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High Blood Sugar When Sick

Sick Days

Sick Days

Every day illnesses such as the flu and infections can cause your blood glucose levels to rise. If you get sick while you are pregnant, you will need to be particularly careful and check your blood glucose levels more frequently. You may also need to increase your insulin doses or have small frequent doses to prevent ketoacidosis. Make sure you have in-date ketone monitoring strips and that you know what to do if you find ketones present. Talk to your diabetes health professionals about developing a sick day management plan, as this takes the guess work out of managing blood glucose levels when you are unwell. Call your doctor or diabetes educator if you are vomiting or unable to eat or drink or if you are worried about high blood glucose levels. Managing sick days Follow your sick day management plan. Check your blood glucose levels more frequently when you are unwell. Take your insulin even if you are vomiting or not eating - talk to your diabetes health professionals about adjusting your insulin dose. Check your urine or blood for ketones. Call your doctor or diabetes educator if: your urine ketone reading is more than 1+ your blood ketone reading is more than 0.6 mmol/L you are vomiting or unable to eat or drink you are worried about high blood glucose levels See your doctor to find out the cause of the illness. Discuss hypo management with your diabetes health professionals. If you are vomiting so much that you cannot keep food or fluids down, call your doctor or diabetes educator immediately or go to the Emergency Department of your nearest maternity hospital. Download a copy of the ADEA consumer resource Sick Day Management of Adults with Type 1 Diabetes and the Sick Day Action Plan to discuss with your diabetes in pregnancy team. For more information about sick Continue reading >>

Can Infection Raise Blood Sugar Levels In Nondiabetics?

Can Infection Raise Blood Sugar Levels In Nondiabetics?

Even if you do not have diabetes, you can experience drops and spikes in blood sugar levels for many reasons. If your blood sugar level gets too high or too low, you might develop many symptoms and/or health problems. Stress, poor diet, illness and infections can all cause your blood sugar level to change, and if you notice the warning signs, it is important to talk to your physician about the best treatment approach. Video of the Day After a meal, your body breaks food down into glucose either for immediate use, or else it's stored for later use. The hormone insulin, as well as other chemicals, regulate how much glucose is in your system. If the level of glucose in your bloodstream gets too high, many complications can result. A general goal for everyone is to keep your blood sugar levels no higher than 100 mg/dL, says MedlinePlus. A blood sugar level higher than this can indicate not just diabetes, but also some forms of cancer, Cushing syndrome, an imbalance of various hormones, thyroid disorders or it might be the body's reaction to stress, trauma or an infection. Infections and Blood Glucose Levels When your body is under mental or physical stress, such as when fighting off an infection, hormones such as cortisol are released to help your body cope. The hormones that are released to fight off the infection might have the side effect of raising your blood sugar levels, so your body has the energy it needs to get better. This effect can happen to both diabetics and nondiabetics. If you have an infection and are concerned about your blood sugar levels, it is important to know the warning signs of nondiabetic hyperglycemia, which are the same symptoms that occur in diabetics: hunger, sweating, shakiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, thirst, sleepiness, confusion, diffic Continue reading >>

What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like? Signs & Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia

What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like? Signs & Symptoms Of Hyperglycemia

I get my first cup of coffee and sit on the sun deck with the birds singing. I feel as if I have not slept a wink, and my head aches. I could go back to bed and sleep all day, but work awaits. It’s a beautiful, sunny day, but my body feels heavy, and stuck to the chair. It hurts to lift my arms. My blood sugar was 381 this morning. Again. I think about having to face the day at the office. Driving down the interstate, the lines are blurry. I know that if the DMV got wind of it, I might not be driving as high as my A1C had been. When I get to the office, I walk in with a dark fog feeling surrounding me, and take some deep breaths at my desk. As I begin to review the end of the month reports, the numbers get fuzzy, and I can’t concentrate on them. My 36 ounce water bottle with only a few sips left beads sweat on the desk, and it’s across the building to get to the bathroom. Sometimes it’s a race to get there in time. My body is taught and swollen, like the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. My blood sugar is a blue river of sticky blueberry filling as I roll down the hall toward the bathroom. I feel that if I had a needle, I could pop myself. That would surely be a mess. My skin is so dry and flaky that no amount of lotion will hydrate it. No amount of water can quench my thirst, and my mouth feels like the Sahara Desert. With one hand on the water cooler, and the other hand on the bathroom door, I guzzled down what I could until the feeling hit that I wasn’t going to be able to wait any longer. I was out of regular insulin, and I had taken my long acting insulin. I was not so patiently waiting for it to kick in. This morning was not starting out so well. I’d have to tackle the reports in my current brain fog. I did have a doctor’s appoin Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Colds

