How Can You Manage Your Allergy and Diabetes?
Springtime is probably the most difficult period for seasonal allergy sufferers. There are many factors leading to hay fever boom in spring, including trees, grasses, rye and weeds releasing pollen during late spring and early summer. People who have diabetes may experience more severe allergy attacks than other individuals. This is because diabetes can influence the way your body reacts to the development of allergy symptoms, as well as to allergy treatment.
Even when you are not affect by allergy symptoms, it’s quite difficult to maintain blood glucose at required levels, get enough sleep and exercise, and use medications or insulin just as directed. However, diabetes management becomes even more challenging when the symptoms of seasonal allergies develop.
What Is the Link Between Allergy and Diabetes?
Blood sugar normally doesn’t change because of allergies themselves, but it can be affected by allergy medications.
Seasonal allergies can be treated using various over-the-counter or prescription medications, some of which may alter your blood glucose levels. Besides, blood sugar can be affected by drowsiness, dizziness, hyperactivity, nausea, and diarrhea – side effects that are commonly associated with allergy drugs.
Generally, allergy medications are divided into three categories: decongestants, antihistamines, and steroids. According to experts, taking decongestant medicines can lead to increased blood sugar levels, blood pressure and heart rate.
Speaking of antihistamines, although they don’t normally affect blood sugar, they do cause drowsiness. When you experience drowsiness for long periods, there is an increased risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. If you feel drowsy, you may find it harder to properly monitor your blood sugar.
Most steroids (also known as corticosteroids) are prescription medications, but some types are also available over the counter. One of the side effects of corticosteroids is an increase in blood sugar. Therefore, people with diabetes taking steroid meds should check their blood sugar levels with a special accuracy.
Regular monitoring of blood glucose helps to prevent health risks related to diabetes. In case of hyperglycemia (when you blood sugar is higher than normally), you should call your healthcare provider. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can also be a result of taking allergy meds. If you are combining your allergy medication with insulin, your doctor will likely adjust your dosage.
How to Control Your Seasonal Allergy?
If you have an allergy, you should see a doctor specializing in allergic disorders. The doctor will provide you with recommendations concerning allergy treatment and diabetes control.
In general, experts suggest that you always check the medication labels to see if there are any health risk associated with this medication.
You can also start taking your allergy meds before the allergy season starts, which can help to ease the symptoms.
Limit your exposure to outdoor allergens by checking your local allergen reports that regularly forecast mold and pollen counts, as well the breathing index. For example, you can do that with a help of weather applications on your laptop or cellphone.
When the allergy season is at peak, you are better off staying inside and keeping the windows and doors closed. If you are planning to work in your yard, it’s recommended that you wear a mask.
How Do Allergy Drugs Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Allergy to food is a type of disorder known as food intolerance. If you have a food allergy, your body will produce an allergic reaction every time you eat a certain trigger food. Food allergies occur less commonly than seasonal allergies: only 1 percent of adult population and 4 percent of children are affected by this allergic disorder. However, some mild to moderate food allergy symptoms, such as mild swelling of the lips, eyes, and hands, hives, or diarrhea, can be reduced by medications used for seasonal allergy treatment. Those include Singulair, Zyrtec, Bendaryl, etc., and they tend to increase your blood sugar levels.
In severe cases, food allergies may cause an anaphylactic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a serious, often life-threatening condition leading to closed airways and heart failure. Treatment of an anaphylactic shock requires an immediate injection of epinephrine (adrenaline), and a follow-up medical care.
If you have diabetes and allergy, you should talk to your doctor about your treatment options, as well as ways to keep both disorders under control.