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Healthy Living: Swine Flu & Diabetics


The H1N1 virus, commonly called swine flu, is spreading. Here’s the good news: Being diabetic does not put you at greater risk for catching the flu. And here’s the bad news: if you do catch the flu, as a diabetic, you’re more likely to face complications.

Since having diabetes puts you in a high-risk group, you should try to get the flu shot—both the standard flu shot and the one for H1N1, when available. If the worst happens and you do come down with the flu, be sure to let your health care providers and family know. They’ll want to monitor you for dangerous developments.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it’s important for diabetics to keep their insulin going. Continue taking your medications, even if you can’t eat. Merely having the flu will raise your blood glucose levels, and irregular eating can make that even worse. Monitor your blood glucose levels more than you usually would, and if your numbers start to change, notify your doctor right away.

For most people, getting the flu means a week of uncomfortable misery. Diabetic patients face greater risks and complications—so it’s not something to take lightly. Work hard to prevent it, and if you do get the flu, contact your doctor.

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