Having a cold is miserable for anyone, but diabetics may find that managing their blood sugars while they deal with a cold is more than they can bear. That’s because any type of illness or infection signals the body to release hormones that can lead to higher blood sugars. And when you aren’t feeling well, you may not have the energy to deal with those high blood sugars, either.
For many people, the chilly month of December and January bring winter bugs, but, if you've got diabetes, it’s really important to try to get adequate nutrition, particularly carbohydrates and fluids.
1. Drink plenty of fluids
Fluids are recommended for anyone who's sick because diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration. People with diabetes should be even more vigilant about drinking fluids because high blood sugar levels lead to more urination, adding to the risk of dehydration. Try to choose water or sugar-free sports drinks to replace electrolytes and fluids.
2. Eating well
Keep to the normal meal pattern if at all possible, but if this is too difficult, eat smaller meals, more frequently. It will be easier than three larger meals, and it will also help to increase your appetite. Replacing meals with carbohydrate-containing drinks such as soup, milk or fruit juice can also benefit diabetic patients.
3. Check your blood sugars often
Keeping a check on blood sugar levels is important when you have any type of illness. Check your blood sugars at least four times a day. Don't avoid taking the diabetic medicines prescribed to you while you are ill.
4. Choose cold medicines wisely
Cold medicines and pain relievers can help with cold symptoms, but be careful with what you choose, since some medicines contain ingredients that might impact your blood sugar or worsen complications, such as kidney disease. If you need a cold medicine, pick one based on your symptoms.
Disclaimer: The article is for educational and informational purposes only. It does not constitute as medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any treatment.