Diabetes And Colds

Colds aren't fun for anyone, but if you have diabetes, all that sniffling and sneezing comes with an extra risk. When you're sick, there's a chance your blood sugar levels could go up. Some smart strategies can get you back on track. Why Is My Blood Sugar Going Up? When you have a cold, your body sends out hormones to fight the infection. The downside: That makes it hard for you to use insulin properly, and your blood sugar levels may rise. If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar levels get hard to manage, it can lead to problems like ketoacidosis. That's a buildup of too much acid in your blood and it's potentially life-threatening. If you have type 2 diabetes, especially if you're older, very high blood sugar can bring on a serious condition called diabetic coma. How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugar? Check it at least every 3 or 4 hours when you're sick with a cold. If your levels aren't near your target, you can tweak your diabetes management plan -- your doctor may tell you to use more insulin if your blood sugar levels are too high. What Should I Eat and Drink? You may not feel hungry when you first get sick, but it's important to try to eat something anyway. You can have foods from your regular meal plan. The American Diabetes Association recommends you try to eat something with about 15 grams of carbohydrates every hour or so. Some foods to try: 3-ounce fruit juice bar 1/2 cup frozen yogurt 1/2 cup cooked cereal If you don't eat, your blood sugar might fall too low. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectations do not match CGM readings, and if not performed, may result in hypoglycemia. Please see important risk and safety information. If you have a fever, vomiting, or diarr Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Being Ill - Diabetes And Illness

Diabetes And Being Ill - Diabetes And Illness

Tweet Having an illness or infection can make it particularly hard to control blood sugar levels. A little knowledge of how illnesses affect diabetes can go a long way towards helping you through. It’s hard to go a year without catching a cold, virus, flu or stomach bug so it pays to be prepared as to how to manage during periods of sickness. How does illness affect diabetes? During an illness or infection the body will release extra glucose into your blood stream in a bid to help combat the illness. In people without diabetes, this is an effective strategy as their pancreas will release extra insulin to cope with the extra blood glucose. In people with diabetes, though, the release of glucose presents an unwanted extra difficulty in managing the rise in blood glucose levels - in addition to feeling less than 100%. Illness and very high blood sugar levels The NHS recommends that people with diabetes with a sugar level over 28 mmols/L should seek emergency advice from their healthcare team or, during out-of-hours times, contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Coping with diabetes and illness To keep a track of how much your sugar levels are rising, it’s recommended to test your blood more often than usual. Test for ketones If you have type 1 diabetes, it is advisable to follow up any high blood sugar readings with a test for ketones. Read: Testing for ketones Keep hydrated Keep yourself well hydrated. High blood glucose levels can lead to dehydration so make sure you are regularly drinking fluids to stay hydrated. Keep eating It may be tempting to not eat whilst unwell but this could lead to more ketones as the body may need to break down fat to make fuel. If eating is difficult, or if you are vomiting and cannot keep food down, it is advisable to have drinks with carbohydr Continue reading >>

5 Best Tips To Manage Diabetes When You’re Sick

5 Best Tips To Manage Diabetes When You’re Sick

Whether you are sick or are just getting older, there are times in life when you don’t feel much like eating. If you’re eating fewer calories because you’ve lost your appetite, you’ll probably need to pay closer attention to your blood sugars and adjust your diabetes medications. Here are some tips from the experts to help you manage your diabetes: 1. Stay hydrated You can easily get dehydrated if you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Your main risk from dehydration is hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Taking certain cold medications, skipping diabetes medications and eating food erratically can also sometimes lead to high blood sugar. “When you’re ill, it’s very important to check your blood sugar regularly, continue to take medications on a schedule and drink fluids regularly,” says diabetes specialist Bartolome Burguera, MD. If your blood sugar goes over 250, check your urine for keytones, which are produced when your body has difficulty processing blood sugar, and call your doctor, Dr. Burguera says. 2. Change up your diet When you’re not able to eat as much as normal or don’t have an appetite, meal replacement drinks are often helpful. “Nutritional shakes formulated for people with diabetes have a moderate amount of carbohydrate, which is appropriate,” Dr. Burguera says. You can also make homemade meal-replacement shakes using: Frozen fruit A protein source (e.g., protein powder, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, tofu) Milk, soy milk or almond milk “Noodle soups are also typically well tolerated and the noodles offer carbohydrates, which may help prevent low blood sugars,” he says. 3. Create a sick-day tool kit Dr. Burguera suggests putting together a “sick-day diabetes tool kit” that includes things you can eat or drink when you aren’t Continue reading >>

What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like.

