How to Manage Sickness when you're Diabetic
When you are unwell, you need to take care, but when you are diabetic and unwell, you need to take extra care. As a diabetic person, when you fall sick, your body tries to fight the disease by releasing stress hormones. The downside of these hormones is that they make your blood sugar levels go up, and this may be a problem when you are diabetic.
Important guidelines to follow when you are sick:
• Check your blood sugar levels using blood glucose monitor every two to four hours.
• If your blood sugar levels have constantly been above 250 mg/dL, then check your urine ketone levels using a ketone test strip. Call your doctor immediately if the ketone test is positive.
• Check your temperature regularly.
• Make sure you're having plenty of sugar free fluids to avoid dehydration.
• Do not stop taking your diabetes pills or insulin, even if you are not able to eat. Talk to your doctor about your dosage if necessary.
What do you eat when you're sick?
Eat your usual meals or snacks, but in case your sugars are fluctuating and you cannot stick to your usual diet, follow these guidelines:
If your blood glucose level is over 250mg/dL while you're sick:
- Tea without sugar
- Clear soups or broths
- Caffeine free diet drinks
If your blood glucose level is less than 70mg/dL while you're sick:
- 1/2 cup regular soft drink
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup fruit juice
- 1 Tablespoon of Glucon D
Can you exercise when you're sick?
People with diabetes are generally not advised to do strenuous exercise if they are sick or have ketones present in their urine.
When do you call the doctor?
Call your doctor if:
• Your blood sugar levels stay higher than 250mg/dL or lower than 70mg/dL, two times in a row
• Your urine ketone test is positive
• You have fever above 100.3 degrees
• You have diarrhea and vomiting
• You have other signs like-
-You feel sleepier than normal
-You have infections
Always keep a list of contact numbers of your doctor, certified diabetes educator, ambulance, friend or relative in case of an emergency. It's better to be prepared than worry about it when the time comes.