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Diabetic? Before you take those cold and flu meds, read this

by , 23 June 2015

Dealing with fevers, a sore throat and runny nose is hard enough. Now, try dealing with them when you have diabetes.

As a diabetic, you can't just run to the pharmacy and buy the first over-the-counter cold and flu remedy you find. You need to know what's in the medication and how its ingredients affect your diabetes.

Last week, I sat down with diabetes expert, Dr Craige Golding to discuss this. And he revealed nine cold and flu ingredients you should avoid at all costs.

 

Revealed: The most dangerous ingredients on the label of your cold and flu meds

 
The first thing you need to know about the label on cold and flu meds is that the ingredients on it fall into two categories: Active and inactive ingredients. 
 
Active ingredients are those that actually treat your symptoms, while inactive ones act as filler, flavourings and colourants in the drug. 
 
Here are the ones you need to avoid. 
 

These common active ingredients can cause havoc for diabetes

 
If you’re taking a fever reducer or painkiller, make sure it doesn’t contain:
 
Acetamiphonen. While added to these meds to stop aches and fevers, this ingredient can be toxic if you suffer from diabetes-related kidney complications.
 
Ibuprofen and Naproxen. Two other common pain meds, they can increase the hypoglycaemic effect of your insulin. This could result in episode where your blood sugar falls too low. They’re also known to hurt the liver and kidneys of people with prior complications. 
 
Avoid cough syrups that contain:
 
Dextromethorphan (usually labelled DM on the bottle). It can actually increase insulin release from your pancreas. While not always a bad thing, it can lead to insulin overdose if you:
o Are using a new diabetes product and use it incorrectly or your prescriptions isn’t correct
o Forget to eat or suffer an unexpected mealtime delay
o Exercise vigorously without snacking
o Take a morning dosage at night, or vice versa 
 
If you’re taking a decongestant nasal spray, make sure it doesn’t contain:
 
Epinephrine, phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine. Although there to help dry up your nasal passage, they can decrease the effectiveness of insulin and even raise your blood pressure
 
********** Check this out *********
 
Imagine never giving your blood sugar a second thought!
 
Forget about exiling yourself to the land of the “sugar-free”
 
Eat what you want, when you want (without going crazy, of course!)
 
Stop feeling guilty about how hard it is to follow your doctor’s long list of “do’s” and “don’ts”
 
Shake those nasty mood swings
 
Turn your body into a lean, mean, fat – and carb – burning machine
 
Get ready to turn that daydream into a reality – because you’re about to discover the effortless secret to PERFECT BLOOD SUGAR
 
********************************
 

Don’t take cold meds that contains these two inactive ingredients:

 
As a final warning, always check the label to see whether the cold and flu med you’re taking contains alcohol or sugar. These “inactive ingredients” will definitely have a negative effect on your blood glucose levels. 
 
And remember, although navigating the cold and flu aisle at your local pharmacy can be challenging when you have diabetes, it’s not just the drugs you have to worry about. 
 

There’s another reason having a cold is bad news for diabetics

 
You also need to make sure you drink enough if you have a cold or the flu. If you don’t stay hydrated, you could land up dehydrated and this will elevate your blood sugar levels. Since your blood sugar naturally rises when your body’s fighting an illness, check your blood sugar levels to keep your illness and your diabetes under control. 
 
So there you have it. Nine ingredients you need to look out for so that treating a cold doesn’t put your health at risk. 
 
But why stop there. After all, it’s better to prevent a cold and the flu entirely than have it wreak havoc on your health and your blood sugar. So check out these natural ways to keep colds and flu at bay this winter – without sacrificing your blood sugar’s stability. 
 
*For more of Dr Golding's tips for diabetics and overcoming it, check out his new book here. 
 

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