Having diabetes can make it easier to get an illness or an infection. But you can protect yourself! These three vaccines help your body’s immune system fight off some serious germs.
You’ve heard of the flu. Also known as influenza, the virus can spread when someone who has the flu sneezes, coughs, or comes into contact with others. The flu can lead to very high blood sugar levels and make people with diabetes even sicker than others. Getting a flu vaccine is the best way you can avoid this virus.
- Get a flu shot every year in the fall before flu season begins. It won’t make it impossible to get the flu, but it will protect you much better than if you don’t get the shot. Encourage people you live with to get a flu vaccine as well.
Unlike the flu, pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria. When this germ is in your lungs, it can lead to a serious pneumonia infection. Pneumonia is even more dangerous for people with diabetes.
- Pneumonia vaccines are often recommended. If you’re over 65 and have already had a pneumonia shot, you may need another one. Ask your doctor about the two pneumococcal vaccines and if you should get one or both.
Hepatitis B is a virus that can spread through certain bodily fluids. It can affect your digestion, skin, and can attack your liver. It is treatable, but it’s best to avoid this disease by getting a vaccine.
- The hepatitis B vaccine is given as a series of three shots within six months. If you had some of the shots in the past but didn’t finish the full regimen, your doctor can just give you the leftover shots. Ask your healthcare provider if you should get this vaccine.
Talk to your doctor before getting any of these vaccines to see what the best plan is for you.