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What Can Diabetics Take For A Cold


Cold And Flu Medications Dont Contain Sugar

Diabetics take caution when taking OTC cold medicine.

Myth. If a medication is flavored, it probably contains some sugar. You can quickly tell if sugar is included by taking a look at the label. If you see a zero next to the carbohydrate heading, the medication isnt sweetened.

You dont necessarily have to avoid medications with sugar, particularly if they only include small amounts. But if you must take the medication often or you take several medications that contain sugar, youll soon be consuming more sugar than you may have anticipated.

When possible, use sugar-free versions of medications, or take the pill form of a medication rather than the liquid.

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Choosing The Right Cold Medicines Is Very Important For All Dietetics You Need To Check The Ingredients And Consulting A Doctor Is Usually Recommended

People who suffer from diabetes have an increased risk of getting an infection, including a viral infection or a common cold. This is linked to a weaker immune system that these persons might have due to diabetes. Also, it is harder to keep the normal and balanced blood sugar levels while being sick than normally. As the human body normally tries to fight the infection and deal with viruses or bacteria that have entered the body, certain hormones are released which will interfere with the effects of insulin, increasing this way the levels of glucose in the blood and making diabetes harder to keep under control. Managing diabetes while being sick is very important.

Cold Medicines That Are Safe For Diabetes

Our expert pharmacist advises how to find over-the-counter cold and flu medications that are safe for your diabetes.

Searching for relief for your runny nose, sore throat, or cough? Many over-the-counter cough, cold, and flu remedies list diabetes as an underlying condition that may indicate you should leave the medication on the shelf. The warnings are clear: “Ask a doctor before use if you have: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes.” Unfortunately, your doctor is not along for the trip to the pharmacy.

Because illness causes your body to release stress hormones that naturally raise blood glucose, you’ll want to be sure that over-the-counter medications won’t increase blood glucose levels, too.


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Simple Is Best for Cold Medicines

Keep it simple by choosing an over-the-counter medication based on the types of ingredients proven to relieve your particular symptoms. Often a medication with just one ingredient is all you need to treat your symptoms rather than agents with multiple ingredients. “To choose the correct medication, take time to speak to a pharmacist,” says Jerry Meece, R.Ph., CDE, of Gainesville, Texas. “The proper remedies may not only make you feel better, but also cut the length of the illness and possibly save you a trip to the doctor.”

Safe OTC Cold Medicines

Symptom: Cough


Best option: Anti-tussive dextromethorphan

Symptoms: Congestion, mucus in sinus passages

Symptoms: Pain and/or fever

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Cold Medicine For Diabetics

Getting a common cold or flu is common and using over-the-counter cold medicines for treatment, is something that we all do. However, when it comes to diabetics, which cold medicines are safe from many brands of cold medicines available today? Certain products will treat only one symptom like nasal congestion or a cough, while other products will treat several symptoms at the same time. Its up to you which type of cold medicine you prefer.


When it comes to choosing cold medicine, it is very important to know the ingredients of every medication as these can affect your glucose levels in the blood, making your diabetes get out of control. You probably dont want that? There are two types of ingredients commonly found in medications including cold medications, active and inactive ingredients. Active ingredients are the ones that actually work and treat the symptoms of a cold, while inactive ingredients dont have any medical value. Inactive ingredients are usually coloring, flavoring or filler substances. Before choosing a cold medicine for diabetics, read the labels carefully and look for its ingredient content, for both active and inactive ingredients.

Active ingredients that may interfere and affect your glucose levels in the blood are:

Choosing the right cold medication for diabetics can be a challenge sometimes. However, it is good to know that these medications will not cure a common cold or flu. They will only temporarily ease the signs and symptoms.

What Can I Drink Or Eat To Control My Blood Sugar Levels When I Am Sick

Can Diabetics Take Alka Seltzer Cold Plus

If possible, you should continue to follow your meal plan while you are sick. You may have trouble keeping food down or eating enough food. If you are not able to follow your normal eating plan , be sure to drink plenty of fluids. High blood sugars, fever, or poor appetite can cause dehydration, yet the body needs adequate fluid to eliminate excess glucose. If you are not eating, you can drink water or other fluids free of sugar or caffeine whenever your blood sugar is over 150 mg/dL. Consuming 1 ounce per year of age per hour, up to a maximum of 8 ounces of fluid per hour is a good target.

Eating 45-50 grams of carbohydrate every few hours can help maintain stable blood sugar levels while you are sick. It may be easier to tolerate meals such as soup, crackers, gelatin, or other soft foods.


