with diabetes need to take extra care for almost everything.
And in the cold season, the flu is almost inevitable, and people with diabetes should take extra care for the flu as well. This is in comparison to a healthy individual. Intrigued? Read on, to find out more about this.
Influenza more commonly known as the flu is highly contagious. It’s like that since the viruses spread when infected individual sneezes or a coughs small droplets into the air which contain the virus.
The flu is a severe threat to individuals with diabetes type 1 and type 2. Generally speaking, individuals with diabetes are at greater risk in case they catch the flu. It’s like that since the flu might pose big difficulties when it comes to diabetes management.
As a matter of fact, the flu infection might lead to changes in the blood glucose and prevent individuals with diabetes from eating correctly, which further impacts the blood glucose levels.
Furthermore, diabetes might make the immune system less capable of combatting the infections.
Individuals with diabetes who have the flu face severe health risks like HHS, i.e., Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic State and Ketoacidosis (a condition when the body is not able to use the sugar as a fuel due to insufficient insulin or no insulin at all).
Individuals with diabetes and the flu need to consult their doctor about antiviral drugs which might shorten the duration of the flu and ease the symptoms.
In order to have good results, it’s the best for the antiviral drugs to be taken in the first 2 days once you notice the flu symptoms.
You should know that over-the-counter drugs might help individuals with diabetes to feel better, but these drugs don’t lessen the flu infection and its consequences.
It’s important to drink plenty of water in order to avoid dehydration. Also, it’s vital to check the blood sugar levels every 2-4 hours and record the readings. You should consult your doctor in case your blood glucose remains too low or too high.
People who have type 1 diabetes and the flu, and also have blood sugar level over 250 mg or dl need to test for ketones in the urine. You should know if left untreated; excessive ketones might lead to ketoacidosis.
This is what you need to do when you have diabetes and flu. How do you deal with the flu?