Colds Can Increase Blood Sugar

When you’re sick, you want to sleep and ignore the world. It’s understandable! Nursing yourself back to health is the best thing you can do. But one thing you can’t ignore is your blood sugar.

Being ill with something as simple as a cold can wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Your body can release epinephrine when you are ill to help deal with stress. Epinephrine can cause the release of more glucose into the bloodstream and increase the need for insulin. Being ill puts stress on the pancreas, and the added demand for insulin makes things even harder. Infections like colds, the flu, pneumonia, gastroenteritis and UTIs can all cause higher blood sugar.

When you’re ill, it’s important to follow a plan. You need to stay on top of your meds and make sure you take them when you normally would. You should also do your best to follow your normal diet to keep your blood sugar stable. You should drink plenty of water. If you want other fluids, be sure they are sugar-free and won’t upset your blood sugar.

While you are healthy, speak to your doctor about what OTC medications are right for your needs. Sometimes, OTC meds can contain sugar. You should also have some easy-to-make healthy foods on hand for when you’re ill. They can help you avoid high-carb, over-processed foods when you’re sick. Plus, when you are ill, you should still try to keep some movement in your day as it helps keep your blood sugar more stable and will help you get back on track when you are well again.

No one feels like themselves when they are sick. But for people with blood sugar concerns, it can be more dangerous than others. The CDC recommends checking blood sugar every four to six hours when you are ill. If you feel like your blood sugar is unmanageable while you are sick, call your doctor. It can be a medical emergency.

Illnesses like cold and flu are more prevalent during the winter but can hit you at any time of the year. It’s important to keep these tips in mind year-round. Having your blood sugar in the normal range can help your immune system and prevent illnesses in the first place. When illnesses are high in your area it’s essential to wash your hands regularly and avoid contact with sick people to protect yourself. By taking care of your blood sugar you can prevent illness, feel less ill while infected and recover sooner. It’s been a rough cold and flu season. But if you take care of yourself, you’ll get through it!

Banner image: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

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