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.
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.
- corn sweetener
- ethyl maltol
- corn syrup
- fruit juice concentrates
- high-fructose corn syrup
- invert sugar
- malt syrup
- raw sugar
- sugar syrup
- florida crystals
- cane sugar
- crystalline fructose
- evaporated cane juice
- corn syrup solids
- malt syrup
- barley malt
- agave nectar
- rice syrup
- 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.
SO, READ THE LABELS.
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.