Diabetics having cold, flu should better track blood sugar levels

ISTANBUL
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Diabetics having cold, flu should better track blood sugar levels

The flu and cold make winter hard for anyone who catches these ‘winteresque' diseases, but things might become harder for diabetes patients who fight twice as hard with these viruses

In the winter months, dealing with influenza and similar winter diseases becomes difficult for all of us. However, the situation may be more challenging for diabetic patients than others. Increasing infectious diseases can make it difficult to regulate blood sugar throughout the illness by causing the blood sugar to rise. Professor Yaşar Küçükardalı, one of the leading experts in this field, wrote a detailed and useful article about what diabetic patients fighting influenza should do. You can find the highlights below:

As soon as it gets cold, the debate concerning having a flu shot comes to the fore of the agenda. As I have said before, I am a physician who finds flu shots useful. I think that the rates of other diseases or even deaths caused by influenza are much more serious than those claimed to be caused by flu shots. The first winter advice for diabetics is to get a flu shot. Studies indicate that the influenza vaccination in patients with diabetes reduces the frequency of admission to hospitals by 52 percent, while it reduces flu-related deaths by up to 70 percent.There is something that happens to all of us when we are fighting diseases such as flu, which is the loss of appetite. Patients with diabetes believe that their blood sugar values do not fall since they eat less during this period. For this reason, they may neglect their measurements. Trying to get rid of an infectious disease leads to stress in the body, which causes certain hormones to rise. Therefore, even if you eat very little, your blood sugar values will increase. Moreover, if you get sick, especially if you have a fever, it is difficult to assess your blood sugar based on how you feel.

Medicines heal when they are diagnosed correctly and taken in the right quantities. However, if they are misused, they do not serve as healers anymore. When diabetic patients need medication for any illness, they must pay attention to the content. In particular, cough syrup contains sugar and diabetic patients who struggle with influenza can raise their blood sugar values without noticing if they uncontrollably consume this type of syrup. Studies also show that some flu medicines raise blood pressure.

Measure your blood sugar at different times

Fasting blood sugar before breakfast: It shows how well your body can regulate blood sugar at night.

Blood sugar two hours after meal:It shows how the choice of food and portion of the meal affects blood sugar. This, in turn, indicates whether the drug is suitable for controlling postprandial sugar.

Blood sugar before the next meal:It shows whether blood sugar returned to the target value after the meal.

Blood sugar before physical activity: It indicates whether a snack is needed to start physical activity.

Blood sugar when we feel sick:It shows how disease or stress affects blood sugar.

There are some rules that are independent of the season or disease when it comes to the diets of diabetics. Particular attention should be paid to the diet during periods of illness, especially when the immune system is weakened. Under normal circumstances, up to 50 percent of diabetics' daily calories can consist of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates should be selected from those with low sugar content. Experts say diabetics should have five food groups in their daily diet, namely cereals and starches, meat and alternatives, vegetables, fruits, milk and alternatives: 1/4 plate fruit, 1/4 plate vegetable, 1/4 plate protein, 1/4 plate grain and a glass of milk.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the likelihood of influenza to cause death in healthy adults is rather poor, with two deaths in 100,000 cases. The risk of death due to influenza is increased by 52 times in patients with cardiovascular disease, 120 times in patients with pulmonary disease and 241 times in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, compared to healthy adults. These numbers, which are extremely serious and frightening, prove that diabetic patients should be much more careful.

What if you do not already know that you are suffering from diabetes? Diabetes is a very serious disease that usually requires life-long treatment. In order not to miss the chance of early detection, it is necessary to know the symptoms. People with diabetes often have the following symptoms: fatigue, excessive appetite, excessive thirst and water consumption, frequent urination, weight loss, blurred vision, skin infections and non-healing injuries.

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