With flu season upon us, it is especially important for you as a chronic kidney disease patient to take precautions to avoid infection. If you are also diabetic, your risk of being hospitalized because of flu increases dramatically.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released comprehensive guidelines about avoiding the flu and staying well during flu season.

First and foremost, the CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older unless told otherwise by a healthcare professional.  It is important to note, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. If you do contract the flu, one possible complication can be pneumonia. For those with chronic diseases, like CKD and diabetes, a pneumonia vaccine should also be part of your disease management plan.

As a diabetic, if you do get sick this winter with a flu-like illness it is important to continue taking your diabetes pills or insulin even if you can’t eat. Testing your blood sugar every four hours is also important in addition to monitoring your temperature. A consistent fever may be a sign of infection.

The best way to avoid these complications is to receive a flu shot. It takes several weeks for the shot to offer its best protection so don’t delay!