What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like.

The American Diabetes Association cites the following symptoms as indicative of high blood sugar: High blood glucose [Editor’s note: Duh] High levels of sugar in the urine Frequent urination Increased thirst And if high blood sugar goes untreated? “Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy. When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.” – ADA website But what does a high blood sugar feel like? Because when you see someone who is working through an elevated blood sugar, they may not look terribly out of sorts. But what is happening inside of them is real, and plays out in a myriad of ways for every person with diabetes. I’ve tried to write about it several times, but each high is different, and affects me in different ways: “It’s a thick feeling in the base of your brain, like someone’s cracked open your head and replaced your gray matter with sticky jam. I find myself zoning out and staring at things, and my eyeballs feel dry and like they’re tethered to my head by frayed ropes instead of optic nerves. Everything is slow and heavy and whipped with heavy cream.” – Oh, High! “There’s something about a high blood sugar that makes my body feel weighted down, l Continue reading >>

High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia) In Diabetes

High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia) In Diabetes

What is high blood sugar? High blood sugar means that the level of sugar in your blood is higher than recommended for you. If you don’t keep your blood sugar at a normal, healthy level most of the time, you will increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney problems, and loss of vision. The medical term for high blood sugar is hyperglycemia. Blood sugar is also called blood glucose. What is the cause? Blood sugar that stays high is the main problem of diabetes. Your body breaks down some of the foods you eat into sugar. Normally the hormone insulin moves this sugar into your cells, where your body uses it for energy. In diabetes the insulin is not moving the sugar into the cells, so it builds up in the bloodstream and starts to cause problems. Sometimes you may have high blood sugar even though you are taking diabetes medicine. This can happen for many reasons but it always means that your diabetes is not in good control. Some reasons why your sugar might go too high are: Skipping your diabetes medicine Not taking the right amount of diabetes medicine Taking certain medicines that increase your blood sugar or make your blood sugar medicines work less well Taking in too many calories by eating large portions of food, choosing too many high-calorie foods, or drinking too many high-sugar beverages Eating too many carbohydrates, such as foods made mainly with sugar, white flour (in bread, biscuits, pancakes, for example), white potatoes, or white rice Not getting enough physical activity (exercise lowers your blood sugar) Having increased emotional or physical stress Being sick, including colds, flu, an infected tooth, or a urinary tract infection, especially if you have a fever If you are using insulin, having a problem with your insulin (for examp Continue reading >>

Diabetes - When You Are Sick

Diabetes - When You Are Sick

Check your blood sugar more often than usual (every 2 to 4 hours). Try to keep your blood sugar at less than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L). There may be times when you need to check your blood sugar every hour. Write down all your blood sugar levels, the time of each test, and the medicines you have taken. If you have type 1 diabetes, check your urine ketones every time you urinate. Eat small meals often. Even if you are not eating as much, your blood sugar can still get very high. If you use insulin, you may even need extra insulin injections. DO NOT do vigorous exercise when you are sick. If you take insulin, you should also have a glucagon emergency treatment kit prescribed by your doctor. Always have this kit available. Drink plenty of sugar-free fluids to keep your body from getting dried out (dehydrated). Drink at least twelve 8-ounce (oz) cups (3 liters) of fluid a day. Fluids you can drink if you are dehydrated include: Water Club soda Diet soda (caffeine-free) Tomato juice Chicken broth If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL (5.5 mmol/L) or falling quickly, it is OK to drink fluids that have sugar in them. Try to check their effect on your blood sugar in the same way you check how other foods affect your blood sugar. Fluids you can drink if your blood sugar is low include: Apple juice Orange juice Grapefruit juice Gatorade or other sports drink Tea with honey Lemon-lime drinks Ginger ale If you throw up, DO NOT drink or eat anything for 1 hour. Rest, but DO NOT lie flat. After 1 hour, take sips of soda, such as ginger ale, every 10 minutes. If vomiting persists call or see your provider. When you have an upset stomach, try to eat small meals. Try carbohydrates, such as: Bagels or bread Cooked cereal Mashed potatoes Noodle or rice soup Saltines Gelatin (such as Je Continue reading >>

