Am I getting sicker?

I was diagnosed Type 1 six years ago. Up until recently, I had not noticed any difference in the number of time I get sick each year, or how sick I get. But, in the past few months, I have had what appears to be a garden variety cold, but am getting very sick, with body aches, chills, and nausea (and once keytones). Does having diabetes impact how my body fights off illness, or is this just a fluke? My health has been quite good otherwise, sugars are not high (but sometimes too low), and I exercise and eat well. My brother says he believes that since covid people are getting sicker in general? I guess I am concerned for my health if I am going to be getting this sick often…



I didn’t notice any difference in my ability to fight colds before and after I got type 1. I’d guess you just got unlucky with the variety of bug you caught this time. Get well soon.


There’s nothing in the medical literature to back this up. It may be that nowadays we pay more attention to our symptoms when we do get sick and may notice more when others are sick. Plus respiratory viruses especially are in the news a lot these days, so we have the impression more people are sick.

Have you had Covid? There is evidence that people’s immune systems can be compromised for up to eight months after an infection. Do you plan to see your doctor about your condition?


I would guess it’s just a fluke.
It’s not because of COVID for sure! Good luck getting better quickly. Sometimes we’re just walloped by multiple crummy bugs, and it sucks.

If you have ever been affirmatively diagnosed with COVID, there is a large body of evidence to suggest that can have downstream effects on how you experience other pathogens. There is strong data to suggest the SARS-COV2 virus can impact the immune system beyond the duration of acute infection, so that would strike me as a possibility. (I used to work in EMS/fire, got deployed with public health in late 2020, and ended up working closely and collaborating extensively with epidemiologists and public health specialists on the COVID response, and this was the conclusion derived from the information available to us: that a COVID infection has the potential to weaken other immune responses down the road.)

COVID is a multisystemic illness and viable virus can be found in every single organ of the body, including the brain. (There is some debate as to the mechanism by which the virus crosses the blood-brain barrier, and if its presence in brain tissue indicates an ability to infect brain cells per se, or if it merely permeates the barrier and sort of lingers without infecting brain cells directly. This is being studied.) All that said, it is a novel virus and its many effects and followons are not totally understood. With that caveat, there is very good evidence to suggest it can have some immune system impacts. Again, if you have ever been affirmatively diagnosed (especially if you were not vaccinated or had a severe case, but even for mild cases), there are a plethora of potential longterm effects that are only beginning to be understood, and decreased immune function is on that list. In other words, a past COVID infection does actually have the potential to see you getting sick more often and with greater severity than you did before. (And the data, for numerous reportable illnesses like RSV, flu, measles, pertussis and more, shows that more people are indeed getting sick more often now.)

Incidentally, as an academic aside, COVID is also associated with a statistically significant increase in the probability of a diabetes diagnosis within a year of infection. :woman_shrugging:t2: Speculation only: I have no data to support this but I have wondered if COVID is driving an increase in adult autoimmune diabetes cases, possibly serving as a viral trigger or otherwise prompting onset. But this is merely me wondering.

Otherwise, I dunno, my mom eventually stopped working to stay home because she said I kept coming back from daycare with what she called “germ lab diseases”, so I guess also some viruses just hit harder than others, and some seasons are just spready-er than others, especially any time little humans get involved. :woman_shrugging:t2::grimacing: Whatever the reason, being sick sucks! I hope you find an actionable root cause and I wish you good health no matter what the culprit is. :heart:


Thanks everyone, for your responses. It sounds like maybe my brother is right. I have been avoiding wearing masks at work, because I find them a nuisance. However, I think i might do that, even if it only affords me a little more protection. I work with little ones ages 2-5 years, and many of them (like one I saw this week), are sneezing and coughing! Thanks also for the well wishes!


I teach at university and managed to avoid getting Covid (symptomatically at least) until last month. I got extremely sick. Up until that point I had been masking continuously in the classroom, but decided to stop at the beginning of this semester. I’ve gone back to masking and probably will continue to do so. Students are germy at any age.


If anyone is interested in a reusable, comfortable mask that offers a very high degree of protection, I recommend this:

The Pro filters are what I use, and this mask is roughly equivalent to wearing an N95 in terms of the protection afforded. How often you need to change the filter depends on the degree of use, but you’ll get multiple days out of each one. I have the Halo strap (better seal for more protection, and it’s more comfortable for me to wear over longer periods), and the condensation catcher add-ons. The FloMask is also real nice for those in roles that need to speak to groups, as the design allows for really great sound transfer.

For a disposable N95, I recommend this:

especially for women and those with smaller faces. Again, pretty comfortable as these things go, extremely high degree of protection, and has a very high fit test pass rate. Each of these can be reused multiple times so long as the elastic remains in good shape and you aren’t noticing obvious external contamination, or leaks from the fit getting looser, or the nose wire getting bent etc.

I figure if you’re going to mask, you may as well get the most return for your hassle! These choices are both as comfortable or more so when compared to many less protective options (like surgical or cloth, which give very little protection at all for the bother). These two designs in particular don’t muffle your voice, preserving your speaking/projecting abilities. It’s really worth it to go for an N95 or equivalent in my opinion. And of course they work for everything airborne, not just COVID!

Also, running a portable HEPA filter in your classroom/workspace can actually really help protect everyone, masked or not. Ventilation like opening windows during nice weather is also genuinely beneficial. A portable CO2 monitor can let you keep an eye on the air in your room. It serves as an approximation for the concentration of rebreathed air in a room, which correlates directly to risk of transmission: this can help by letting you know it might be time to open a window if the number is rising, etc. These strategies help mitigate risk for all, without forcing masking (although more protection never hurts!), which is extra nice in group contexts. I believe diabetes is considered a risk factor, so these options for ventilation and filtration may even be considered ADA protected accommodations.


