Didnât I talk about this last year? And maybe even the year before ?? Why am I bringing this up AGAIN ??? She must be running out of stuff to write, you say to yourself : HA! Not so, my friends. I am bringing this up now, and will again I warn you ahead of time, because it is very important and bears repeating. When someone with diabetes gets the flu, he/she is at much higher risk (compared to a non-diabetic person) of having the flu for a longer time, having a more severe version of the flu, ending up in the hospital, developing complications like pneumonia and risk of dying from the flu. Now I am talking about the real flu, not a bad cold. You do run a higher chance of being sicker from a cold as well, so you do not want a bad cold, and definitely not the flu.
There are two major preventative measures you can take to prevent this:
First: GET YOUR FLU VACCINE if it is available to you. It may not be, but ask about it. People with diabetes are somewhat immunocompromised, meaning that your body does not fight infection as well as it should. Thus you need all the help you can get. If the army waiting inside the walls of the city is not very strong, then build the wall thicker and stronger, right? That is what getting the flu shot is doing for you. Now recall that the flu shot often will not prevent you from getting sick from ALL types of flu because the vaccine is usually made up to prevent the most common version of the flu present that year. It will not cover ALL types, and does not protect against the many viruses that cause colds that are not the flu. So donât tell me,â well I got the flu shot last year and still got the flu/bad cold etc.â That can happen, I know that. But think that maybe the reason you are alive to tell me about having that happen was because you got the flu shot and it prevented you from getting the AWFUL flu that could have killed you. Different way of looking at things, hmm?
Second-WASH YOUR HANDS. This is the simplest, cheapest way to stay healthy. And so many people do not do it!!! If you are sick, you should wash your hands anytime you touch your nose or mouth, which clearly includes blowing or wiping your nose. Donât lend your cell phone to people when you are sick and vice versa. Do NOT share cups without washing them clean first. Most colds are spread through respiratory droplets, so keep them to yourself!
Okay there is your briefing leading up to cold season. In the meantime stay safe and healthy Vincies, and WASH YOUR HANDS!!!
Anita Ramsetty, MD email@example.com
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group