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Diabetes Sick Day Management Handout

Sick Days

Sick Days

When you are coughing, sneezing, or feeling nauseous, probably the last thing you want to do is worry about your diabetes. However, when you are sick, your blood glucose levels go up, so you need to be extra careful with your diabetes management. We spoke with Martin J. Abrahamson, M.D., Medical Director, Joslin Clinic, to get some tips on managing both sickness and diabetes. Before you get sick Make a “sick day plan” with your diabetes team. This may include a special meal plan for when you are having trouble keeping food down. Ask your doctor if there are any over the counter medications you should avoid, or if you need to follow any special precautions. When you are sick Always take your diabetes medication. If you are having trouble keeping the medicine down (vomiting), call your doctor. Check your blood glucose levels at least 4 times a day. If you are too sick to test it yourself, have someone else do it. Write your levels down in case you need to call your doctor. Check for ketones if your blood glucose is 250 or higher. Write levels down in case you need to call your doctor. Stick to your normal meal plan, if possible. Drink lots of sugar free liquids to prevent dehydration When to call your doctor Call your doctor if you have any of the following: A fever above 100.5 Vomiting or diarrhea for over 2 hours Blood glucose levels above 250mg after two checks, or if levels do not go down after extra insulin Moderate or large ketones Continue reading >>

Sick Days

Sick Days

What Are They? “My Doctor Says I Should Learn Sick Day Rules...†BD Getting Started™ 1 What’s different about being sick because I have diabetes? When most people are sick with a cold or the flu, they usually rest, drink tea or eat chicken soup. If they do not start to feel better in a couple of days, they will usually call their doctor. When you have diabetes, not feeling well affects your eating patterns and how your blood sugar reacts to your usual dose of insulin or diabetes pills. When you are sick, your body will release hormones that work to help your body fight against your illness, but they will also make your blood sugar levels rise. This means that your diabetes will be more difficult to control when you are sick. That is why it is so important to plan ahead and be prepared in case of illness. Sickness can include: a cold, flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, and infections such as ear, teeth or bladder, or more serious illnesses like pneumonia or a foot infection. 2 What happens when I am sick? Illness puts your body in a state of stress. When you don’t feel well, your body produces stress hormones. These hormones work to help your body fight the infection or injury that is making you sick. They send a signal to your liver to release sugar to help in the fight. This makes your blood sugar rise. In people without diabetes, when the liver releases sugar to help the body fight against the illness, the pancreas also makes extra insulin. This allows the body to use the sugar for energy and the blood sugar remains within a normal range. However, if you have diabetes, your body cannot make the extra insulin needed and your blood sugar will go up. The stress hormones also work against insulin. Together, the sugar p Continue reading >>

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