Ask D'mine: To Throw Up Or Not To Throw Up - That Is The Question

Ask D'mine: To Throw Up Or Not To Throw Up - That Is The Question

Got questions about life with diabetes? So do we! That's why we offer our weekly diabetes advice column, Ask D'Mine, hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and community educator Wil Dubois . This week, Wil's talking sick days and what to do when your stomach is not happy. An ugly subject, but someone's got to do it... {Got your own questions? Email us at [email protected]} Lauralee, type 3 from Washington, writes: I'm mom to a 16-year-old who has had Type 1 for 3 years. Thankfully he has not yet had any sort of stomach bug with vomiting, though at some point I know that might happen. I understand about how the body keeps producing glucose even when one is not eating, and so one still needs to take insulin, and that makes sense. But I have also read that one is supposed to keep on drinking and /or take antiemetics, and don't quite understand why that would be advisable. Is it not better to allow the body to throw up until one has eliminated the offending bug, and the illness has run its course? And drinking anything before things have settled down is just asking for more vomiting. Could you explain the physiology of how the non-diabetic vs. diabetic body handles such illnesses and the resultant ketones? And the best way to manage a short-term, like a day or two, vomiting illness? I know something major like salmonella or E coli would be a whole different issue. I learn a great deal from your columns, have printed out the one about drinking to give to my son as mandatory reading, and really enjoy your wit. Thank you for helping all of us who are affected by diabetes. [email protected] D'Mine answers: You're welcome, and thank you for your kind words! This is a great question, and I hope everyone can stomach talking about vomiting first thing in the morning! Now, you don Continue reading >>

Sick Days

Sick Days

When you’re unwell, you need to take extra care. As a person with diabetes, when you are sick your body’s increased production of stress hormones will cause your blood glucose levels to rise. Make sure you keep a list of contact numbers for your doctor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator, hospital and ambulance by the phone. If possible, have a friend or relative come and regularly check on you. You can also see our information sheets on sick days with type 1 type 2 diabetes in our Publications and Resources section. When you’re sick, you should continue to take your usual dose of insulin. Never stop taking or reduce your insulin dose. Sometimes when you are sick you may need more insulin or extra doses of insulin. Contact your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator if your illness lasts for more than one day, or if you vomit more than three times in a day, to discuss whether your insulin needs to be changed. Eat according to how you feel and what food you can tolerate. If you can’t eat your usual meals, make sure you have small low-fat snacks at regular intervals throughout the day (for example, toast, crackers, boiled rice, soup, low-fat custard or ice-cream). If you can’t eat food, have sips of fluid every few minutes. Include carbohydrate drinks (such as fruit juice or lemonade) if your blood glucose level is below 15 mmol/L or unsweetened fluids (such as soda water or diet lemonade) if your blood glucose level is above 15 mmol/L. High blood glucose levels, vomiting and diarrhoea can all lead to dehydration. You will need to drink more, but it is important what you should drink, based on your blood glucose levels. If your blood sugar level is more than 15 mmol/L then you should drink unsweetened fluids like water, clear soups, weak tea, or diet lemonade. I Continue reading >>

Must Read Articles Related To High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia)

Must Read Articles Related To High Blood Sugar (hyperglycemia)

A A A High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) (cont.) If hyperglycemia persists for at least two or three days, or if ketones appear in the urine, call a doctor. Generally, people with diabetes should test their blood sugar levels at least four times a day: before meals and at bedtime (or following the schedule advised by the prescribed individual diabetes care plan). The urine should be checked for ketones any time the blood sugar level is over 250 mg/dL. When blood sugar stays high despite following a diabetic diet and plan of care, call the nurse, diabetes health educator, or physician for adjustments in the diet. If blood sugars are high because of illness, check for ketones and contact a health professional. Vomiting Confusion Sleepiness Shortness of breath Dehydration Blood sugar levels that stay above 160 mg/dL for longer than a week Glucose readings higher than 300 mg/dL The presence of ketones in the urine Ketoacidosis or diabetic coma is a medical emergency. Call 911 for emergency transport to a hospital or similar emergency center. Please ask your health care professional about the following: How to recognize high blood sugar levels How to treat a high blood sugar level when it occurs in you, a family member, or coworkers How to prevent the blood sugar level from becoming too high How to contact the medical staff during an emergency What emergency supplies to carry to treat high blood sugar Additional educational materials regarding high blood sugar Check blood sugar levels with a blood glucose meter. If blood sugar level is higher than normal, but there are no symptoms, continue routine care such as: Take all diabetes medications on schedule. Eat regular meals. Drink sugar-free and caffeine-free liquids. Take a blood sugar reading every four hours (write it down) u Continue reading >>

What Does It Feel Like To Have High Blood Sugar Levels?

What Does It Feel Like To Have High Blood Sugar Levels?