People with diabetes who are sick and display ketones should contact their doctor and consider taking additional fast-acting insulin as 10% of their total daily insulin dose given every 2 hours so long as moderate to large ketones persist in the urine or blood. If moderate to large ketones persist for more than 4 to 6 hours despite taking extra insulin every two hours, call 911 or go to your nearest Urgent Care or Emergency Department.

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Tips For Treating The Flu

If you have the flu, we have tips to help you treat it while managing diabetes:

  • Continue to take diabetes control medications as usual .
  • Monitor your glucose every 4 hours and keep a record of the results, this may help your doctor and you to have a parameter so you can make adjustments for the medication if necessary.
  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to prevent dehydration and try to eat as you regularly would.
  • Check your temperature, fever may be a sign of infection.
  • Keep a written record of your glucose, medications, temperature, and weight levels. You might even need to check if you have ketone in your urine if your blood glucose rises.

With the flu, the medication you are prescribed may make the disease less aggressive and make you feel better faster. The medication helps you avoid complications such as those mentioned above and by helping you recover faster, you reduce the possibility of uncontrolled glucose levels.

If you do not treat influenza, you are at risk of some complications and of getting worse because of the same illness, which may even cause death.


Influenza medication works best when it starts within the first two days of being sick, so its important to get in touch with your doctor if you notice that you have some of the symptoms mentioned.

We also suggest that you have your doctors phone handy and also to call them if you show:

A Flu Vaccine Is The Best Protection Against Flu

Flu vaccination is especially important for people with diabetes because they are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Because flu vaccines are updated each season to keep up with changing viruses and immunity provided by flu vaccination decreases over time, annual vaccination is recommended for the best protection against flu. Flu vaccines protect against the four flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. More information on why flu vaccines may be updated annually is available: Vaccine Virus Selection, as well as this seasons exact vaccine composition. Flu vaccines for the upcoming season have been updated to better match the viruses that are expected to circulate. Immunity from flu vaccination sets in after about two weeks after getting vaccinated.

  • Flu vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of getting sick with flu as well as reduce the risk of having a serious flu outcome like a stay in the hospital or even being admitted to the intensive care unit .

CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year, ideally by the end of October.

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* *When symptoms are not controlled by non-pharmacological approaches

1 Diabetes Research Institute. Diabetes Statistics. Retrieved from

2 American Heart Association. Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes.Retrieved from

3 American Heart Association. Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes.Retrieved from

4 Prevalence and co-prevalence of comorbidities among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Retrieved from


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Are Cough And Cold Products Safe For People With Diabetes

Over The Counter Medications And Blood Sugars

Its that time of year again. Stuffy noses, scratchy throats, upset tummies, and splitting headaches can send even the most stoic among us to the local drugstore for a magic pill to take away the pain. The fluorescent aisles of brightly colored bottles promising fast relief can seem daunting. Are all over-the-counter cold and flu meds safe for people with diabetes?

Many over-the-counter cough, cold, and flu remedies list diabetes as an underlying condition that may indicate you should leave the medication on the shelf. The warnings are clear: Ask a doctor before use if you have: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes. Unfortunately, your doctor is not along for the trip to the pharmacy.

Most experts agree that most people with diabetes can feel free to select whatever over-the-counter product works best for them, so long as the medication is taken as directed. At the same time, everyone is different so its important to shop smartly to ensure a quick and safe recovery from this seasons infections. Because illness causes your body to release stress hormones that naturally raise blood glucose, youll want to be sure that over-the-counter medications wont increase blood glucose levels, too.

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Managing Your Wellness And Your Diabetes

  • You lot may need to change your dose of insulin and/or other diabetes medications. If you check your claret glucose levels at home, y’all might have to do it more often when you are ill. Your results volition help you and your healthcare professional to decide the changes you need to make to your medications.
  • Contact your GP or a member of your diabetes healthcare squad if you are concerned about anything or unsure what to do about your insulin and/or other diabetes medications.
  • Flu & People With Diabetes

    People with diabetes , even when well-managed, are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, which can result in hospitalization and sometimes even death. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. In recent seasons, about 30% of adults hospitalized with flu reported to CDC had diabetes. Flu also can make chronic health problems like diabetes worse because these conditions can make the immune system less able to fight off infections. Furthermore, acute illnesses like flu can make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Flu may raise your blood sugar levels, but sometimes people dont feel like eating when they are sick and a reduced appetite can cause blood sugar levels to fall. It is important for people with diabetes to follow the sick day guidelines if they become ill.

    Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes . More than 100 million Americans are living with diabetes or prediabetes .

