As a precaution, should diabetics undergo a flu vaccination?
When people get the flu, they usually feel weak for a few days and suffer from various negative effects, such as headaches and nausea. Researchers have now found that diabetics are more likely to have dangerous complications that can even lead to death.
Flu can have dangerous consequences, especially for diabetics. Affected people have three times the risk of dying from the flu compared to healthy people. In a study by Imperial College London scientists found that flu vaccination reduces the likelihood of death for diabetics and can prevent inpatient treatment. The results of the study were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Epidemic of influenza in Australia
Australia is currently struggling with a very strong epidemic of influenza. Between June and September 2017, the number of influenza infections was much higher than the average over the past 15 years. In addition, the course and rate of complications that occurred was much more drastic. This even went so far that some sick people died of the infection.
Deaths in Australia caused by the flu
The flu can actually have such severe consequences for those affected that they die of it. For example, a girl just eight years old died in Melbourne recently. This death was due to influenza. In addition, a 50-year-old man died after being admitted to a hospital four days after the first symptoms of the flu. There he succumbed to infection with the A (H3N2) viruses.
Australia: Two and a half times as many flu cases as in the previous year
At present, 167,000 cases of influenza have been confirmed in Australia by tests in various laboratories. Compared to the previous year, this is two and a half times as many diseases, say the experts. The epidemic course in the southern hemisphere is a prognostic factor for medical professionals. They now suspect that a very strong flu wave in Europe must be expected at the beginning of 2018.
Diabetics are particularly at risk
Infectious diseases such as the flu lead to increased physical stress, especially in diabetics. This stress in turn increases the likelihood of dangerous complications. Some experts from the Helmholtz Zentrum München's Institute for Diabetes Research have already identified an important connection between infection and diabetes. So-called infectious diseases can cause complications in diabetics and diabetes makes people more susceptible to infections.
The immune system of diabetics does not work as efficiently
Serious infectious diseases can even lead to the need for insulin therapy in people with type 2 diabetes. If the body has high blood sugar levels, the excess glucose binds to important components of the immune system. This makes the diabetic's immune system work much less efficiently. If there is an infectious disease, this means that the blood flow to those affected is not optimal.
Diabetics are three times more likely to die of flu
If the blood circulation is disturbed, the smallest vessels of the affected suffer the most. With insufficient blood flow, too few nutrients and less oxygen are permanently made available. In their study, the scientists found that diabetics have a greatly increased risk of dying from flu. This risk is about three times as high in people with diabetes compared to healthy people.
Does an infection reduce the effectiveness of insulin?
The experts suspect that the insulin effectiveness may be reduced in the event of an acute infection. As a result, the blood sugar values can be permanently in a very high range. When the blood sugar level is increased, the human body excretes glucose through its kidneys. Through this process, the body breaks down a lot of water. This in turn causes existing fever or an increased body temperature to increase further. It is therefore very important for affected people that they always drink enough fluids.
Diabetics have difficulty controlling their blood sugar during flu
Type 2 diabetics should definitely think about vaccination against flu. Flu sickness creates too much stress for the human body. This stress can have a particularly strong impact on insulin-spraying diabetics. Such diabetics have difficulty keeping their blood sugar under control during flu. The disease leads to the fact that the affected diabetics need significantly more insulin.
Vaccination could reduce the risk of diabetes
If the person affected does not regularly eat enough food due to their illness, this can result in so-called hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). The fluctuations in blood sugar levels can then cause serious complications. The study found that the existing risk of death or the likelihood of inpatient treatment of type 2 diabetics can be reduced by influenza vaccination.
For their study, doctors analyze the data of around 125,000 people with type 2 diabetes
The study analyzed data from approximately 125,000 people with type 2 diabetes. The results clearly showed that vaccination leads to a 19 percent reduced risk of acute myocardial infarction. It also reduces the chance of having a stroke by 30 percent. Vaccinated diabetics also have a 22 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease. In addition, vaccinated people are 24 percent less likely to die from the effects of flu. (as)