Having diabetes does not make you more likely to get the flu but having the flu can make your diabetes more difficult to control. When you are sick, your body is under a state of stress. As your body tries to fight off the flu, hormones are released to help your body heal. These hormones can increase your blood sugars. If your blood sugars stay too high for too long, it can take longer for you to get better.
How to help prevent the flu:
You can help your immune system by living a healthy lifestyle, which includes:
- Regular physical activity and exercise
- Enough sleep (7-8 hours each night)
- Managing stress in your life
- Healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy and meats, fish and meat alternatives such as legumes
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before trying any supplements such as echinacea, ginseng, or probiotics because it could affect how your medications work.
The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends people with diabetes get a flu shot every year to prevent complications for influenza.