Flu and COVID OTC Medicines that Make Your Sugars Spike


Medicines that spike sugar

When you have both diabetes and an infection like the flu or COVID your sugars spike.

That’s just normal because the infection will automatically cause your sugars to rise.

But on top of this, you also have to be aware of the medicines you’re going to take over the counter that will help reduce some of your symptoms.


Over-the-counter medicines that spike sugars


Several of these medications have hidden sugars in them and you don’t want to add insult to injury by taking them.

Here are three you want to pay particular attention to:

Pseudoephedrine –  a decongestant in some cold and flu medicines

cough syrup – make sure you read the label

niacin – a B vitamin that helps with the restoration of damaged tissues


Prescription medicines that make your sugars spike and go crazy


Steroids – used to decrease inflammation and help with breathing

Cough Syrup – some are loaded with sugar. Ask your doctor to prescribe only sugar-free cough syrup.

See the page in your Quick & Easy FLU/COVID Recovery Guide about the lasting effects of the flu and COVID on your diabetes medications.


A quick and easy flu COVID recovery plan


You also want a quick and easy flu COVID recovery plan to help you get over this COVID or flu so you do not have lingering effects.


With diabetes, it always takes longer to heal the body so the faster we can get over an infection the sooner we can start to repair it.

and the sooner we can avoid long-lasting effects, like loss of smell.

See my FREE Guide here, “Quick & Easy FLU/COVID Recovery Guide”.


Hidden Names of Sugars!


There are over 50 different names for sugar and 30 of them are very common so you must watch out for them when you’re picking and over-the-counter medication to help you with flu or COVID symptoms.

As a diabetic, I hope this is one of the things that your physician taught you right from the start – How to read labels!!

If nothing else, take this alphabetized list every time you go to a store to buy something that you are going to eat or drink.

  1. corn sweetener
  2. ethyl maltol
  3. corn syrup
  4. dextrose
  5.  fructose
  6. fruit juice concentrates
  7. glucose
  8. high-fructose corn syrup
  9. invert sugar
  10. lactose
  11. maltose
  12. malt syrup
  13. raw sugar
  14. sucrose
  15. sugar syrup
  16. florida crystals
  17. cane sugar
  18. crystalline fructose
  19. evaporated cane juice
  20. corn syrup solids
  21. malt syrup
  22. barley malt
  23. agave nectar
  24. rice syrup
  25. caramel
  26. panocha
  27. muscovado
  28. molasses
  29. treacle
  30. carob syrup


Other Sugars that are “fake-named”


You’ll notice that the words “syrup,” “sweetener,” and anything ending in “ose” can usually be assumed to be sugar. If the label says “no added sugars,” it should not contain any of them, although the food may contain naturally occurring sugars (such as lactose in milk).


Sugar Alcohols – Are they really sugar?


A lot of “sugar-free” foods have ingredients called sugar alcohols in them. These include ingredients such as maltitol and sorbitol.

Sugar alcohols aren’t sugar and they are not alcohol so they are safe.


Food Marketers are trying to change their language to fool you.


As you become smarter about labels, you will get frustrated at the American Food Industry.

There is nothing you can do about it unless you read the labels or your sugars spike after every bite.

However, continue to educate yourself and be aware that they will change the saying on their labels to try and get you to buy something.

For example, some soda pops used to say “100% Sugar-Free” but people still didn’t buy it, so they changed it to “No Sugar Added”. Their sales skyrocketed.

Do you see the difference?

It may look like it’s saying the same thing however “No Sugar Added” makes you trust the product more.

With either label, they can say there is no sugar, but then they can and will throw in any of the 30 names above on the back label.


INTERESTING FACT:  Your doctors may tell you to stop drinking “Diet Sodas”, too.  The reason is that some sodas put SALT in their soda so it will taste better, make you more thirsty, and come back to buy more. Ugh!

And remember, if you come down with the common cold, flu, or COVID, your sugars are already high, so grab a copy of this Quick & Easy FLU/COVID Recovery Guide to avoid high sugars spike and get it back to normal quickly.

About the Author

Do you feel frustrated with your medical care? Do doctors spend 5 minutes with you, push you out of the office, with you wondering what's going to happen? Does your insurance deny paying? You're not alone. I'm frustrated, too. This is a growing trend in healthcare. Having seen pre-insurance medicine (yes, my dad was an old country doctor), I grew up watching him spend time with his patients, giving them the best care he had to offer. I saw families trust him to help them through hospitalizations and the next crisis. As a patient advocate, my job is to see that you get the right diagnosis, the right treatment plans, and the right supplies and education to make good decisions about your health. More importantly, I will teach you the tricks of the healthcare trade. We need more healthcare consumer protection, especially for chronic illnesses like diabetes. This is what I am passionate about. I make it happen every day with thousands of patients who now know what I know about beating the healthcare system and getting the best patient care...Patient Best.

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