One Sunday, my blood sugar was higher than usual, and I had to increase my insulin dose at lunch and again at dinner. Something was off, and I decided to settle in after a busy day, cleaned up the dinner dishes and ready to enjoy some chamomile tea. I sat down trying to relax and then my sinuses started to throb. I was getting sick.
Symptoms like this are good, as long as we pay attention when our body is fighting an infection and notice how it's affecting blood sugar control. Life can turn upside when you are sick, diet and exercise habits change when caring for a cold and managing diabetes makes it even more challenging.
Whether you get an annual flu vaccine or not, managing autoimmune disease like diabetes can make us more vulnerable to the outcome and having a plan in place and optimal immune system will help mitigate and even avoid catching colds and flu.
"The CDC estimates about 30% of those hospitalized with the flu every year are people with diabetes. The reason is simple: when your body is tasked with dealing with one condition (such as diabetes) it can be harder for it to fend off a new issue like the flu." Posted by Sabrina Huda Sanchez
Why a strong immune system is key to managing the flu season with diabetes
The cold and flu season can be easier to tackle and feel less threatening for women with diabetes, when you focus on immune boosting habits and controlling blood sugar throughout the year.
Consistent sleep, hydration, exercise, nutrient rich food and reducing stress will boost your immune system and improve blood sugar control.
Strengthening this foundation of health will mitigate your chances of catching a cold or the annual flu and increase your body's ability to recover sooner.
Preparing for flu season with diabetes
Getting sick with the added stress of managing blood sugar is no joke, so having a plan will help empower you. When your body is fighting an infection, it produces stress hormones that causes blood glucose levels to rise. It is frustrating when you are sick and already feel lousy, barely eating, can't move and your blood sugar seems impossible to control.
Be sure to test blood sugar more often or using a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) to know how to adjust your insulin needs. Expect that a rise in blood sugar will happen as your body heals and recovers.
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6 natural ways to tackle the flu and your blood sugar
Once you feel symptoms like sore throat or sinus headache, try the following tips to help prevent or treat a cold:
Thyme Lemon Tea (recipe below) - Drink 1 to 2 cups per day to support respiratory health
Colloidal Silver - Boosts your immune system and fights bacteria and viruses
Alkalol Nasal Rinse - The only saline rinse with a proprietary blend of natural extracts and essential oils and provides invigorating relief from nasal congestion and sinus pressure caused by colds, flu, and allergies.
IV Vitamin Therapy (Vitamin C, B's and D3) - Consult your doctor on vitamins to boost immune function and overall energy to help fight a cold
Rest & Hydration - The best and simplest ways to heal and recover from infection
MORE Insulin! - Check with your doctor on meeting your bodies insulin needs while treating a cold.
Thyme Lemon Tea Recipe (makes 2 cups)
2 cups water 2 tbsp fresh leaves Lemon juice (optional)
Finely chop the fresh herb and add to the cups
Boil the water and pour in the cups
Let steep for 5-10 minutes before drinking
Add a few drops of lemon if desired
I realized on that Sunday evening when I started to feel the symptoms, that I needed to act quickly.
I did the nasal rinse, dosed colloidal silver (nasally) drank 30 ounces of water and got some thyme tea brewing, scheduled vitamin therapy that next day then early to bed.
My cold symptoms started to fade on day 2 and by day 3 I was active again and as my infection cleared my insulin needs returned to normal.
Managing an autoimmune disease when infections invade your body does present other challenges.
Keep your medicine cabinet stocked with the suggested remedies shared here and commit to keeping your immune system strong throughout the year.
Comment below with your secret weapons to fighting the flu season while managing blood sugar.