Norovirus threat to diabetics

by Barbara Hewitt on December 14, 2012

Norovirus threat to diabetics

While the Norovirus continues to grab the headlines with hospitals around the world, holiday destinations and other locations under threat, the difficulties this can offer to diabetics appears to be have been overlooked. There is growing concern that anybody who contracts the Norovirus, which is highly contagious, could well see their diabetes medication impacted and they will need to take alternative action.

Symptoms

The Norovirus is a viral infection otherwise known as the winter vomiting bug which causes nausea, vomiting, dehydration, diarrhoea as well as headaches, stomach ache and a high temperature. Despite the fact that the virus will usually pass through the human body within just a matter of days it may have a short-term impact upon your blood glucose levels as your body looks to fight the infection. Therefore, if you are diabetic then you will need to keep an even closer eye on your blood sugar levels if you are unfortunate enough to contract the virus.

Contracting the Novovirus

Predominantly the infection is initially contracted by eating contaminated food but it is also highly contagious in the fact that touching individuals with the virus or even objects of surfaces they have handled can put you at risk. It is one of those viruses which will literally pass through a group of people within just a matter of days but can be extremely uncomfortable and can impact upon medication sufferers may be taking.

Quote from the DiabetesForum.com : “The pits having a cold or the flu in summer time. Hope you will bounce back quickly!  Was 7.0 high for you? Got the wonderful norovirus last March and fasting sugars were never under 18. Take care!”

There are a number of warnings currently in place around the world with regards to the Norovirus and if you are in the vicinity of an outbreak you should be extra vigilant.

Treating the virus

As such there is no treatment for the virus other than the fact that it is advisable to drink plenty of fluids to stop your body from dehydrating. As we suggested above, it will pass through your system relatively quickly although the couple of days during which it is most prevalent will be uncomfortable to say the least. Dehydration can also bring about a number of other complications for additional medical conditions such as diabetes.

The body’s immune system

The increase in your blood sugar levels is an automatic and a natural response by your body’s immune system to any perceived threat. There is nothing that can be done to prevent this very natural and very effective defence mechanism but it may well cause your blood sugar levels to go haywire for a few days. The increase in your body temperature is also yet another defence mechanism from your immune system as a means of fighting off any infection.

In many ways it is ironic that the immune system is able to fight the Norovirus while diabetes type I is in effect a condition whereby the immune system turns on itself. The immune system is something which is still baffling scientists today even though great progress has been made over recent times. Many people believe that the immune system will ultimately hold the key to a cure for diabetes type I and diabetes type II because the ability to control the immune system, and how the body reacts to infections, is very important.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

david March 3, 2015 at 2:28 am

I have had the Norovirus four days and nights. Am diabetic type 2. Excessive flatulence as well as diorrhoea and vomiting. Excess stomach acid causes additional vomiting. Nothing stays down and nothing stays in! 🙁

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