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    When To Call Your Doctor

    If you or your child has diabetes as well as what you think might be the flu, call your doctor right away so you can start treatment to help prevent serious complications.

    For adults, call your doctor if your symptoms are really bad, have lasted for a few days, or if youââ¬â¢ve had a fever that wonââ¬â¢t let up. You should also call if:


    • Itââ¬â¢s hard to breathe.
    • Your blood sugar level remains higher than 180 milligrams per deciliter .
    • Your blood sugar level remains lower than 70 mg/dL.
    • You cannot keep down solids or liquids.
    • Your temperature is over 101 F.
    • You have vomiting or diarrhea.

    For children, call the doctor if they have:

    Flu Or Just A Common Cold

    What Cold Medicine Can Diabetics Take
    Signs and symptoms
    Rarely Common

    The symptoms for the common cold last a few days while symptoms of influenza usually last for more than a week. Flu symptoms are also more severe than those of a common cold.

    Those of us who live with diabetes, even with good management of our glycemic levels, are more likely to have some flu complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, and ear infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States that about 30 percent of adults hospitalized for influenza had diabetes.

    In addition to the specific problems of the flu, the infection can disrupt the bodys function to raise glucose and in some cases, a loss of appetite due to the flu can cause blood glucose levels to decrease.

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    Care Plan When You Have Cold And Diabetes

    Everyone gets a cold or flu every now and then, regarding of diabetes. However, being diabetic and getting a cold or flu can increase the risk for various complications. First of all, it is very important to stay at home and get all the necessary time to recover.

    • The blood sugar levels should be checked every 4 hours and sometimes even sooner if your doctor recommends you so.
    • The temperature should be measured regularly as well.
    • Regular testing for ketones is also necessary, especially when the level is over 240 mg/dL. Consult with your healthcare provider immediately if it shows ketones.
    • Drink plenty of water while you are sick. A broth is a good choice as well.
    • Eat about 50 g of carbohydrates every 3 to 4 hours. Sports drinks, apple juices, unsweetened applesauce, soup, etc., are great choices if you cant eat solid food.
    • Take the oral diabetic medications and insulin just as your doctor has prescribed them to you unless he/she recommends you otherwise.

    Take Your Prescribed Medicine

    When choosing between pills and syrup, choose pills, because pills are less likely to have carbs. There are sugar-free options in syrups as well, so always check your label and dose insulin accordingly. While not food, you have to dose for meds ! Read more about cold medicine and how other medications can affect Type 1 management here.

    You can treat the flu with antiviral prescription medications that can ease symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness, such as oseltavimir . For best results, contact your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms as treatment is most effective when started right away.

    Verified by Natalie H. Strand, MD Dr. Nat was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. A Mayo Clinic trained chronic pain specialist, she is the director of integrative medicine at Freedom Pain Hospital. After her post-graduate fellowship, Dr. Nat competed in and won The Amazing Race on CBS. She has also worked closely with leading diabetes organizations to promote exercise and healthy living among people living with diabetes.

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    Why Is My Blood Sugar Going Up

    When you have a cold, your body sends out hormones to fight the infection. The downside: That makes it hard for you to use insulin properly, and your blood sugar levels may rise.

    If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar levels get hard to manage, it can lead to problems like ketoacidosis. That’s a buildup of too much acid in your blood, and it can be life-threatening.

    If you have type 2 diabetes, especially if you’re older, very high blood sugar can bring on a serious condition called diabetic coma.

    How Long Is The Flu Contagious

    How diabetics should take care during coronavirus – Doctors Advice

    Everyone gets the common cold and the flu . Both the common cold and flu are contagious, but they are not caused by the same virus.

    Although the typical contagious period for the flu is about one to four days. Some adults can be contagious from about one day before the onset of signs and symptoms for up to two weeks.

    Other people with diabetes and take cold or flu medications may develop complications, such as pneumonia, may extend the

    Generally, medications to treat the signs and symptoms of the flu or common cold are safe to take if you have diabetes, for example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can control pain and fever. Usually, over-the-counter cold and cough medications are acceptable for people with diabetes. While sugar-free medications are always preferred, the amount of sugar consumed in a single dose of medication is minimal and unlikely to cause harm.

    People with diabetes may misunderstand that they should reduce their medication dosages if an infection has decreased their appetite and they are eating less. However, being sick usually makes someone resistant to insulin and raises glucose levels – even if you are eating less. So, it is important to continue taking your diabetes medication when you are sick and to monitor for urinary or blood ketones.

    Lack of physical activity associated with the illness can raise blood sugar levels.

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