Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Sick Day Management and other Diabetes topics.
If you are ill, it effects your blood sugar, in addition to any effect that your sickness-related medications may have on your disease. It is important to know how to manage your diabetes, when you are ill.
Here are some general guidelines:
1) Take your medicine as you normally
would as long as you are eating as
you normally would. If your eating
patterns change, contact your doctor
for medication change instructions.
2) Check your blood sugar more
frequently. Since infection and some
medications used to treat infections
can increase your blood sugar, it is
important to track your sugars so
that you can adjust your
3) Check ketones, if you are a Type 1
diabetic - to see if your body is
using body fat for fuel, as
ketoacidosis is a serious condition
and will need immediate treatment.
4) Keep hydrated. Drink non-sugar, non-
alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids to
stay hydrated and keep your blood
sugars from spiking due to
5) Be prepared: have phone numbers
ready before illness strikes. Having
a "sick day" kit that includes a
thermometer, sugar free cough
medicine/cough drops, and important
numbers is a good idea.
6) Know when to call your doctor -
a. call if your fever lasts more
than 3 days or goes about 103
b. call if your blood sugars are
consistently 50% higher than
usual, i.e. if your normal AM
sugar is 110, call if it is
repeatedly higher than 165.
c. call for symptoms of high or low
blood sugar that occur two days
in a row or three times in one
d. call if your illness is not
resolving after 5 days, with
Understanding that illness impacts your diabetes, and how to treat it, are the keys to getting through your "sick days" without a hitch.
As always, when in doubt, call your doctor for guidance.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|