Diabetes and Seasonal Colds
The season of colds and flu is very soon. Our experts have gathered useful advice about the behavior of person with diabetes if she or he catches cold or flu and the recommendations for diabetics about using over the counter medications against flu and colds.
Colds and flu are always bad surprise. We have to deal with such unpleasant symptoms as headache, problems with throat, coughing and runny or congested nose. There are lots of medications available to treat these symptoms. You can buy medicines like Rhinocort to treat runny nose, or separate medicines to treat sore throat. Other option is to choose medicines that aid all the symptoms, complexly.
However, before doing this choice, we advise you to talk to your doctor, especially if you have diabetes. The doctor or nurse can give you useful advice in the issue which medication suits you, and which of the medicines introduces on the market will help and will not lead to side effects in your case. Maybe you know that diabetes increases the risk of developing of cardiovascular diseases because of some OTC anti-flu medications. Another important caution: do not use OTC medications to treat children younger than 3 years.
If you have diabetes, you should read the patient’s leaflet of every medication you buy. Pay special attention to active ingredients. The intake of certain medication should help your symptoms and not to affect your diabetes. If a medicine is issued in the form of syrup, consider how much sugar it contains, because sugar affects your glucose level. Another ingredient which affects glucose blood level is alcohol. Alcohol is a usual ingredient of anti-flu medicines, so b careful. Avoid using medications containing sugar and alcohol.
Talking about active ingredients, use cautiously medicines which contain acetaminophen. This ingredient is added to anti-cold and anti-flu medications in order to reduce fever and relieve pain, but it can be toxic for liver and kidneys. If you have problems with liver and kidney because of diabetes, avoid medications that contain acetaminophen. Notice, that using acetaminophen in diabetics may lead to kidney complications in certain cases. So, better take an advise of your doctor before using acetaminophen-containing medicines.
In order to reduce pain and fever there as developed another class of medications called NSAIDs. Examples of them include Ibuprofen or Naproxen. The medications of these class are not advisable to use in diabetics, thought they are approved by FDA. The threat for diabetics is the risk of hypoglycemia with insulin, possible interaction with oral anti-diabetic medications you take, and possible damage of liver and kidneys (is they are affected by diabetes).
Medicines used to relieve congested nose may affect insulin levels too. They may in fact decrease it. If you accept medicines against hypertension, you should be cautious with decongestants like Epinephrine, Phenylephrine, because they reduce blood pressure.
Cough medications are generally safe for people with diabetes. You may use Dextromethorphan or Guaifenesin, for example.
Hopefully, this article will be useful caution for diabetics and their relatives.