Healthy Living with Diabetes:
The Simple Step You May Be Missing
While there is no cure yet for diabetes, there are steps you can take to stay healthy. You may know the basics:
Make time for
with medical care.
But there’s an essential step you may be missing: staying up to date with vaccines.
Why is Vaccination Important for
People with Diabetes?
Each year, thousands of adults in the United States get sick from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccines. Because diabetes can make it harder for your immune system to fight some infections, you may be at higher risk of getting certain diseases if you are living with diabetes.
Additionally, people with diabetes are also at higher risk of serious problems from some vaccine-preventable diseases.
People with diabetes are at an increased risk for severe complications, and even death, from some infections.
It can be harder to control your blood sugar levels when you are ill.
Your blood sugar may be high when you are sick. However, sometimes people don’t feel like eating when they are sick, and this can cause blood sugar levels to fall. It’s important to monitor your blood sugar more often when you are sick.
What Vaccines do People with
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.
People with diabetes, even when well managed, are at high risk of serious flu complications, often resulting in hospitalization and sometimes even death.
Potential complications from the flu include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections.
When you are sick with the flu, it may be harder to control your blood sugar. When you are sick, you need to monitor your blood sugar more often.
A flu shot every year is the single best way to protect yourself from the flu. If you do have flu-like symptoms, talk to a doctor as soon as possible to begin taking antiviral medication (prescription medicines that may help you fight the flu or shorten how long you have the flu).
The Tdap vaccine protects against three serious diseases caused by bacteria:
Tetanus causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness. It kills about 1 out of 10 people who are infected, even after receiving medical care.
Diphtheria causes a thick coating to form in the back of the throat and can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, paralysis, and death.
causes severe coughing spells, which can cause difficulty breathing, vomiting, and disturbed sleep.
Shingles is a painful rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body. Years later, it may cause shingles.
Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, in their lifetime.
For some people, the pain can last for months or even years after the rash goes away — known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN).
There are an estimated 1 MILLION Cases of shingles each year in this country.
Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by pneumococcus bacteria.
Each year in the United States, pneumococcal bacteria causes thousands of infections, including:
(infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)
People with diabetes are at increased risk for death from pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis.
Hepatitis B vaccine
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and transmitted through blood or other body fluid.
Chronic hepatitis B can lead to serious health issues, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.
People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of hepatitis B virus infection.
Hepatitis B can be spread through sharing of blood sugar meters, finger stick devices, or other diabetes care equipment, such as insulin pens. To prevent hepatitis B infection, never share diabetes care equipment.
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated.
CDC recommends hepatitis B vaccination for all unvaccinated adults with diabetes who are younger than 60 years of age. Many people have had the hepatitis B vaccine as a child, so check with your doctor to see if you have been vaccinated already. If you are 60 years or older, talk to your doctor to see if you should get hepatitis B vaccine.