Colds and the Flu Can Complicate Diabetes Control - 8 News NOW

Colds and the Flu Can Complicate Diabetes Control

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Catching a miserable cold is no fun for anyone but if you're a diabetic, it can be especially difficult to handle being sick.

Las Vegas resident Tom Moore never worried about catching a cold or the flu, until he became diabetic seven years ago.

Now, he gets a flu shot every year and never takes a cold lightly.

"Anytime I have a little sickness, my blood sugar goes up. I have to be very careful and watch my diet and what's going on. If it's a cold, I have to try to get rid of it," said Moore.

Getting rid of a cold can be difficult for the diabetic according to Leslie Duerson, a diabetes educator with Summerlin Hospital.

With the onset of a cold, the body produces more glucose to help fight off the infection, creating a domino effect.

"If they do get ill, it's quite likely to make their blood sugar high and make it harder to control their diabetes -- which makes it harder to fight the infection. And so it can be a difficult process to clear up the infection and get the blood sugar under control," said Duerson.

A spike in blood sugar levels over time can lead to serious complications, including nerve damage. However, diabetes is still manageable even when you're under the weather.

If you have a cold, check your blood glucose levels every 3-4 hours. Also, don't stop taking insulin or medication unless your health care provider says otherwise.

Don't forget nourishment -- it's important to eat, even if you're not hungry. Stay hydrated, while avoiding caffeine. Of course, avoiding a cold altogether may be well worth the effort.

"The biggest way to prevent getting colds and flu is really frequent hand washing," adds Duerson.

It's also a good idea to check with your health care provider before taking any cold or flu medicines.

Catching a miserable cold is no fun for anyone but if you're a diabetic, it can be especially difficult to handle being sick. Las Vegas resident Tom Moore never worried about catching a cold or the flu, until he became diabetic seven years ago. Now, he gets a flu shot every year and never takes a cold lightly. “Anytime I have a little sickness, my blood sugar goes up. I have to be very careful and watch my diet and what's going on. If it’s a cold, I have to try to get rid of it,” said Moore. Getting rid of a cold can be difficult for the diabetic according to Leslie Duerson, a diabetes educator with Summerlin Hospital. With the onset of a cold, the body produces more glucose to help fight off the infection, creating a domino effect. “If they do get ill, it’s quite likely to make their blood sugar high and make it harder to control their diabetes -- which makes it harder to fight the infection. And so it can be a difficult process to clear up the infection and get the blood sugar under control,” said Duerson.A spike in blood sugar levels over time can lead to serious complications, including nerve damage. However, diabetes is still manageable even when you're under the weather. If you have a cold, check your blood glucose levels every 3-4 hours. Also, don't stop taking insulin or medication unless your health care provider says otherwise. Don't forget nourishment -- it's important to eat, even if you're not hungry. Stay hydrated, while avoiding caffeine. Of course, avoiding a cold altogether may be well worth the effort. “The biggest way to prevent getting colds and flu is really frequent hand washing,” adds Duerson. It's also a good idea to check with your health care provider before taking any cold or flu medicines.

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