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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Diabetes and Flu: Navigating the Seasonal Challenges

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As someone living with diabetes and currently battling the flu, I offer insights drawn directly from my own experiences.

The flu season poses unique challenges for individuals with diabetes, primarily due to the intricate interplay between the virus and our body's response. Here's how it can impact us:

Immune System Compromise: Diabetes often means compromised immunity, heightening vulnerability to infections like the flu and causing fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Monitoring blood sugar closely is crucial, especially when irregular eating patterns arise due to illness.

Increased Risk of Complications: Diabetes elevates the risk of flu-related complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis, which can further compromise respiratory function. Personal vigilance is critical to managing additional health concerns, and do not delay seeking professional medical advice.

Dehydration: Hydration is essential for everyone but particularly crucial for those with diabetes.  During illness, focus on fluid intake to prevent dehydration. I find fizzy water with a dash of lemon juice refreshing and hydrating.

Medication Interactions: Certain flu medications may interact with diabetes medications, potentially affecting blood sugar levels.  Always consult a healthcare professional before taking any medication, including over-the-counter remedies.

Delayed Recovery:  Due to compromised immunity and fluctuating blood sugar levels, individuals with diabetes may experience a more extended recovery period from the flu. As I navigate through my third day, I'm observing how this bout of flu impacts my usual recovery timeline.

The End

To mitigate these challenges, individuals with diabetes must take proactive measures: get an annual flu shot, practice good hygiene, and diligently manage blood sugar levels. If flu symptoms arise, closely monitor blood sugar, maintain hydration, and seek medical guidance if symptoms worsen or complications occur.

Best wishes from ...

Vancouver, Canada

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