We are in the mist of flu season, and it has been all in the news of people getting the flu and increasing visits to the emergency room and admissions to the hospital. I have spent many times discussing flu prevention in my educational sessions with individuals with diabetes, specifically Type 2 diabetes. Individuals with any type of diabetes are at an increased risk to getting the flu. Regardless of which type of diabetes, it is usually recommended to get the flu vaccine. Now, the flu vaccine does not prevent you from getting the flu, totally, as there are many flu strains out there. There are usually only about three strains of the virus that are used to make the flu vaccine and are based on the prevalence of the strain of virus.
Any chronic condition, including prolonged stress puts you at risk for getting the flu. Take matters in your own hand by doing a few things.
Fi -Find healthy ways to cope with stress and /or stop doing what is stressing you out.
2. -Talk to your healthcare provider about the flu vaccine. For most insurances, this vaccine is covered and maybe no additional charge or minimal charge. You can always call your health insurance to find out the coverage. Many places are offering the flu vaccine, such as local CVS stores, Walgreens, and Kroger, for a minimal charge.
3. -If you think you have the flu, stay away from others. Minimize the spread of the flu vaccine by containing it within your own environment and not spreading to others.
4. -Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms if you are unsure, and if you feel that you are not getting better.
5. -Perform all of the safety checks for your condition such as glucose and urine checks if you have diabetes and peak flow meter checks if you also have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. When you are sick, the additional stress tends to weaken your immune system and your body’s ability to keep things in check.
To better health in 2013,
Timika Chambers RN BSN MSN CDE
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