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Take Control of Your Diabetes and Allergies

Spring is in the air—literally. Blooming flowers and budding trees can send your allergies into overdrive. And if you have diabetes, you face a few extra challenges when it comes to managing sniffling, sneezing, and stuffiness. Here’s how you can keep both diabetes and seasonal allergies under control.

Mind Your Blood Sugar

Over-the-counter triamcinolone nasal spray is now available to treat allergy symptoms. Talk with your doctor about how your medicines might affect your blood sugar. You may need to check your blood glucose more often. Your doctor may also recommend medicine to control blood glucose levels.

Allergy Symptoms and Side Effects—Or Low Blood Sugar?

When you have diabetes, it’s important to watch out for low blood sugar. If your blood sugar gets too low, it can lead to serious health consequences. Suffering from allergies can make it more difficult to notice the signs of low blood sugar. For example, fatigue is a symptom of low blood sugar and allergies. Antihistamines, a type of allergy medication, also have side effects similar to low blood sugar symptoms. These side effects include drowsiness and loss of coordination. If you think your blood sugar may be low, check your levels. Ask your doctor what level is low for you.

What Allergy Meds Do to Your Blood Pressure

About two-thirds of people with diabetes have high blood pressure or take blood pressure medicine. Decongestants may relieve your stuffy nose, but they can also raise blood pressure and worsen your diabetes control. Because some people with diabetes have heart-related complications, it’s especially important to keep your blood pressure in check. Talk with your doctor before taking decongestants. Keep in mind that many allergy, cold and flu medications are combination products and can contain decongestants.

Talk to your local Rite Aid Pharmacist for other allergy-relief recommendations. 

Sources
“AAAAI Allergy and Asthma Drug Guide.” American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/drug-guide.aspx.
“Allergic Rhinitis.” American Academy of Family Physicians, February 2011. familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/allergic-rhinitis.printerview.all.html.

“Effect of Intranasal Steroids on Glucose and Hemoglobin A Levels in Diabetic Patients.” A. Mizrachi et al. American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, September-October 2012, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 395-7, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23168154.

“Glucocorticoid-Induced Diabetes and Adrenal Suppression: How to Detect and Manage Them.” M.C. Lansang and L.K. Hustak. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, November 2011, vol. 78, no. 11, pp. 748-56, www.ccjm.org/content/78/11/748.full.

“Hay Fever Medications.” American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/hay-fever-medications.aspx.

“Heart Disease.” American Diabetes Association. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/heart-disease/.
“High Blood Pressure.” American Diabetes Association, July 31, 2013. www.diabetes.org/are-you-at-risk/lower-your-risk/bloodpressure.html.

“Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar).” American Diabetes Association, July 12, 2013. www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hypoglycemia-low-blood.html.

“Over-the-Counter Medications.” American Heart Association, June 7, 2012. www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Over-the-Counter-Medications_UCM_303245_Article.jsp.

“Over-the-Counter Allergy Nasal Spray Triamcinolone—What Does It Mean for Patients?” American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/triamcinolone-nasal-spray.aspx.

“Pollen Allergy.” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, January 2012. www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/allergicDiseases/Documents/PollenAllergyFactSheet.pdf.