TYPE 2 diabetes requires close monitoring to control blood sugar levels, which means eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping active. Having a cold can disrupt a person’s normal routine, however, and this can pose a particular risk to people with type 2 diabetes. Here are some key tips to keep rising blood sugar levels at bay when a person with diabetes has a cold.
How does being ill affect blood sugar levels?
Illness and infections, as well as other forms of stress, will raise your blood glucose (sugar) levels.
As part of the body’s defence mechanism for fighting illness and infection, more glucose is released into the blood stream. This happens even if you’re off your food or eating less than usual.
The health site added: “People who don’t have diabetes just produce more insulin to cope. But when you’ve got diabetes, your body can’t do this.
“The symptoms of diabetes can add to those of the original illness or infection and make it much worse.”
As a result, you need to know how to manage insulin or other diabetes medications and your diet, explained Anshu.
As she explained, one important area to navigate is cough medicines, which often have a high sugar content, which can send blood sugar levels soaring.
It is therefore important to speak to your pharmacist first to access blood-sugar friendly alternatives.
Also, if you have diabetes, you may be more on medication that can interact with the cough so it is important to seek expert advice before choosing the cough medicine, Anshu added.
It is also imperative to stay hydrated as dehydration is made worse when you have a temperature or are being sick, warns Diabetes UK.
“In some cases, blood sugar levels can become so uncontrolled that you need to go into hospital,” warmed the health body.
It is important to avoid sugary drinks, however, as this can have the reverse effect and raise blood sugar levels further.
According to Paul McArdle, Diabetes Specialist and Registered Dietitian: “There are plenty of sugar-free drinks using low calorie sweeteners that can help keep your fluids topped up without increasing blood glucose.”
It added: “Try to sip sugary drinks (such as fruit juice or non-diet cola or lemonade) or suck on glucose tablets or sweets like jelly beans. Letting fizzy drinks go flat may help keep them down.”
“If you’re vomiting, or not able to keep fluids down, get medical help as soon as possible.”