weakened immune system?

By tabby9146 Latest Reply 2009-05-02 18:14:09 -0500
Started 2009-04-29 17:25:43 -0500

I have heard that diabetics all have a weaker immune system than non-diabetics. But what about those like me, who have 'early' or mild diabetes right now (as my doctor calls it) even though it won't always be mild I know…but I am starting to get concerned about that swine flu like I know many of you must be.

12 replies

kdroberts 2009-04-29 22:03:18 -0500 Report

Two things.

1. There is no such thing as mild diabetes. You have it or you don't and it's all just as serious.
2. Diabetics most definitely do not have weakened immune systems and are no more susceptible than anyone else when it comes to getting sick. This has been proven time and time again in scientific studies. The reason you have to be careful about illness and why the flu shot is recommended is because of what happens when you do get sick. Since illness stresses out your body it becomes very hard to control your blood sugar and that can lead to a lot of problems like longer recovery time and in extreme cases, DKA and death. I should note that the DKA is not common and you shouldn't get worried about it every time you get a cold or similar. It's reallygot nothing to do with your immune system, it's just another down side of being diabetic. A non-diabetics body would handle the extra stress but a diabetics can't.

cakeybakes 2009-04-29 22:33:48 -0500 Report

Thanks for the info! That's a lot of what I thought, too. Just getting over a stomach virus was really difficult and it took me several days to see my BS level out from missing so much medicine and not being able to eat for two days.

Antique-Dave 2009-04-30 08:29:08 -0500 Report

Doctors… gotta laugh or we would cry, wonder if he tells women they have a mild pregnancy? The tests came back positive for a mild case of prenancy, I'm not going to prescribe anything today as it should resolve itself in 9 months, at that ime you will be either cured or in remission.

By the way here is a pamphlet that explains how you caught your pregnancy and what you can do to avoid it in the future.

2009-04-30 13:37:58 -0500 Report

KD, I have been fighting with my doctor's after landing in the hospital twice in three weeks. I was going through my records from when I was Diagnosed with Type 1 in December. I determined I was diagnosed with a C-Peptide test and a 24 hours fasting blood draw. I was never given the glucose test you drink. Well I was very ill back then and DKA. The doctors told me they were positive I was Type 1 because a Type 2 cannot go DKA and ketonic. Have you ever heard this? Anybody? I've never read this anywhere. I thought type 1 and 2 could go DKA. Would appreciate any information. Thanks, Angie

kdroberts 2009-05-01 08:43:38 -0500 Report

Both types can get DKA but it's far more likely for a type 1 when compared with a type 2 because the underlying cause is a lack of insulin in the body. Most ER doctors have never seen a type 2 DKA but it's a common way for type 1 to be diagnosed. The simple test is an insulin antibody test. If positive, definitely type 1. If negative, maybe not type 1.

tabby9146 2009-05-02 17:21:10 -0500 Report

They told us in diabetes class, that it is more in Type1 but type 2 'can' have this just don't see it much.

tabby9146 2009-05-02 17:21:56 -0500 Report

Thank you!

2009-05-02 17:51:51 -0500 Report

Thanks Tabby and KD! This makes sense, I had just never heard that. Learn something new everyday! Thanks again, Angie

donsqueen 2009-05-02 18:14:09 -0500 Report

I code hospital visits for Kaiser Permanente. In a recent conference for our profession, we were told that DKA is always Type I. Yet, we still have codes for Type II DKA. Your guess is as good as mine. :)

Sarguillo 2009-04-29 20:37:58 -0500 Report

I agree, we do have weakened imune systems but that should not stop us from living our lives. Keep in touch with your doctor and all should be well.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-04-29 17:36:06 -0500 Report

Diabetics, and anyone with any type ongoing health issue, are more susceptible to illnesses. That's why you will see us among those encouraged to be SURE to get the flu vaccine each year.
However, others can also have more fragile immune systems, I'm sure, for one reason or another (i.e. stress).

The regular flu shot is not protection against the Swine flu as of now, but you probably should check with your doctor and get a flu shot in the fall. Don't know if it would be much help right now.
If you are borderline at this point, I think it might be a good idea to err on the side of caution, but see what your doctor thinks.