The human body naturally has sugar, or glucose, in the blood. The right amount of blood sugar gives the body's cells and organs energy. The liver and muscles produce some blood sugar, but most of it comes from food and drinks that contain carbohydrates. In order to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range, the body needs insulin. Insulin is a hormone that takes blood sugar and delivers it to the body's cells. Contents of this article: What does it feel like to have high blood sugar levels? Blood sugar is fuel for the body's organs and functions. But having high blood sugar doesn't provide a boost in energy. In fact, it's often the opposite. Because the body's cells can't access the blood sugar for energy, a person may feel tiredness, hunger, or exhaustion frequently. In addition, high sugar in the blood goes into the kidneys and urine, which attracts more water, causing frequent urination. This can also lead to increased thirst, despite drinking enough liquids. High blood sugar can cause sudden or unexplained weight loss. This occurs because the body's cells aren't getting the glucose they need, so the body burns muscle and fat for energy instead. High blood sugar can also cause numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands, legs, and feet. This is caused by diabetic neuropathy, a complication of diabetes that often occurs after many years of high blood sugar levels. What does high blood sugar mean for the rest of the body? Over time, the body's organs and systems can be harmed by high blood sugar. Blood vessels become damaged, and this can lead to complications, including: Damage to the eye and loss of vision Kidney disease or failure Nerve problems in the skin, especially the feet, leading to sores, infections, and wound healing problems Causes of high blood sugar Continue reading >>

Take Care Of Yourself When Sick Or Under Stress

Take Care Of Yourself When Sick Or Under Stress

When we're stressed, our bodies need extra energy to help us cope and recover. This is true whether bodies are under stress from illness or injury or are dealing with the effects of emotional stress, both good and bad. To meet the demand for more energy, the body responds by releasing into the bloodstream sugar that's been stored in the liver, causing blood sugar levels to rise. In someone without diabetes, the pancreas responds to the rise in blood sugar by releasing enough insulin into the bloodstream to help convert the sugar into energy. This brings blood sugar levels back down to normal. In someone with diabetes, the extra demand usually means needing to take more diabetes medicine (insulin or pills.) To make sure your body is getting enough medicine to help keep your blood sugar levels close to normal, you'll need to test more often when you are: Sick Recovering from surgery Fighting an infection Feeling upset Under more stress than usual Traveling Type 1 Diabetes In people with type 1 diabetes, blood sugar levels rise in response to stress, but the body doesn't have enough insulin to turn the sugar into energy. Instead, the body burns stored fat to meet energy needs. When fat is burned for energy, it creates waste products called ketones. As fat is broken down, ketones start to build up in the bloodstream. High levels of ketones in the blood can lead to a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can cause a person to lose consciousness and go into a diabetic coma. Type 2 Diabetes In people with type 2 diabetes, the body usually has enough insulin available to turn sugar into energy, so it doesn't need to burn fat. However, stress hormones can cause blood sugar levels to rise to very high and even dangerous levels. People with type 2 diabetes Continue reading >>

Diabetic Emergencies, Diagnosis And Clinical Management: Sick-day Rules In Diabetes, Part 2

Diabetic Emergencies, Diagnosis And Clinical Management: Sick-day Rules In Diabetes, Part 2

Konstantinos Makrilakis, Nikolaos Katsilambros In patients taking insulin — either basal only ( ± pills) or a more intensified regimen (insulin mixtures two or three times daily or a basal-bolus regimen) — the “sick-day rules” should be taught and the patient should be provided with urine strips to test for ketones (e.g., Ketostix) and rapid-acting soluble insulin (human or insulin analog) along with their usual insulin and blood glucose testing kit.12 Glucagon injection should also be available at home for family members to use in case of severe hypoglycemia. They should also have clear “contact criteria” and contact telephone numbers for their health care provider team (see “Patient advice” below). For patients following an intensified insulin regimen (usually Type 1 diabetic patients) the insulin regimen is followed, basically, as it is, provided the patient is feeding normally. If needed, the doses of “prandial” and basal insulin are increased, based on frequent blood glucose measurements. Sometimes it may be necessary to administer rapid-acting insulin (or even better a rapid-acting insulin analog) in between meals. In this case, small doses are preferred. If the patient is unable to take food (due for example to nausea/vomiting), the dose of basal insulin is administered normally and, if needed, rapid-acting insulin is administered every 4-6 hours, or a rapid-acting analog every 3-4 hours.14 At the same time, intake of carbohydrates in the form of liquid or semi-solid food (i.e., juice, refreshments, soups, purée, etc.) is recommended. Insulin dose is empirically determined each time as 1/10th of the usual total daily dose when blood glucose is > 150 mg/dl (8.3 mmol/L), or as 1/5th of the total daily dose when blood glucose is > 200 mg/dl (11 Continue reading >>

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