I use those 3M Auras. They fit well and aren’t cripplingly expensive.


Covid for the first time in 2023 triggered this LADA I now have. But in general, my health and immune system are doing fine. I think I have one 3 day cold in the past year.


Thanks for your well-informed response.


The problem I hate with all masks is that they leak around the bridge of the nose. When I am wearing my reading glasses, they fog up. That always tells me there is a leak!

Are there any masks that have a better surface along the bridge of the nose? The bendable metal parts don’t really seal very well.

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I don’t think that tells you there is a leak. It just tells you that hot air rises and exhaled breath is moist, and that when wearing a non-valved mask the plume of exhaled breath floats close to the face rather than being blown away in a stream. I don’t think that checking for fogging glasses is an effective indicator of improper mask fitment.

Now if you take your glasses off, exhale forcefully with a mask on, and feel air blowing on your eyeballs, that’s good evidence that your mask leaks around the nose.

I find that I can shape the metal nose strip of the 3M Aura N95 mask so that it holds the inner foam seal against my face, and I don’t get signs of bypass, even though I do have the glasses fog up if I keep them close to my face. My accommodation is to ride the bridge of my glasses out near the tip of my nose when wearing a mask. Not perfect, but it helps.


A properly fit and sealed N95 should not really fog your glasses.

The Aura has a really nice foam-lined nose wire design to combat this: to get the best fit, a couple tips.

  1. The top elastic should go up and around the widest part of your skull.
  2. The bottom elastic should cross right where your neck meets the back of the skull.
  3. Adjust the nose wire by putting your fingertips at the midpoint, and pressing firmly down and out to mold the wire to your face. It’s instinctive to push the wire inward to “teepee” it over your nose: don’t! Press outward along your nose and cheeks instead. This helps prevent that triangle-wire gap, which fogs glasses as well as reducing your protection because it’s a leaky seal. Also, make sure the bottom of the respirator fits snugly under your chin.
  4. Gentlemen: facial hair interferes with a good seal. For the best protection you’ll want to be clean-shaven anywhere the mask seals to your face (mustaches, goatees etc don’t affect it, but stubble or a beard on your cheeks or chin does!).
  5. Loose hairs or any other item (hood fabric, or a hat, etc) that gets between the mask and your face, or between your head and the elastics, can create a leaky seal too.

Glasses fogging is actually a great field test to see if your seal is good! A properly sealed N95 shouldn’t leak much at all, and it shouldn’t be fogging glasses. The tips above help make that maximally protective fit happen. If properly worn and adjusted, the Aura has over a 90% fit test pass rate, meaning it works well for almost everyone.

The FloMask requires a little more sizing (you’ll measure your face to pick your size since it’s a reusable design instead of the bendable wire) but if you order the correct size for your face and the straps are adjusted properly etc, then it provides very similar protection to the Aura, and should also be non-fogging if correctly sized.


Is that really true? Clearly if the mask leaks around the bridge of the nose it will direct exhaled breath upward. And I’ve seen plenty of claims that fogged glasses = bad fit. But when I looked for actual study results I only found this preliminary result:

In my hands-on experience in the field, yes, glasses fogging is strongly correlated with failing a fit test. I did hundreds of fit tests myself and ran a program that did thousands more, but can only offer anecdote.

In cold temperatures I have seen fogging from exhalations emerging from the front of the mask and condensing on the lens, and cannot speak to the exhalation design of respirators I’m not familiar with. Because of its high fit success rate and comfort I worked almost exclusively with the Aura. At room temperature in a standard setting, a properly sealed N95 Aura should not fog glasses, and in my personal experience fogging is strongly correlated with failing a fit test or an improperly adjusted mask. The Aura is specifically designed to be glasses-friendly when worn correctly. :woman_shrugging:t2: I will note I have seen a number of studies about masking that directly conflict with field experience, but this is of course merely my personal experience. It is by no means peer reviewed.

Beyond the question of protection or the statistical hazard posed by a leak, though, I guess what’s relevant here is that the Aura and the FloMask both can be adjusted to avoid the nuisance of glasses fogging, and if properly adjusted, they indeed don’t fog lenses. If they are sealing as intended by the manufacturer, regardless of the disease control aspect, they’re designed to prevent fogging. I can’t offer scientific proof about the transmission hazard of a potential leak identified thusly, but purely from the lens perspective both the Aura and FloMask can be adjusted and fitted to avoid the inconvenience of fogging. That seems like a benefit even if there’s debate about the degree of exposure or protection it indicates.




Back to topic… Me too. (T1 since 1971/1972). I produce measurable ketones (ooh, I love keytones, sounds much cooler, is much cooler) at 250mg/dL (US units) but that’s no big deal - I can do that with a really small although maybe enjoyable amount of carbs.

Muscle aches, body aches, sometimes chills rarely nausea are things I sometimes experience with what I would call “a cold” but the thing that has been bugging me is nasal congestion (blocked nose). This seems more frequent (well, on and off; it has been persistent.)

I don’t have a good explanation; I have many theories. If one of them is correct that just means all the others are wrong (I encourage readers to think about that statement.) I do believe that many people, regardless of T1, are reporting this kind of effect.

It might be COVID, that’s a reasonable hypothesis; one theory, might be wrong.

I’m with your brother; not T1. I might be wrong but on the grand scale of all the things I could be wrong about that doesn’t rate.

Not that you are wrong to be concerned; in fact if it was T1 that would be less concerning, right?

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