Do you have diabetes and are prone to seasonal allergies? We're breaking down common allergy medications that those watching their blood sugar should know about.
Do you have diabetes and routinely get a little sneezy come springtime, causing you to rely on allergy medications to stay afloat? As with any other medication you may be taking, your over-the-counter (OTC) allergy relief choices can affect your blood sugar levels. Will antihistamines raise my blood sugar? And what about nasal sprays?
Getting relief from seasonal allergies isn't just limited to taking medications, though. We're breaking down some of the best ways those with diabetes can overcome allergies this spring, as well as looking at the blood sugar effect of some of the most common OTC medications found at your Rite Aid pharmacy.
Itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, a sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose are all symptoms of seasonal allergies—not a comfortable experience. Thankfully, there are preventative and safe ways to treat these irritating symptoms so you can get some much-needed relief.
Before allergies start to rear their symptomatic head, try pre-medicating with antihistamines, nasal sprays, and/or eye drops as the first line of defense. Also, consider using a humidifier to alleviate your discomfort, especially if your room or office is usually on the drier side.
Thankfully, antihistamines, including the popular allergy medicine Claritin, do not raise blood sugar. However, some products, such as Benadryl, may cause drowsiness, and interfere with your daily activities, including your diabetes care. So if you're worried about drowsiness, play it safe with a non-drowsy alternative. Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are examples of antihistamines that are less likely to cause drowsiness.
Always - and we mean always- be sure to check for hidden sugars in medications like cough or allergy syrups and cough drops. Look for products labeled "sugar-free" because they will not increase your blood sugar.
The best way to stay healthy this springtime though is to determine your allergy triggers, and then do your best to avoid them. For example, if pollen is your allergy nemesis, keep your windows closed during times of the day when levels are typically the highest.
If you find yourself struggling year-round, consider using allergy specific air filters and make an effort to keep your furnace, air conditioners, and carpets clean. Also, showering often can also help to remove lingering pollen from your hair and body.
If your doctor does prescribe an allergy relief medication, make sure to discuss with them or your Rite Aid Pharmacist about any effects it may have on your overall diabetes management plan.
By: Kerri Sparling
Cleveland Clinic, Nasal Sprays Work Best When You Use Them Correctly — Here's How
Mayo Clinic, Allergy medications: Know your options
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.