Flu Vaccinations and Diabetes

 

For those patients with Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes it is very important to have an annual flu vaccine to protect you from getting the influenza virus,commonly known as ‘flu’.

If you have either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes you have a greater risk of becoming more seriously ill from flu than the general population.

Many people think having flu is like having a bad cold, but in reality, flu is a nasty respiratory virus which can make you feel very unwell. For those people who have diabetes getting flu can make managing your blood sugar levels much harder and can lead to problems with other organs in your body. The risk is much greater than for people who are normally fit and healthy.

Some of these complications can be life threatening. Every year over 11,000 people in England die from complications caused by the flu virus. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by having the flu vaccination.

 

Why is this important for you?

If you have Diabetes you are more likely to develop other complications such as pneumonia. Pneumonia is a severe lung infection which makes breathing difficult and can require spending time in hospital.

 

Catching flu when you have diabetes can lead to higher blood sugar levels and increase the risk of serious short-term complications such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It may mean urgent admission to hospital and taking a long time to recover from the effects of the treatment and the virus.

 

Some medications used to treat flu may not be suitable for people with diabetes. Some medications can increase your risk of heart problems and stroke.

 

Many people with diabetes have other long-term conditions such as heart disease or kidney problems. These can also become worse if you catch flu.

 

Cold weather can also affect blood sugar levels, so catching flu in the winter months can further increase your risk of poorly controlled diabetes.

 

Preventing flu in the first place is the best option. It’s FREE because YOU need it

 

How can you protect yourself?

The most effective way to protect yourself from flu is to have a Flu Vaccine each winter. The flu vaccination season runs from October to February, but most people get flu in December and January, so the sooner you have the vaccination the sooner you will be protected.

 

It is important to have the vaccination every year because the virus can change, and the previous year’s vaccine may not offer you the right protection against the virus in circulation this year.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q. Can flu be treated with antibiotics?

A. No. Flu is a virus and the only way to be really protected is with a flu vaccine.

 

Q. Will having the vaccine give me flu?

A. No. The vaccine contains an inactive form of the virus which cannot cause flu. Some people may have a sore arm and mild aches and pains which means the vaccine is working and should only last 48 hours.

 

Q. Is the vaccine safe?

A. Yes. The vaccine is known to be very safe and can be given to babies and very elderly people with very few problems or reactions.

 

If you need more information:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/www.diabetes.org.uk/

 

The Flu Vaccination is FREE and EFFECTIVE. Contact us to book your appointment today.

Published: Oct 17, 2019