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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

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What to Know if You Have Diabetes and the Flu

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How Do I Stay Hydrated?

Some people get nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea with the flu. To make sure you get enough fluids, sip liquids throughout the day. Aim for 1 cup every hour.

Choose sugar-free drinks -- tea, water, sugar-free ginger ale -- if your blood sugar is running high.

If your blood sugar is low, try something that has about 15 grams of carbs: 1/4 cup of grape juice or 1 cup of a sports drink, for example.

How Can I Avoid the Flu?

Because you have diabetes, you have a higher risk for complications. Your best strategy is to keep the flu away in the first place. Get a yearly shot or nasal vaccine. The best time for people with diabetes to get vaccinated is September.

Ask family members, co-workers, and close friends to get the vaccine, too. You're less likely to get flu if those around you don't have it.

Keep your hands clean. Frequent and thorough hand washing is the best way to avoid getting sick from germs.

For in-depth information, see Flu Prevention Strategies.

What Else Can I Do to Stay Well?

If you haven't gotten a pneumonia shot yet, talk to your doctor. According to the ADA, only 1 out of every 3 people with diabetes ever gets this shot. Yet people with diabetes are about three times more likely to die from flu and pneumonia.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on January 09, 2016
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