- Diabetes - the Medical Perspective
- Diabetes and Food
- Recipes to Try
- Menu Suggestions
Vaccines and Diabetes
Cold and flu season is upon us. Unfortunately, sometimes a cold or flu can progress to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs that can make it difficult to breath. Anyone can develop pneumonia, but people with diabetes are at a greater risk from pneumonia. Higher blood glucose levels make it harder for white blood cells to fight infections. The immune system is our body’s defense to fight illness. Infants and young children’s immune system is not totally developed and our immune system slows down as we age.
The risk of developing diabetes and other chronic illnesses increase with two good pneumonia vaccines available in the United States.
- Prevnar 13® vaccine protects against 13 pneumococcal bacteria
- Pneumovax 23® vaccine protects against 23 pneumococcal bacteria
Other vaccines that are recommended for individuals with diabetes:
- Annual flu vaccine
- Hepatitis B vaccine
- Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)
- Zoster vaccine (shingles).
Only your healthcare provider can determine which vaccines may be appropriate for you and when they should be given.
Diabetes and Food
Eating a variety of healthy foods helps strengthen your immune system and keep your blood glucose levels well managed.
The best way to manage diabetes is to understand your individual nutrition needs. One size does not fit all just because you have diabetes. It is wise to meet with a registered age. Seniors with diabetes or other chronic illnesses are at greater risk for pneumonia. Smokers, people with heart disease, chronic lung disease, and anyone receiving treatment for cancer or has had an organ transplant are also at a greater risk for pneumonia.
The pneumonia bacteria can be spread through person-to-person contact such as hugging, kissing, or being coughed on. Symptoms of pneumonia include a cough producing yellow, gray or blood streaked mucus, fever, chest pain, and chills. Anyone living in close quarters like a school dormitory or nursing home increases risk of spreading the pneumonia bacteria.
Keeping your blood glucose well managed is another important step in fighting infections.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that deaths related to pneumonia are dropping. This is because there are dietitian and certified diabetes educator to develop a diabetes eating plan specific to your needs. This is especially important when first diagnosed with diabetes, but also important for reinforcement and updating your eating plan as your needs change.
Your age and activity level will determine your calorie needs. Carbohydrate intake increases blood glucose levels. For better glucose management carbohydrate intake needs to be monitored. This will help determine how much you can eat at meals and snacks and still manage your blood glucose.
Healthier carbohydrates are vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Less healthy carbohydrates are sweetened beverages, candy, desserts, and highly processed foods and foods with added sugar and fats.
A diabetes educator can help you determine your carbohydrate needs. If your blood glucose is 180 mg/dl or higher two hours after a meal it may show that you are eating too much carbohydrate at the past meal, or you need to have your diabetes medication adjusted.