Sometimes it is a little sniffle and headache, and sometimes you are down and out and feel really sick. In any case, be aware that your diabetes management is of concern.
When you are sick, the stress of illness may cause your blood glucose to be higher—and it will be more difficult to keep your level in target range. Ask your health care team for guidelines for sick day care.
1. Try to stick to your normal eating, drinking and medication plan. Increase your non-caloric fluids to keep from becoming dehydrated.
2. Take your blood glucose more often, every four hours.
3. Continue to take your medications as normal. Do not stop your diabetic medications even if you are eating less or vomiting. Your body is always making glucose, and makes even more during illness. You should check in with your health care team for any medication adjustments you might need.
4. Try to replace the carbohydrates you cannot eat with equal amounts of liquid carbohydrates. Here is a list of common foods and drinks that are easy to consume when you are ill. They are listed in 15 gram units so you can replace your normal meal plan with equal food carbs:
- Six saltines
- One slice dry toast, diet jelly
- One cup soup
- Half-cup fruit juice
- One cup Gatorade
- Half-cup ginger ale
- Half-cup ice cream
- Half-cup applesauce
- Half-cup regular jello
When to call your doctor:
- Your blood glucose is 250 mg/dl for two tests in a row
- Your blood glucose is below 70 mg/dl for two tests in a row
- Your fever is over 100.3
- You have been vomiting more than once
- You have diarrhea for more than 24 hours
- If you have trouble breathing, fruity breath, dry cracked lips
- Changes in your urine or your ability to urinate
- Cough for more than two days
- Flu-like symptoms (chills, aches, sore throat, headache, fatgue)
Oral Medications, Hypoclycemia and Sick Days
Reviewed by Clara Schneider MS, RD, RN, CDE, LDN - 05/13