Friday, November 18, 2016

Does the Flu Affect People With and Without Diabetes The Same Way?

The holidays overlap with flu season. Coincidence? Could all the stress, over-indulging, and travel during the holiday season make us more susceptible to flu? Scientists don’t know for sure, but what we do know is that it gets even more complicated for people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2), whose immune systems have a harder time fighting off infections.

Even if diabetes is being well-managed, there’s an increased risk of serious flu complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections for people with diabetes. To add insult to injury, being sick makes it harder to control blood sugars.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that anyone older than 6 months with diabetes gets a flu shot. The CDC says the shot is safe for people with diabetes, but to bypass the nasal spray option.

Since flu is highly contagious, getting a flu shot isn’t just good for you, it’s good for the friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues you come into contact with. It’s easy to get a flu shot at your local medical providers office.  Bonus: there’s a good chance it’ll be free with your insurance.

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