Diabetes and the Flu can be a Dangerous Combination
November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and Helena Regional Medical Center wants people to stay on track with their care during the COVID-19 pandemic and start of the flu season.
“We’ve seen how avoiding the doctor and emergency room has negatively impacted the health of those with chronic conditions, like diabetes,” said Dr. Thomas Bailey. “With proper therapies, diabetes can be a manageable disease. In the current flu season and COVID-19 pandemic, people with diabetes have much higher rates of developing serious complications if they get sick. That’s why the proper management of diabetes includes routine check-ups with your primary care physicians. If you haven’t seen your provider in the last six months, it’s time to schedule an appointment.”
When patients follow a treatment plan, they can often live longer and healthier lives. According to the American Diabetes Association, complications for untreated or improperly managed diabetes can be severe and even deadly:
- High blood pressure
- Skin issues
- Glaucoma, cataracts, and blindness
- Neuropathy, or nerve damage in feet or hands
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) coma or death
- Kidney disease or failure
“The good news is that with the right treatment and recommended lifestyle changes, many people with diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of complications,” said Dr. Bailey. “For both types of diabetes, a healthy lifestyle can help improve your health, including your weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol.”
And with flu season upon us, it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot. The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu, according to the CDC.
Even during a pandemic, it’s important to maintain regular appointments with your health care team to stay on track with your treatment plan and discuss new strategies. To learn about more lifestyle tips: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/index.html.
Dr. Thomas O. Bailey is an Family Medicine Provider at Helena Medical Group.
To schedule an appointment with a provider, either in-person or via telehealth, go to HelenaAnytime.com.