It is that time of year again — coughs, colds, and the flu! Being ill can have a strange effect on your blood sugar (glucose) levels. Here are simple rules to follow when you become sick:

  • Check your blood sugar (glucose) levels about every 3 – 4 hours.
  • Substitute sick-day foods for normal foods if you have nausea or vomiting. Talk with a dietitian about which sick day foods would be good for you. Try to keep soup, rice, or frozen fruit bars in your kitchen, especially during cold and flu season.
  • Drink a lot of caffeine-free liquids. Drink non-diet liquids to prevent hypoglycemia if you have taken your diabetes medicine and you are vomiting.
  • Always take your normal dose of insulin or diabetes pills, even if you’re not eating normally. If you use insulin, your doctor might prescribe a higher dose, and if you use diabetes pills, your doctor might prescribe insulin as a supplement.
  • Keep on hand sick day medications that have been approved by your doctor. People with diabetes should not take some over-the counter medications because they have sugar in them, and they could raise your blood glucose levels.

Having the flu can be dangerous to anyone but it is extra dangerous for people with diabetes or other chronic health problems. Everyone with diabetes needs a flu shot each year. Talk to your doctor about having a flu shot! Flu shots do not give 100% protection, but they do make it much harder for you to catch the flu for about 6 months. It is also a good idea for the people you live with or spend a lot of time with to get a flu shot too. You are less likely to get the flu if the people around you do not have it.

If you are interested in learning more about diabetes; an online diabetes class, “Do Well, Be Well with diabetes”, will be offered in October. Virtual Learning is on the rise across the globe, this includesDWBW which is sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Harrison, Rusk, and Shelby counties.

The topics to be covered are as follows:

  • Getting Started: How food affects your blood glucose
  • Eating the right number of carbohydrates
  • Beyond the diet
  • Beyond the diet and physical activity
  • Celebrating Diabetes Control and avoiding complications

The course will be offered every Thursday, October 1st to 29th at 10:00am via Zoom online platform. To register visit call the Harrison County Extension Office, 903.935.8414. Registration fee is only $12. Registration deadline is September 30, 2020.

If you have any questions on this topic or would like more information, please contact the Harrison County Extension Office at 903.935.8414.